What To Do If You Lose Your Social Security Card
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- Your Social Security number can be valuable information for identity thieves
- Consider placing a security freeze or fraud alert on your credit reports if your Social Security card is lost
- If you know your Social Security number has been stolen, there are some additional steps you can take
Your Social Security number is a valuable piece of information to identity thieves. Its a key element of your identity and is also linked to taxes and credit information. And except in limited circumstances, it cant be changed. Thats why its so worrisome to have your card lost or stolen.
Here are some steps to take for a lost or stolen Social Security card:
1. Consider placing a fraud alert or a security freeze on your credit reports or locking them. With an initial fraud alert, potential lenders and creditors are encouraged to take additional steps to verify your identity, such as contacting you by phone, before extending new credit. A fraud alert lasts for one year and can be renewed. Fraud alerts are free. Contact one of the three nationwide credit bureaus Equifax, Experian or TransUnion to request a fraud alert, and that bureau will notify the other two.
Options for locking your credit report may also be available from the three nationwide credit bureaus. Learn more about fraud alerts, security freezes and credit report locks.
You might also consider calling the Social Security Administration at 772-1213 to report the lost card.
How To Detect That Someone Is Using Your Social Security Number
These tips can help you to detect if someone is using your SSN.
1. Receiving strange alerts
When you start receiving unusual alerts for bills and transactions you never made, it may be that someone is using your SSN.
2. You didnt get an expected billing mail
Lets say that you were expecting a bill or statement via mail, but you never got that. Dont hesitate, put a call through to the billing company or your financial institution
3. Increase or decrease in credit score
If you havent done anything that should increase or decrease your credit score and yet it is happening it could be a sign that your data have been manipulated.
Other possible scenarios that can indicate identity theft include:
- Receiver credit cards you didnt apply for, irrespective of whether it bears your name or not.
- Constant calls from debt collectors regarding services you never signed up for
Fraudulent Threatening Phone Calls
Threatening calls on user contact numbers are the most common tactic these hackers and fraudsters use to retrieve SSN. Frauds from calls are increasing drastically, and victims keep falling prey to these illegal activities.
Most of these calls can include a human voice or a masked, robotic one, which tries to get your SSN, and demands a ransom in exchange.
Similarly, others may use spoofing techniques for the same result. This includes calling from an authorized Social Security hotline number . The hackers may also use an officials name to make things sound more legit.
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When To Provide Your Ssn
Not everyone who requests your SSN actually needs it. Generally speaking, if an entity reports information about you to the Internal Revenue Service , you probably have to supply your SSN. This includes your employer, banks/lenders, the U.S. Treasury for savings bonds, and state unemployment insurance and workers compensation offices.
Although other institutions and businesses have the right to ask for your number, they often dont need it, and you arent legally required to provide it.
As of Jan. 1, 2020, Medicare no longer uses Social Security numbers for identification. Instead, Medicare recipients receive a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier a unique series of numbers and letters that they should also try to protect from identity thieves.
Get A Social Security Statement
The Social Security Administration maintains an online service that lets you find out what you have paid into Social Security, how many hours of work your employers have reported each quarter, and what your expected benefits would be if you were to retire or go on disability in the near future.
You may think that would be wonderful since the worker reporting hours to your Social Security account is moving you closer to vesting your Social Security benefit, but in fact, you can have your expected Social Security payments greatly reduced if someone is reporting low-wage labor to your account. So you want to clear up any double-dipping of your Social Security account.
Requesting your statement is straightforward. You will need to create a my Social Security account if you dont already have one. You can access the sign-in/account creation page here. Once logged in, you can request a Social Security statement to print out from your account. If you prefer a low-tech approach, you can fill out a request form and mail it in, and get a statement mailed to you in 4 to 6 weeks.
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Why Amish Reject Paying Into Social Security
The Amish are mostly exempt from paying into the social security system. This religious organization does pay taxes but did believe commercial insurance would erode their faith. Amish, do not rely on outside resources, such as electricity,automobiles, secondary education, etc. They take a strong stand on the separation of church and state.
They alone are responsible for the care of their families and communities, such as helping a neighbor, feeding and caring for the sick, or helping a neighbor build a home or barn. Today the Amish pay Social Security only if they work for a secular company. Those who are self-employed do not pay Social Security, receive benefits or unemployment.
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.
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How To Report A Case Of Social Security Identity Theft
When reporting a case of social security identity theft, it is important to know the steps to take in order to report the incident and get it resolved as soon as possible.
The first step is to contact the Social Security Administration and request an Identity Theft Affidavit form. The form will be mailed to you within 10 days of your request. You will need this form in order to file a police report with your local law enforcement agency.
The second step is to file a police report with your local law enforcement agency. This can be done by filling out an online crime reporting form or by visiting the police station in person. You will need the SSA Identity Theft Affidavit Form that was mailed to you earlier for this step.
The third step is to File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission
The fourth and final step is to contact any credit agencies that you have been dealing with and provide them with your new information
Social Security Number Used To Open Credit Cards
Just because someone has used your daughter’s Social Security number does not necessarily mean that they have stolen her entire identity or that she will have a credit report in her name. However, you certainly want to confirm that the accounts are not matched to her in any other way. Steps to Take If You Think Your Child May Be a Victim of Fraud
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How Do Social Security Thieves Do It
There are plenty of ways that a social security number hacker may try to retrieve information from owners. However, the most common include impersonating an authorized body. Most of these info retrievers contact the owners and invoke the programs name through calls, emails, texts, etc.
Once the social security number owners provide this information, the thieves use it to take social benefits under the owners name. Let us talk about these scamming methods in detail.
Protect Documents With Personal Information
If you have documents with your childs personal information, like medical bills or their Social Security card, keep them in a safe place, like a locked file cabinet.
When you decide to get rid of those documents, shred them before you throw them away. If you dont have a shredder, look for a local shred day.
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Changing Your Social Security Number Is Possiblebut Not Easy
Just because your Social Security number has been exposed in a hack doesnt mean youll automatically be granted a new number, even upon request. The negative effects on your life have to be persistent, unfixable after multiple attempts, and have manifest themselves within the past year.
If you have done all you can to fix the problems resulting from misuse of a Social Security number and someone is still using it, Social Security may be able to assign a new number, Social Security Administration spokesperson William Jarrett tells the Daily Dot in an email. If you apply for a new number, you will need to prove your identity, age and U.S. citizenship or immigration status. You will also need to provide evidence you are having ongoing problems because of the misuse.
Checking For Credit Theft
If you suspect your Social Security number is being used for credit card fraud, check for this by reviewing your credit report. Look at every new account that’s been opened and make sure you recognize each one. Look at all recent credit inquiries and review whether you authorized them. You should monitor your reports for six months because a new credit account may take this long to show up. Check your credit reports from the three major agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Consider also adding a free fraud alert on your credit reports through one of the three major credit reporting agencies. This will last for 90 days and can be renewed.
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Important Resources For Identity Theft Victims:
Did you know that it is illegal for collection agencies to harass you once you have notified them that the debt is due to Identity Theft? Here are some steps to take if you find yourself in this situation:
- Contact the fraud department of any one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your file.
- Close the accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Use the ID Theft Affidavit when disputing new unauthorized accounts.
- File a police report where you live.
- Get a copy of the report or report number.
- Contact any of the other agencies specific to your particular type of Identity Theft.
- File your complaint with FTC.
- Follow up in writing. Attach a police report/number along with any other documentation you may have. Send Certified Mail – Return Receipt Requested.
- Document everything!
Someones Got Your Number What Can You Do
Figuring out that someone has your Social Security Number is one thing. Fixing the problem is another. If you think someone is using your Social Security Number, you need to move quickly.
You have four things you need to do. You need to contact the Federal Trade Commission to report identity theft, contact the credit reference agencies to report the theft, contact the Social Security Administration, and contact your local police.
- The FTC is at 1-877-438-4338 or . There is a form to complete to report identity theft.
- Contact the three credit reference agencies and ask them to place a freeze on your credit report. This will prevent any new applications being created in your name. This will stop more debt from piling up.
- Contact the SSA on 1-800-269-0271 or Log on to the IRS Identity Protection website to alert them and prevent any tax returns from being filed in your name.
- Optionally, but recommended, alert the Internet Crime Complaints Center at . They alert other agencies that your SSN has been compromised.
Once all that has been done, report the crime to your local police. If you know how the theft took place, for example, you had your wallet stolen, the police will want to know where the theft would have happened, and what transpired.
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How Do You Check To See If Someone Stole Your Identity
Maybe youre asking yourself how to check if someone is using my identity? The best way to check for identity theft is by checking your credit report. If anyone has used your SSN to open accounts or obtain credit in your name, then those records will appear on your credit report. If you notice anything on your report that you did not do, then someone likely has your SSN and is using it to conduct fraud. You can also check your Social Security statement to make sure that it is accurate and request a tax transcript from the IRS to make sure that no one has filed false tax returns using your SSN.
What Are The Dangers Of Losing My Social Security Card
Scammers can use your SSN to apply for credit cards or loans in your name, or commit account takeover fraud and steal or access additional personal information. One of the fastest-growing COVID-19-related identity theft crimes is tax fraud and identity theft, whereby thieves file a phony tax return in your name, hoping to snag a refund before you catch on. If your Social Security card is stolen, be sure to report the loss to the Internal Revenue Service. Another recent COVID-19 scam that cruelly exploits job losses involves filing phony unemployment claims using your SSN, birth date, name, or address.
Even if your Social Security card is not stolen or lost, you need to remain vigilant for scammers who call you claiming theres a problem with your SSN or account and try to get you to divulge personal information. If theres a legitimate problem with your number or account, the Social Security Administration will mail you a letter with your Social Security number. To learn how to respond to unsolicited robocalls or calls using caller ID spoofing, visit this SSA webpage.
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Help Someone Used My Social Security Number To File For
Always remember that no legitimate agency will ask for your Social Security number over the phone. 5. Use different passwords for your financial and personal accounts. Set up strong passwords, which are a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. This will give scammers a hard time accessing your accounts. 6. Check your credit report regularly.
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.
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Signs Your Ssn Is Compromised
There are a couple of telltale signs that someone is fraudulently using your SSN. If you get mail that is addressed to you, but the contents dont correspond with any of your bank or tax records, someone may be using your SSN and name.
If you get medical bills through the mail or, worse still, are told that you cannot obtain services or medicines because youve reached your limit with the insurance company, you may be dealing with identity fraud.
You may have noticed that your mails amount and regularity have reduced drastically, or it may stop altogether. Identity thieves can use your SSN to request a change-of-address form and divert your mail and any mail they generate with your identity to a destination of their choosing.
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Why Do You Need Identity Theft Protection
Identity theft is one of the top consumer complaints, according to the FTC. In recent years, data breaches have compromised personal information of millions of people. That means Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses, or credit card information could be for sale on the dark web.
Even if you take steps to help protect your personal information, it could be exposed in a data breach. Identity theft isnt limited to your financial information. Criminals could go after your medical information to commit medical identity theft and use your insurance information to get medical services.
Children can also become victims of child identity theft. Criminals could steal a child’s personal data and sell it on the dark web
.Its a good idea to check your credit report regularly to make sure everything is accurate and correct. You can visit annualcreditreport.com to get a free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
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