Monday, May 23, 2022

How To Check If Social Security Has Been Stolen

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Take Action If You Are A Victim

Steps you should take if your social security numbers stolen

There are steps you can take if your Social Security number or other personal information is compromised.

If your Social Security number is compromised and you know or suspect you are a victim of tax-related identity theft, the IRS recommends these actions:

  • Respond immediately to any IRS notice: Call the number provided.
  • If your e-filed return is rejected because of a duplicate filing under your Social Security number, or if the IRS instructs you to do so, complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit PDF. Use a fillable form at IRS.gov, print, then attach the form to your return and mail your return according to instructions.
  • Visit IdentityTheft.gov for steps you should take right away to protect yourself and your financial accounts.

See Identity Theft Victim Assistance: How It Works for more information about how the IRS can help you.

If you previously contacted the IRS and did not have a resolution, contact us for specialized assistance at . We have teams standing by to help you.

Fraudulent Returns

If you believe someone has filed a fraudulent return in your name, you can get a copy of the return. See Instructions for Requesting a Copy of Fraudulent Returns.

Dependents

Data Breach

Not all data breaches or computer hacks result in tax-related identity theft. Its important to know what type of personal information was stolen.

Assigned an EIN Not Requested

Some tips:

Phishing Emails and Scams

You can report other suspicious online or emailing phishing scams to .

Can Someone Access My Bank Account With My Social Security Number

It is very possible that someone can access your accounts with your SSN. They could call your bank and pretend to be you to gain access to your accounts. The bank typically verifies your identity by asking for your SSN or the last four digits of your SSN. If the thief has this information, then the bank might give out account information to them. Once the thief gains access to your account, they can move or withdraw money and drain your finances very quickly.

Whether And How To Get A New Social Security Number

Many stolen Social Security numbers are used simply to gain employment, with no detrimental effect to the legitimate holders of the SSN. But others are used to defraud banks, retailers, the IRS and other government agencies, which could trash your credit.

MORE: Identity Theft Victim? Here’s 6 Things You Need to Do

If several years pass after the theft of your Social Security number, and the problems arising from the theft have not gotten any better, then you may want to apply for a new SSN. But before you take that step, there are several things to consider.

Recommended Reading: When To Apply For Social Security Spousal Benefits

How Do You Put An Alert On Your Social Security Number

If you want to place a fraud alert on your Social Security number, you simply need to contact one of the three credit reporting agencies. Tell them you want to place a fraud alert on your SSN, and they will notify the other two agencies. Make sure the credit bureau has your latest contact information on file because they will need to contact you if anyone attempts to use your SSN. This service is free of charge, and the alert lasts for one year. You should be aware that your Social Security number cannot be suspended. If you receive a call stating such, you should hang up immediately because it is a scam.

Warning Signs Of Identity Theft

How To Check If Your Identity Has Been Stolen?

Heres what to look for if you think an identity thief has targeted you:

  • A strange charge on your credit card billWhen reviewing your bank account, do you ever notice a charge that you dont remember making? Even a small discrepancy can indicate fraud. Sometimes criminals make a test charge just to be sure a transaction will go through before making a bigger move.
  • If you didnt opt-in to paperless billing but some of your mail isnt showing up, nows a good time to give that company a call. Identity thieves will file for a change of address to get their hands on your mail. Most of these documents contain sensitive personal information that can be stolen.
  • Your credit score is going upAlthough this may seem counterintuitive, a rising credit score when you havent done anything to earn it can indicate a fraudster is trying to extend credit in your name before running through it.
  • Your credit score is going downThere are lots of reasons why your credit score could have gone down, like if you recently applied for a loan or had a bill go into collections. If your credit score has dropped and you cant explain why, however, you could be a victim of identity theft.
  • Youre unexpectedly denied for a credit card or loanIf you thought you had good credit, but then your application for credit is denied, this might be a sign that an identity thief has tampered with your credit history and negatively affected your credit score.
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    How Do You Check To See If Someone Is Using Your Social Security Number

    The FTC recommends following these additional steps if your Social Security number is being used by a cybercriminal:

    • If your information was exposed by a third-partys data breach, take advantage of their restoration offer, which should include free credit monitoring for at least a year. Or sign up for an identity protection plan that includes full-service expert restoration assistance. Alert the FTC immediately if you see any transactions or accounts you dont recognize.

    • You can freeze your credit to block any new accounts or lines of credit. Or you can place a fraud alert on your account to make it more difficult for anyone trying to use your stolen identity for financial gain.

    • File your taxes early. This way, the right tax return is processed and cybercriminals with your Social Security number wont be able to fraudulently file.

    • Check your credit report regularly to watch out for any new activity.

    • If someone is misusing your personal information, report your identity stolen here.

    Safe browsing, friends! The internet should make life easier, more fun, and more productive. But identity theft is very real. Use caution and know what to look out for to protect your identity and personal information.

    Identity Theft: What You Need To Know

    Thieves with access to personal information Social Security number, birth certificate, PIN or credit card numbers, even pre-approved credit card solicitations can steal your identity and apply for credit in your name, racking up huge debts without you even knowing that it has happeneduntil its too late. Stay safe. Follow these simple suggestions.

    Safeguard Your Personal Information:

    Protect Your Bank Accounts and Your Mail:

    Protect Yourself on the Internet and Protect Your Computer:

    • If you must use a public computer, confirm first that it is not running a desktop search engine and that the proprietor has denied users administrative privileges so they can’t install any programs that might be used to capture your emails or passwords.

    If You Are a Victim of Identity Theft:

  • Have them place a fraud alert in your file. A fraud alert generally lasts for 90 days, although it can be extended.
  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint and create an Identity Theft Affidavit.
  • Call the Social Security Administrations fraud hotline at 269-0271 or go to www.ssa.gov/oig. If you suspect that someone is using your Social Security number, you can check your earnings record by calling 772-1213.
  • If your bank account has been compromised at all, close the account completely and open a new one.
  • Certegy Inc.: 437-5120

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    Social Security Fraud Misuse Or Impersonation

    The Social Security Administration investigates reports like these:
    • Providing false information or evidence for a benefit claim
    • Concealment of work and assets
    • Representative payee misuse
    • Misuse and trafficking of Social Security numbers and cards by people or businesses
    • Reports of criminal activity and serious misconduct involving Social Security employees
    Or call 1-800-269-0271.
    • SSAs Office of Inspector General reviews all reports that are filed.

    • SSA OIG cannot provide you with information about actions taken on any reports.

    • Federal regulations do not allow information in law enforcement records to be shared, even with the person who made the report.

    How Service Canada Protects Your Sin

    What To Do If Your Social Security Number is Stolen

    Service Canada stores personal information requested to apply for a SIN in the Social Insurance Register. This information includes your name, date of birth, place of birth and your parents’ names. Dates of death are also recorded in the Register.

    Service Canada protects your SIN in the following ways:

    • we store your personal information carefully on our premises and in computer systems that are only accessible to authorized employees who have a “need to know”
    • we provide guidance about how to protect your SIN and your personal information

    Read Also: Social Security After 70

    How To Protect Yourself And Your Family

    Cybercriminals can learn a lot about you from your social media accounts. Here are some tips to protect yourself and your family:

    • Limit what you share online. Reconsider sharing information on social media like your birthday, photos of a new house that include your address, or photos that identify your childrens school, or details of schools you attended. These details are often used for security questions on financial and other important accounts.
    • Set your social media privacy settings to private. Ensure youre only sharing your photos and posts with people you know and trust.
    • Dont accept friend requests from strangers.
    • Cybercriminals try to trick you into giving away your personal information. They often impersonate well-known organisations to ask you to confirm your personal details via messages or websites. Because of this, many companies now state they will not ask you to update or confirm your details, like passwords, PINs, credit card information or account details via links in messages.
    • If there really is a need to update your details, you should do so by typing the organisation’s official website address manually into your internet browser and not use links from messages.
    • Think twice before entering your personal details into a website youre not familiar with. See our advice about shopping online safely and browsing the web safely for questions to ask to help determine if a website is genuine.

    Your Social Security Number Is The Key

    Originally, your Social Security number was a way for the government to track your earnings and pay you retirement benefits. But over the years, it has become much more than that. It is the key to a lot of your personal information. With your name and SSN, an identity thief could open new credit and bank accounts, rent an apartment, or even get a job.

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    Am I A Victim Of Identity Theft

    Whether youre rich or poor, have good credit or no credit, identity thieves can find a way to use your information to commit many types of fraud. Identity thieves can use your information to drain your bank account or run up credit card bills, get medical treatment on your insurance or get a drivers license in your name. Everyone who has a Social Security number is a potential victim of identity theft.

    In the event that youre a victim of identity theft, it could end up costing you thousands of dollars, and you will likely spend hundreds of hours trying to resolve the issue. Experts all agree that early detection of identity theft can significantly reduce the damage done by fraud.

    Measures You Can Take To Prevent Identity Theft

    Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week  Orethapedia
    • Do not routinely carry your SSN.
    • Never say your SSN aloud in public.
    • Beware of phishing scams to trick you into revealing personal information.
    • Create a personal account to help you keep track of your records and identify any suspicious activity.
    • Consider adding these blocks to your account with us:
    • The eServices block It prevents anyone, including you, from seeing or changing your personal information on the internet. Once we add the block, you or your representative will need to contact your local office to request removal of the block.
    • The Direct Deposit Fraud Prevention block This prevents anyone, including you, from enrolling in direct deposit or changing your address or direct deposit information through or a financial institution . Once we add the block, you or your representative will need to contact your local office to request removal of the block or make any future changes to direct deposit or contact information.
  • Visit to get information regarding extra security.
  • Recommended Reading: How Much Do You Receive For Social Security

    Know The Signs Of Identity Theft

    You may not know youre a victim of identity theft until youre notified by the IRS of a possible issue with your return.

    Be alert to possible tax-related identity theft if:

    • You get a letter from the IRS inquiring about a suspicious tax return that you did not file.
    • You cant e-file your tax return because of a duplicate Social Security number.
    • You get a tax transcript in the mail that you did not request.
    • You get an IRS notice that an online account has been created in your name.
    • You get an IRS notice that your existing online account has been accessed or disabled when you took no action.
    • You get an IRS notice that you owe additional tax or refund offset, or that you have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return.
    • IRS records indicate you received wages or other income from an employer you didnt work for.
    • Youve been assigned an Employer Identification Number but you did not request an EIN.

    What Are The Consequences Of Someone Using My Social Security Number

    So, what can someone do with your SSN? The consequences of someone using your SSN can be dire. At the least, your credit score might be affected by someone opening unauthorized credit in your name. On the other end of the spectrum, your bank accounts could be drained even including retirement accounts and other savings. This is why it is vitally important for you to be vigilant in protecting your SSN and keeping a watchful eye on all the signs that might point toward illegal usage.

    Recommended Reading: How To Reissue Social Security Card

    Keep Your Identity Safe

    If you use an online application to do your taxes, you can now log in with your username, password and a third personal item like a phone number. Using all 3 will keep your identity and data safer.

    Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen personal information, including your Social Security number, to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund.

    If you suspect you are a victim of identity theft, continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return, even if you must file a paper return.

    The Importance Of Protecting Your Sin

    Did Someone Steal Your Social Security Number to File Taxes? Here’s What to Do

    Your SIN is confidential. You should not use it as identification or provide it for job applications, rental applications, etc. See Protecting your social insurance number for information on:

    • when to use your SIN
    • how to protect your SIN, and
    • what you should do if you suspect someone is using your SIN

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    All You Need To Know Is Yourself

    Answer simple questions about your life and TurboTax Free Edition will take care of the rest.

    • Estimate your tax refund andwhere you stand

    • Know how much to withhold from your paycheck to get

    • Estimate your self-employment tax and eliminate

    • Know which dependents credits and deductions

    • Estimate capital gains, losses, and taxes for cryptocurrency sales

    • See which education credits and deductions you qualify for

    The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.

    Does This Simple Method Work To Find Out If Your Social Security Number Has Been Stolen Internet Scambusters #204

    Today we’re doing another subscriber Q& A issue. Many subscribers asked the first question about how to tell if your Social Security number is being used by someone else — be sure to check out the answer :

    • Can’t you simply review Your Social Security Statement to find out if your Social Security number has been stolen?
    • Is this another Internet dating scam?
    • Was the call I just received a phishing scam by phone?

    Let’s get going with today’s subscriber Q& A…

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    How To Protect Yourself: Identity Theft

    Identity theft is a serious problem that affects millions each year. When an imposter uses your name, Social Security number , credit card number or any other form of personal information without your knowledge and permission, its a crime.

    Unfortunately, sometimes victims remain unaware that their identity has been stolen until they receive monthly statements for credit card accounts they never applied for, credit reports including unfamiliar debts or monthly statements that include unauthorized charges.

    If someone has stolen your identity, immediately take these three steps:

    Take control of your identity.

    Although identity thieves can destroy your personal finances, there are some things you can do to take control of the situation.

    Some ways to handle the most common forms of identity theft are:

    A- If an identity thief has stolen your mail for access to new credit cards, bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers and tax information or falsified change-of-address forms, that person has committed a crime. Report it to your local postal inspector. You may contact the United States Postal Inspection Service online at .

    G- If any identity thief is using your name or SSN to obtain a drivers license, report it to your states Department of Motor Vehicles. Also, if your state uses your SSN as your drivers license number, ask to substitute another number.

    Stay alert.

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