Tuesday, September 27, 2022

How To Freeze My Social Security Number

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1 Simple Way To Protect Your Social Security Number

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Many people find they need to change or correct their Social Security information when they get married or divorced and change their names. Or they need a replacement Social Security card when they realize theyve lost their original one or its been stolen. Here is how to deal with either of those situations.

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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.

How Do You Secure Your Social Security Number Stolen

However, there are steps you can take to protect your Social Security Number and reduce the risk that a stolen Social Security Number could be used against you. To protect your Social Security information: Create my Social Security account. Configure two-factor authentication. Block electronic access to your Social Security account.

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What To Do If Your Social Security Card Was Lost Or Stolen

If your card is lost or stolen, then you need to act immediately to help protect yourself. As soon as you recognize that your card was stolen, you should file a report with your local police department. Notify the authorities so that they can begin working on finding the culprit, and that police report also serves as proof that your card really was stolen in case you need to work on repairing your credit later. A stolen Social Security card is typically more likely to cause you problems down the road, but a lost card can cause issues too. If you simply lost or misplaced your card, then you can skip this step and move on to the next one.

In addition to the police, you will want to go ahead and notify the Social Security Administration that your card is lost or stolen. You should go ahead and register for your MySocialSecurity account at SSA.gov also. This online portal allows you to request a replacement card, view your earnings statements, estimate your future benefits, and many more things. Make sure that you claim your account so that whoever has your SS card cannot claim it fraudulently.

When Should I Use A Credit Freeze

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It’s a good idea to consider a credit freeze in a few situations, including these.

  • Youve been the victim of a data breach. If your personally identifiable information has been exposed, cybercriminals could try to open new accounts in your name. A credit freeze can provide an extra layer of protection. Lenders wont be able to access your credit file, making it unlikely that theyll grant credit to anyone using your Social Security number.
  • You believe youve been the victim of identity theft. You may start receiving bills for accounts you dont recognize. Or you may receive calls from collection agencies seeking payment on accounts you never opened. These are likely signals that you might be the victim of identity theft. A credit freeze could help prevent criminals from opening more accounts using your personal information.
  • You want to protect against identity theft for a child. A provision of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act authorizes parents or guardians of children under 16 to set up a credit report for their child and then freeze it at no cost. This can help you protect against child identity theft.

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Can They Cancel Your Social Security

The reason of this call is to inform you that your Social Security number has been suspended for suspicion of illegal activity. If you do not contact us immediately, your account will be deactivated. : This is a scam! SSA employees will never threaten you for information or promise benefits in exchange for information.

What To Do If Your Social Security Number Is Stolen: Key Steps For Identity Protection

Your Social Security number is one of the most important and personal pieces of information you have. One of these unique nine-digit numbers is given to every American at birth or at the time they obtain U.S. citizenship. Its a vital detail that can help you keep track of your earnings, open new lines of credit and use as identification, among many other activities.

Because its so personal and tied specifically to you, however, your Social Security number isnt something you want just anyone getting access to. After obtaining it, someone could use it to impersonate you, steal your identity or enter into financial transactions that create unnecessary hardship for you.

Sometimes, despite your best efforts at keeping your Social Security number safe, it might end up in the wrong hands. If you suspect your SSN has been stolen, its vital to take the right steps to protect yourself. The following tips can help you get back on track if youre dealing with a stolen number or similar identity-theft situation.

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You Put An Account Number Into A Dummy Website

Some phishing emails or fraudulent URLs are created to look so convincingly like your bank’s, it is easy to mistakenly enter your username and password or, if they ask for it, your checking or savings account number. Other websites are made to emulate popular e-commerce or retail websites, tricking you into entering your credit card details.

If you’ve given away any of these numbers, call your bank immediately and describe the error in detail. Your bank should be able to read back any charges have been made fraudulently and connect you to the right department to help freeze or suspend the accounts that may have been comrpomised. You can typically find the fraud department directly by using the fraud services number on the back of your credit card, or on the bank’s website.

If fraudulent charges have been made, you may have to fill out a paper report, and any reimbursement may take time, typically a bit longer for debit cards than for credit cards. Here’s a version of one of these forms, used by Inova Federal Credit Union. A banker may call you to ask follow-up questions.

How To Keep Your Social Security Number Secure

Put a Security Freeze On Your Credit To Keep It Secure
  • Suggest an alternative form of identification. If a company or organization asks for your social security number, please provide your driver’s license number.
  • Ask why and how the citizen service number is managed. Ask questions if the company insists.
  • Leave the card at home.
  • Destroy mail and documents containing personal data.
  • Do not use your citizen service number as a password.

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Active Military Fraud Alert

The active duty alert is designed for members of the military who have been stationed overseas for an extended period of time. Deployed service members are can place this type of credit alert on their credit to help reduce the risk of identity theft.

To get an active duty alert on your credit report, you will need to follow the same steps as with getting an initial or extended fraud alert but ask for the active duty alert instead.

Active military fraud alerts last for 1 year until re-instated. However, this fraud alert also removes your name from prescreened credit card marketing offers for 2 years.

How To Apply For A Replacement Social Security Card

If you lose your Social Security card, you may be able to apply for a replacement card online through the Social Security Administration website, if you meet certain requirements. Review them here. Otherwise, youll need to follow an application process that involves providing documentation and completing an application.

Here are 3 simple steps to prepare to apply for a replacement Social Security card:

  • Learn what original documents you need to verify your citizenship, age and identity. Youll find a list at the Social Security Administration website.
  • Fill out and print a Social Security card application.
  • Take or mail the documents and application to the Social Security Administration. Make sure to bring in the original documents. To locate your nearest Social Security Administration office, use the agencys online office locator tool.
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    How Can I Place A Free Credit Freeze

    Experian, TransUnion and Equifax maintain dedicated webpages where you can set up credit freezes. When requesting a credit freeze online, the bureau may supply, or have you create, a personal identification number or password to use when thawing or reactivating your freeze.

    • Complete addresses for the past two years
    • Date of birth
    • One copy of a government issued identification card, such as a drivers license, state ID card, etc.
    • One copy of a utility bill, bank or insurance statement, etc.

    Make sure that each copy is legible and displays your name and current mailing address and the date of issue. Send copies of any documents you wish to provide to us and always retain your original documents.

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    Visit Identitytheftgov To Get A Recovery Plan

    Can I Freeze My Social Security Number ...

    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:

  • Placing a fraud alert and obtaining your credit reports
  • Reporting the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission
  • Filing a report with your local police department
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    What To Do If Your Childs Identity Is Stolen

    If you do happen to uncover a fraudulent account in your childâs name, you may want to consider filing a police report.

    âYou have rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act that if you file some sort of report with an enforcement agency, you can take that to the credit bureaus to have that stuff purged and permanently removed,â Ulzheimer says. âYou can also get out from any liability issues with respect to the debt.â

    Youâll also want to visit IdentityTheft.gov to report the fraud, unlock resources from the Federal Trade Commission and create a recovery plan.

    No matter how you choose to move forward, freezing your kidsâ credit is one of the best tools for securing their identities and preventing future abuse. The process shouldnât take more than an hour or so of your time, which is a small price to pay to safeguard their financial future.

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    How To Freeze Your Childs Credit And Why You Should

    Identity theft and related types of fraud tend to spike during times of crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic has been no different. But whether thereâs a spike or not, scammers are always out there. Thatâs why itâs a good idea to take some reasonable steps to protect yourself.

    One of the best ways you can prevent someone from stealing your identity is to freeze your credit. In fact, freezing your credit became free in 2018. And, in addition to freezing your own credit, you can also freeze your childâs credit. And it may be a good idea.

    According to data published by Javelin Strategy & Research in 2018, children are particularly vulnerable to scammers â more than 1 million fell victim to identity fraud in 2017. In addition, families were burdened with over $540 million in out-of-pocket costs.

    Credit expert John Ulzheimer says children are easy targets because they have no credit history. Itâs a blank slate, which makes it easier for someone to open fraudulent accounts and rack up charges in their names.

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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.

    Who Can Access Frozen Credit Reports

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    A credit freeze makes your credit reports inaccessible to most people, with a few exceptions:

    • You can access your own records, including getting your free annual credit reports. You can also check your free credit report summary and score from NerdWallet while your credit reports are frozen.

    • Your current creditors still have access, as do debt collectors.

    • In certain circumstances, government or child support agencies can see them.

    • You can still give permission to an employer or potential employer to check your credit .

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    How To Freeze A Social Security Number

    Safeguarding your Social Security number is one of the best identity protection steps that you can take. Unfortunately, even the most careful individuals fall victim to identity thieves. According to the team at the Insurance Information Institute, there were nearly 5 million cases of identity theft in 2020. Discovering that your Social Security number may be exposed is overwhelming, but there are a few steps you must take immediately to freeze your SSN and protect yourself.

    Ask Why They Want It And How It Will Be Handled

    If the business insists, ask questions. You have a right to know why its necessary to provide your SSN and how it will be handled. Ask questions such as:

    • Why is having my SSN necessary?
    • With whom will you share my number if I provide it?
    • How will my number be stored?
    • Do you have a privacy policy, and may I see it?
    • Will you cover my liability or losses if my number is stolen or compromised?

    Unfortunately, if you are asked to provide your SSN to a business or an institution that doesnt need it, and you say no, it can refuse to provide services to you or put conditions on the servicesuch as requiring a deposit or additional fees.

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    How Do I Replace My Lost Or Stolen Social Security Card

    In normal times, the best ways to apply for a replacement card are to visit the Social Security Administrations website, go to a local SSA office or apply over the phone. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all local Social Security offices were closed to the public for in-person service starting March 17, 2020. The SSA no longer allows you to order a replacement card online or over the phone.

    Currently, the only way to apply for a replacement card is to fill out an application and mail it to your local SSA Field Office, along with one proof of your identity, such as your drivers license, U.S. Passport, U.S. birth certificate, U.S. Military ID, or your last Physicians report showing your date of birth.

    Once you receive your replacement card, dont put it in your purse or wallet. Keep it stored securely in a safety deposit box, or at home.

    Apply For A Replacement Social Security Number

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    The Social Security Administration allows you to receive a new SSN under certain circumstances. One example is if youre in immediate danger or being threatened in a domestic abuse situation. Another is if your SSN has been stolen.

    To begin the process of obtaining a new SSN through the Social Security Administration, youll need to provide a written statement outlining what happened to you and why you need a new number. In addition to your statement, youll also need to provide legal documents backing up your statements these can include your police report.

    You will also need to fill out the SS-5 form. This is the same form you or your parents filled out when you were born or that you filled out when you became a citizen. This form includes a series of questions about your previous SSN filing. Youll note on this form if you previously filed when you became a citizen or provide the names of your parents, who filed on your behalf.

    In addition, you also need to provide documentation showing your U.S. citizenship, age, legal residence, identity and existing SSN. If youve ever changed your name, youll need to submit documentation of this. If you changed your name when you got married, for example, you could submit your marriage license to satisfy this requirement.

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    How Locking Your Social Security Number Works

    Locking your Social Security number is a simple process of accessing the governments myE-Verify website. The site walks you through the necessary steps:

  • Create an account
  • Enter your Social Security number and your date of birth
  • Take a short quiz
  • Set up three challenge questions so you can prove youre really you when you want to access your account again
  • The lock lasts for a year unless you take steps to reverse it, and youll be notified in advance when the lock is about to expire so you can renew it if you want to.

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