How To Protect Your Ssn
Since a lost or stolen SSN number can cause so much damage to your finances, you should always do everything possible to protect it. First, you should keep your Social Security card in a safe place and only carry it with you when absolutely necessary. Do not keep it in your wallet and carry it all the time because that greatly increases the odds that it will be lost. Also, be very mindful of phishing scams so that you do not inadvertently give your information to a thief.
Keep a close eye on your credit report. If you notice anything suspicious or see accounts listed that you did not open, then you should take immediate action. Go ahead and place a fraud alert with the credit bureaus Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. You might even consider placing a freeze on your SSN so that no one has access to your credit file. Depending on the severity of the situation, you might consider seeking legal advice for the proper way to handle the situation.
Can You Look Up Someone By Their Social Security Number
If youre interested in finding someone and checking criminal records and other public records using a social security number, you can discreetly run a background check online.
In fact, you dont even need to use an SSN almost all the available public records in our SSN search have been compiled and sorted so that you can search with just a name and last known city and state.
As youll see, the preview results can be helpful to ensure youve got the right person and get an idea of the information thats available its quick, free, and might give you enough information for further searching. If you decide you want to dig deeper, you can get reports starting from about $10 not free, but its instant and thorough.
There are also options for unlimited searches for one low rate, so if youre doing a lot of research, the cost per search can drop significantly. In fact, this is exactly what many private investigators do .
Why Would Someone Want To Steal Your Ssn
Identity thieves want your Social Security number essentially so they can commit fraud and steal money.
They do this by using your Social Security number in a variety of different ways such as:
- Applying for jobs
- Draining your existing bank account
- Enrolling in health insurance
- Getting medical treatment under your name
- Signing up for a credit card
- Applying for a passport
- social media
- websites that identity thieves use to trade stolen information
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Over half of consumers will experience identity theft each year if you experience identity theft it can take an average of six months to restore your identity. Protect yourself now and avoid future stresses, headaches, and financial issues that come from identity theft and fraud.
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Legal Issues With Requesting A Social Security Number
Keep in mind that while there are no federal laws making it illegal to request someones social security number for any reason, this does not mean that doing so is always legal. Some states have passed laws that only allow certain entities to request a social security number. In 2012, New York state passed a law that allows businesses or individuals to request a social security number only when it is required by law or when in relation to the following:
- Verifying someones age when enrolling in a marketing program
- A criminal record check
- Collection of spousal or child support
- Blood or organ donation
Dont Send Your Ssn Via An Electronic Device
Never type your SSN into an email or instant message and send it. The majority of such messages can be intercepted and read. Also, dont leave a voicemail that includes your SSN. If you need to contact someone and give them your number, its best to do it in person. The second best way is to reach them on the phone and do it live.
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Replacing A Lost Social Security Card
Replacing a lost Social Security card is not extremely difficult, although you will need the proper documentation. If you have already registered online for a My Social Security account, then you are in a great position. In most states, you can request a replacement card using the online service through the Social Security Administration website at SSA.gov. You can simply use your account there to request the replacement as long as you are not requesting any other changes like a name change. However, if you do not already have an account, you will likely be unable to go that route since you must know your SSN to create the account.
In that case, you will need to head down to your local Social Security office. Be prepared to bring documents that will prove your identity such as a drivers license, U.S. Passport, or state issued ID card. If you do not have any of these documents, the SSA might accept other documents like a health insurance card, school identification card, or U.S. military ID or identification number. You should note that a birth certificate will not serve as proof of your ID. It proves your date of birth and age when obtaining a card for the first time, but it does not prove identity. You should also note that you will always have to provide original documents. Photocopies or even notarized copies are not valid for proving your identity.
Social Security Number Protection Policy
Social Security numbers are classified as Confidential information under the Wells Fargo Information Security Policy. As such, Social Security numbers may only be accessed by and disclosed to Wells Fargo employees and others with a legitimate business need to know in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. Social Security numbers, whether in paper or electronic form, are subject to physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards, and must be stored, transmitted, and disposed of in accordance with the provisions of the Information Security Policy applicable to Confidential information. These restrictions apply to all Social Security numbers collected or retained by Wells Fargo in connection with customer, employee, or other relationships.
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Report The Identity Theft Immediately
You should immediately report the theft to all the proper agencies right away. Start with your local police department. While your local law enforcement might not be able to find out who is responsible, having that police report or theft affidavit is very important when you attempt to correct things on the back end. In addition, you should notify the IRS, Social Security Administration, and Federal Trade Commission of the theft.
Social Security Fraud Misuse Or Impersonation
|The Social Security Administration investigates reports like these:|
|Or call 1-800-269-0271.|
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Visit Identitytheftgov To Get A Recovery Plan
You can visit IdentityTheft.gov to report identity theft and, more importantly, set up a recovery plan, or you can call 877-438-4338 to do so. Both will guide you through a process that includes:
S To Take If You Think Youve Been Scammed
The Social Security Administration publishes a useful booklet called “Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number.” In addition to basic protection tips, it provides information about what you should do if you believe your identity and SSN have been stolen or compromised.
The Social Security Administration closed all of its offices for in-person services in March 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its online services, however, remain available.
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Getting A New Social Security Number Is Probably Not A Good Idea
Victims of identity theft sometimes want to change their Social Security number. The Social Security Administration very rarely allows this. In fact, there are drawbacks to changing your number. It could result in losing your credit history, your academic records, and your professional degrees. The absence of any credit history under the new SSN would make it difficult for you to get credit, rent an apartment, or open a bank account.
Tip : Monitor Your Accounts And Be Aware Of New Accounts Being Opened
If someone obtains your SSN, you may find evidence of unlawful use in your bank, credit, or other accounts. Consider setting up alerts with your financial institutions to flag unusual activity, such as withdrawals or purchases over a certain amount. Watch for changes in your credit score. And check your credit reports. Youre entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Go to AnnualCreditReport.com.
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Signing Up For Credit Monitoring
Your credit card company or one of the credit bureaus may offer free credit monitoring, especially if you have previously been the victim of identity theft or a data breach. If not, you can purchase the service. These services monitor your credit reports for suspicious activity and alert you when a new account is opened using your information.
Self Lock Helps Protect You From Employment
Self Lock is the unique feature that lets you protect your identity in E-Verify and Self Check by placing a “lock” on your Social Security number . This helps prevent anyone else from using your SSN to try to get a job with an E-Verify employer. If an employer enters your locked SSN in E-Verify to confirm employment authorization, it will result in an E-Verify mismatch, called a Tentative Nonconfirmation . With Self Lock, you are always in control – you can unlock your SSN any time a new employer needs to verify your employment authorization in E-Verify. Your Self Lock remains active as long as your account remains valid and you have not unlocked your SSN. The Self Lock feature is only available to myE-Verify account holders.
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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.
Freeze Your Childs Credit Report
If your child is under 16, you can request a free credit freeze, also known as a security freeze, to make it harder for someone to open new accounts in your child’s name. The freeze stays in place until you tell the credit bureaus to remove it.
To activate a credit freeze, contact each of the three credit bureaus. Find their contact information at IdentityTheft.gov.
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Tip : Leave Home Without It
There may be times when you need to show your card to someone. But, in general, its a good idea to avoid carrying your card or any documents that display your SSN. Its possible you might lose your wallet or leave your documents behind.
Not all thieves will want your Social Security number, but many will. Leaving your card at home decreases the chances that these scammers will gain access to your Social Security number.
How To Protect Your Social Security Number: 10 Ssn Tips
If you want to help protect yourself against identity theft, protecting your Social Security number is a good start. Your Social Security number is a high-value target for ID theft. Getting an identity theft protection plan is one step to consider.
Your Social Security number, or SSN, is a key piece of personally identifiable information. In the wrong hands like, in the hands of an identity thief your Social Security number might lead to various types of identity theft or fraud.
What can identity thieves do with your Social Security number? Heres a sample:
- Open bank accounts
- Open new credit cards or lines of credit to make purchases in your name
- File tax returns to obtain your refund
- Open new service accounts in your name, such as utilities or internet service
- Put you in major debt
- Destroy your credit score across all three credit bureaus
The Equifax data breach in 2017, which exposed Social Security numbers and other U.S.-consumer information, raised the risk for identity theft of more than 145 million Americans.
Although you cant do anything about a breach, its a good idea to learn what you can do to protect yourself following a breach, and before a subsequent breach. No matter how big or small, no business or industry is immune to cyberthieves who may have identity theft in mind.
Here are some tips for protecting your Social Security number and identity.
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How To Check If Someone Else Is Using Your Social Security Number
The rise of technology has brought new threats to your personal data and its security. Identity theft is a crime that strikes at the heart of a modern citizens wealth, employment, social services, and more. Our identity specifically, the electronically-encoded identity that serves as the gateway to our bank accounts, to our home security systems, to our e-mail and network resources can be stolen by unscrupulous people and used for crimes great and small.
At best, an identity thief may use part of your identity as the launchpad for some phony persona that they are using to commit acts of fraud and light scams. At worst, they can drain your bank accounts, destroy your credit rating, and wipe out your hard-earned retirement benefits. Identity theft is not a minor crime in 2018, more than 60 million Americans reported that they were affected by identity theft.
How To Find Your Social Security Number // Social Security Offices
Social Security numbers have become one of the main pieces of identification used in the United States. The Social Security Administration manages the issuance and governance of these numbers. There are many times when you might need to know your SSN such as starting a new job, applying for a loan, or applying for Social Security benefits. Sometimes you are required to present your Social Security card as well, but often simply knowing your number is enough. So, what happens if you forget your number and do not have access to your card? You are probably scratching your head and wondering, What is my Social Security number? There are some ways that you can find out your Social Security number and even get a replacement card, but you will have to go through the proper steps to verify your identity. If you find yourself needing your SSN, but you cannot find it, then keep reading to learn how to find your Social Security number.
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Q It It Safe To Give My Social Security Number Online To Receive My Credit Report From The Three Credit Bureaus Security Concerned
A. Youre smart to want to protect your Social Security number, especially in the wake of all these data breaches.
But yes, if youre talking about getting your for free from AnnualCreditReport.com, its generally safe. And its required.
In its Frequent Asked Questions section, the site says, The sites security protocols and measures protect the personal information you provide. You must enter your Social Security Number to receive a free credit report through AnnualCreditReport.com.
If youre really not comfortable, there are other ways to get your free reports
You can do it by phone. Call 322-8228. Youll still have to go through a verification process over the phone, and then your report will be mailed to you within 15 days.
If you want to do it by mail, you can Then you can mail the form to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. Then your report will be mailed to you within 15 days.
If you follow the online process, though, you will get your credit reports immediately.
Email your questions to
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