Filing An Ftc Report Report The Incident To The Ssa And Alert The Irs
Even if you contact the company in the previous step, consider filing a formal report with the FTC via IdentityTheft.gov. This government website will help you create a plan of recovery for your situation.
Lastly, report the incident to the Internal Revenue Service so that the identity thief does not file for your tax refund.
Telltale Signs That Your Social Security Number Has Been Hacked
Theres no easy one-click way to check if your SSN is being abused by hackers. Youll need to do a little sleuthing and stay aware of your financial health. Here are some indicators that someone is using your social security number:
#1: Unexplainable changes in your credit score
Your credit score is what helps banks and lenders to determine what risks theyll be facing if they decide to lend you money. That is, based on your track record, it shows them how likely you are to pay back the loan. Different financial factors influence your credit score. Thankfully, you can check it to see how youre doing financially so you can make corrections where necessary.
If you check your credit information and notice accounts that you didnt initiate, youre probably a victim of SSN theft. Another sign is if you are turned down for a new credit application even though youve had great credit before.
#2: Inaccurate banking information
Considering that almost any Social Security number identity theft aims to steal your money, this is another excellent way to check if youve been hacked. Therefore, when your bank statements come in, be sure to look through them carefully. If you see payments for any subscriptions you didnt make, its possible your ID isnt just yours anymore.
If you notice small test charges on your credit or debit accounts, that may be a sign that someone is attempting to open a new account or membership in your name.
#3: Changes in your email/snail mail
Tips For Recognizing Identity Theft
Below are some tips for recognizing when you have possibly been a victim of identity theft:
- If you did not receive an expected bill or statement by mail – or you receive a bill for something you didn’t order.
- If unexpected charges occurr on your account credit cards.
- If there are charges on your account from unrecognized vendors.
- If posted checks appear on your Bank account significantly out of sequence.
- If you receive credit cards that you didn’t apply for, in your name or someone else’s!
- If you are denied credit or are offered less than favorable credit terms for no reason.
- If you get calls from creditors or debt collectors regarding merchandise or services that you did not buy.
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How Do Thieves Profit From Stolen Social Security Cards
Identity thieves can use your SSN to apply for more credit in your name. Of course, the scammers never pay the bills, which can damage your credit, and cause you to get calls from unknown credit demanding payment for items you never bought. They may also place your Social Security number on the Dark Web to sell to other identity thieves.
Financial And Legal Standards
According to the Social Security Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, approximately 10 million Americans are currently receiving disability benefits. To be eligible for these benefits, an applicant must meet the basic medical & disability requirements. However, medical requirements are just one step in the claims process.
To get disability benefits through SSI or SSDI, there are also financial and legal standards that must be satisfied. In this article, our experienced Tacoma Social Security disability lawyers provide an overview of the non-medical requirements for Social Security disability claims.
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Substantial Gainful Activity And Ssdi Eligibility
Another nonmedical Social Security disability requirement that only applies if you work and earn income when applying for benefits or while receiving them has to do with how Social Security determines whether you are disabled. Disabled means that you have a medical condition preventing you from engaging in substantial gainful activity, such as standing, walking, climbing stairs, and other work-related activities.
Your earnings from work serve as an indication of an ability to engage in substantial gainful activity. If you earn over $1,310 a month, it proves your ability to engage in substantial gainful activity, which means you are not disabled.
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Where Do I Find My Medicare Number
Your Medicare number can be found on your Medicare card under Medicare Number. Medicare numbers do not use the letters S, L, O, I, B or Z to avoid confusion.
You may also see your Medicare number online by creating an account with MyMedicare.gov.
Medicare beneficiaries typically do not have to file claims on their own. Health care providers use your Medicare card to file a claim with Medicare on your behalf. They have one year from the date of service to do so. If the claim is not filed in a timely manner, you may file it yourself by submitting a Patient Request for Medical Payment along with an itemized bill for the service and a reason for your filing.
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Contact The Internal Revenue Service
You may also want to contact the Internal Revenue Service if you suspect an identity thief has filed a tax return in your name to get a refund. The IRS should also be on your list of contacts if you suspect someone is using your number for work purposes. Otherwise, the IRS could think you failed to report income when you file your own tax return. Use the IRS Identity Theft Central website or call 800-908-4490.
Work History And Eligibility
Youve just finished a week on the job. On Friday, you receive your paycheck. If youre like most U.S. workers, youll notice that your take-home pay is less than your gross pay. Why is there a difference? Almost all employed U.S. workers paychecks contain payroll deductions. In other words, a portion of their earnings is withheld each period. This money goes to a handful of things. Some may go to group health insurance. Some may pay union dues. And, almost always, a fraction will go to FICA taxes.
The Federal Insurance Contributions Act is a mandatory payroll deduction. Therefore, as a U.S. worker, money is taken out of your paycheck to support federal programs. More specifically, these withholdings are used to fund Social Security and Medicare. As a result, when you pay FICA taxes, you are paying into SSDI. However, in order to reap the benefits of SSDI, you must have paid enough into the program while you were working.
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How Does A Credit Score Work
Your credit score is a number related to your credit history. If your credit score is high, your credit is good. If your credit score is low, your credit is bad.
There are different credit scores. Each credit reporting company creates a credit score. Other companies create scores, too. The range is different, but it usually goes from about 300 to 850 .
It costs money to look at your credit score. Sometimes a company might say the score is free. But usually there is a cost.
You Fail To Follow Prescribed Therapy
If you are being treated by a doctor, but fail to follow the doctors prescribed therapy when you have the ability to do so, you can be denied disability benefits. However, the SSA recognizes certain legitimate excuses for failing to follow the doctors orders .
Acceptable medical excuses. Failure to follow prescribed therapy can be excused for reasons beyond your control. Some examples follow.
- You have a mental illness so severe that you cannot comply with prescribed therapy.
- You have a fear of surgery so intense that surgery would not be appropriate. Your treating doctor must confirm the severity of your fear to the DDS consulting doctor.
- You physically cannot follow prescribed therapy without assistancefor example, because of paralysis of the arms or cataracts caused by diabetes.
Acceptable nonmedical excuses. It is possible that you cannot follow a prescribed therapy for a reason that has nothing to do with your medical condition. Acceptable nonmedical excuses for failing to follow prescribed therapy follow.
- You dont have the money to pay for treatment.
- Your religious beliefs prohibit you from receiving medical therapy.
- Your doctor prescribes treatment that another doctor disagrees with.
For more information, see Nolos article on the impact of failing to follow prescribed treatment.
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Checking Your Credit Score
The most common way to catch unauthorized activity is by checking your credit information. If an account appears that you did not initiate, someone is using your Social Security number.
You can check your credit score using a third-party service like or check with your credit card company to see if they have such a feature.
If youre applying for a new line of credit and get turned down, this could mean that there are fraudulent accounts or activities that are affecting your credit score.
What Are The Limitations Of An Ssn Validator
The USA Trace SSN Verification tool and other tools like it do not match a social security number with a name. They only confirm that a particular SSN is valid. Social security number issue dates are not exact and sometimes give a year range rather than exact year of birth. Persons born overseas or who became US citizens later in life will also not have received their number at birth. Regarding the state of issue, a US person born overseas would be issued an SSN from a state corresponding to a parent.
Free SSN verifications cannot be used for official purposes. If youre an employer or landlord, you cannot use the information from a free SSN validation for employment or renting decisions. Likewise, instant social security number validations cant be used for credit/lending decisions. A verification will not help you find someone with a social security number nor do they provide you with any other background check information. There is also no way to perform a social security lookup .
How To Find Out How My Social Security Number Was Used
Learning how your Social Security number was used in the past can alert you to accounts that may be compromised and prompt you to take steps to minimize the damage that results from having your identity stolen. According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft is the most common consumer complaint in the country. Monitoring activity related to your Social Security number on an ongoing basis is a necessity.
If You Have Been Victim Of Fraud
You can ask for a new SIN only if you can prove that your SIN was used fraudulently.
However, getting a new SIN will not necessarily protect you from fraud or identity theft. If someone else uses your old SIN as identification and the business does not check the person’s identity with the credit bureau, credit lenders may still ask you to pay the impostor’s debts. Each time, you will have to prove that you were not involved in the fraud.
If we issue you a new SIN, you will need to contact all your financial institutions, creditors, pension providers and employers to ask them to update your files.
Note: Service Canada cannot correct a credit file. It is up to you to contact your financial institution, report any discrepancies and have them resolved.
If you have proof that someone else is using your SIN, an investigation is required.
An indication that your SIN is being used fraudulently is when you receive a Notice of Reassessment from the Canada Revenue Agency concerning undeclared earnings. This means that another person has used your SIN for employment purposes or to receive other taxable income.
You must visit your nearest Service Canada Centre with your original proof of identity documents and provide proof that another person has used your SIN.
Here’s what you will need to provide to Service Canada if you suspect someone is using your SIN:
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If An Organization Asks For A Sin And It Is Not Legally Required
If you believe your SIN isn’t required, ask why it is being requested, how it will be used and with whom it will be shared.
If your SIN is not required by law, explain that you prefer not to provide it. Offer different proof of identity.
If the organization refuses to provide the product or service unless you provide your SIN, ask to speak to the person in charge. Many organizations don’t know about the appropriate uses of the SIN. Once they understand, they may willingly change their practices.
If you are not satisfied with the organization’s response, you may formally complain to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada or 1-800-282-1376. There is no fee for making a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner.
You can also contact the organization’s industry association, ombudsman or complaint office. For example, the Canadian Marketing Association and the Canadian Banking Ombudsman handle customer complaints about their member companies.
For more information on laws about your privacy and the Government of Canada, visit the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
Why Should I Get My Credit Report
An important reason to get your credit report is to find problems or mistakes and fix them:
- You might find somebodys information in your report by mistake.
- You might find information about you from a long time ago.
- You might find accounts that are not yours. That might mean someone stole your identity.
You want to know what is in your report. The information in your report will help decide whether you get a loan, a credit card, a job or insurance.
If the information is wrong, you can try to fix it. If the information is right but not so good you can try to improve your credit history.
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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!
What Is Identity Theft And How Can I Protect Myself
Identity theft is when someone steals your information, like your Social Security number, to assume your identity for the purposes of opening new accounts, signing up for services, or taking out loans in your name.
The easiest way to protect yourself from identity theft is by protecting your personal information. We suggest that you always do the following:
- Shred any documents with account and other identifying numbers.
- Check your personal credit report at least annually.
- Change your email and other passwords regularly.
- Think twice before sharing personal information with store clerks and telemarketers.
- Stop paper statements. Get your statements online.
- Enroll in email alerts to monitor your account activity.
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Tip : Keep Your Social Security Card And Number In A Safe Place
Anything as important as your Social Security card deserves a home. This could be a lock box or a file folder kept in a secure place. And dont forget, your SSN may appear on important documents. They require a safe place, too.
Dont make the mistake of carrying your Social Security card in your wallet or purse. If you lose these items, or if theyre stolen, youve put your SSN at risk. A thief might consider it quite a bonus to get your Social Security number when they snatch your wallet or purse.
Apply For A New Ssn As A Last Resort
If you believe youve done everything you can and someone is still using your SSN, you may need to request a new number from the SSA. If you decide to 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 that someone is using your old number. The SSA booklet Your Social Security Number and Card explains the application process.
Bear in mind that a new SSN may not solve all your problems. Think about all the government agencies, banks, credit reporting companies, and others that already have and use your old number.
Once you receive a new SSN, do not use your old number again. Make sure your new number is reported to all agencies that will need it and that those agencies know you no longer use your old number.
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Regular Checks Of Your Credit Reports
Monitoring your credit reports on a regular basis provides early warnings of suspicious activity so you can take steps to deal with identity theft before extensive damage is inflicted on your financial accounts and credit scores. offers unlimited free TransUnion credit reports to its members. In addition to protecting against identity theft, regular reviews of credit reports can catch mistaken entries that may negatively affect your credit score.