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.
You’re Locked Up With Ransomware
Ransomware is ugly, and it’s taken down everyone from FedEx and Merck to the city government of Atlanta. Ransomware is malicious software that locks up your computer or files, making it impossible to access them.
Anyone can be a victim. Criminals have even targeted individual people, who have ended up paying a few hundred bucks to free up their photo albums.
If you’re a victim of ransomware, you will typically lose access to your files, and you may receive an automatic message from a criminal offering to give you an encryption key that will unlock your files for a fee.
Back important files up. The best defense against ransomware is a good offense. If you back up your most important home files, then you may lose the hardware locked up by the ransomware, but you won’t have to pay money to a criminal to get back your data. The easiest way to do this is using free or low-cost personal backup storage programs like , Apple’s iCloud or Microsoft’s OneDrive.
Hunt for a decryption solution. There are also free databases of publicly available information that can help you decrypt many popular strains of ransomware, so if you are up to hunting down this information, you may be able to simply unlock your files without paying a cent to anyone or losing your computer. The No More Ransom project offers an easy-to-use interface, where you can type in details of the ransom demand or other information to find out if a solution already exists.
Oportun Visa Credit Card
You don’t need a Social Security number or bank account to qualify for the Oportun Visa Credit Card, but you might have to pay an annual fee of up to $29, depending on your creditworthiness.
You could score an initial credit limit of up to $1,000, and the card reports to all three major credit bureaus.
However, the card does not earn rewards.
The Brex Card could be ideal for the right business owner. It doesn’t require a Social Security number, nor will Brex pull your credit during the application process. Instead, you’ll be asked for an Employer Identification Number and access to bank information. To determine your creditworthiness, Brex looks at funding and cash flow, including things like a company’s cash balance, where it spends money and who its investors are. Also key with the Brex Card: It doesn’t require a personal guarantee, meaning there’s no founder liability if the business goes under. The card earns rewards and has an annual fee of $0
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How To Protect Your Sin
There are a number of things you can do to protect your SIN:
- if you have a SIN card, do not carry it in your wallet or pursestore it in a safe place
- never use your SIN as a piece of identification
- provide your SIN only when you know that it is legally required
- provide your SIN over the phone only if you make the call and you know it is legally required
- never reply to emails that ask for personal information like your SIN
- shred paper records with your SIN once you no longer need themdo not recycle them
- contact Service Canada if you change your name, if your citizenship status changes, or if information on your SIN record is incorrect or incomplete
- take action immediately to protect your SIN if you suspect someone is using it fraudulently. See the section If you suspect someone is using your SIN or have been victim of fraud below
File Fraudulent Tax Returns
Your Social Security number is also used to file your taxes in most cases. Someone who has your SSN can file a fraudulent tax return in your name to be able to claim a refund or stimulus money. You often dont know that a fraudulent tax return has been filed until you go to file your own. It can take months to straighten things out with the IRS, and this can keep you from being able to access your own refund in the meantime.
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Commit Crimes Under Your Name
Surprise, surprise. A criminal can use your Social Security number to yep, you guessed it commit more crimes. For example, if the thief gets caught and arrested for a crime, he or she can give your stolen Social Security number out to the police.
The consequences of this switcheroo are not hard to imagine. You can be stuck with a crime you didnt commit, tainting your criminal background checks and your chances for employment. Again, clearing your name might take years so its definitely a bad spot to be in.
Viii Widow’s Benefits The Death Payment
A craftsperson’s or shopkeeper’s surviving spouse can be awarded a survivor’s pension following the member’s death while beneficiaries can be awarded a death payment . These programs also apply to the spouses and beneficiaries of members of unregulated private-practice professionals who were covered under the self-employed workers’ Social Security scheme.
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How Social Security Number Theft Occurs
How someone finds out and steals your identity can happen in a variety of ways. They could gain your Social Security number by exploiting data breaches, sifting through the trash for personal documents, or using any number of other approaches. The thieves can then sell your identity to the highest bidder on the dark web.
What Is An Ssn
U.S. government issues a 9 digit number, used for keeping track of the number of years spent in workforce and earnings, to all its citizens and eligible U.S. residents. Once a person retires, the government then calculates the payments based on the information recorded. The SSN is used at various places including, but not limited to, at the time of job or filing for returns. SSN is required:
- For enrolling in Medicare
- For certain kinds of public assistance programs such as unemployment benefits
- For opening a bank account or applying for a loan
- To apply for a drivers license
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Be Careful When Using Your Social Security Number
Your Social Security number is an extremely valuable and personal piece of information that you shouldnt give out unless absolutely necessary. In general, you should only use your Social Security number in the circumstances weve listed.
Sometimes your medical providers will ask for your SSN but you can usually choose to not give it without any trouble. However, it is important to remember that while you can refuse to give your SSN, the other party you are dealing with can also refuse to do business with you.
When you get your card its not wise to carry it around with you unless you really need it. Losing your Social Security card or having it stolen can be incredibly frustrating and will put you at risk of fraud or identity theft.
When And Why Do You Need A Social Security Number
So you may have heard people talk about social security numbers and you have been asked for social security numbers before. But why does it matter whether you have your own SSN?
Anytime you are looking for work you will need to have your Social Security number to hand. If you get hired for a job in the United States your employer will ask for your Social Security number.
It is essential that you are able to provide them with it, otherwise you may not get the job. This is because your employer uses your Social Security number to report your income to the Internal Revenue Service. They will also use the number to report your Social Security wages to the Social Security Administration.
Your social security number will be linked to you and the jobs you work throughout your life. As well as reporting to the IRS and the SSA, your employer will need your SSN for state income tax reporting. Most employers participate in E-Verify and they must have your Social Security number before you can start working for them.
So, as you can see, getting a Social Security number as soon as possible is integral to your ability to get a job and start earning.
You will find that you also need your Social Security number in a variety of other situations including:
- When applying for a passport. If you have been in the United States for a while you may want to apply for a U.S. passport. Federal law requires that you submit your Social Security number when applying for a U.S passport.
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Things Identity Thieves Could Use Your Ssn For
Commit Crimes Using Your Name
Dont have a criminal history? Well, you could end up with one if a real criminal gives your social security number to the police. If they have your SSN, they could falsely assume your identity so the police dont find out about their past crimes. Having a crime appear on your background check could impact your chances at getting a job and purchasing a home.
Get Loans and Credit Cards In Your Name
Having someone get loans and credit cards in your name is financial suicide! They can purchase whatever they want without paying for it. Youll end up with the bill, and since you likely cant pay the fraudulent charges off, your credit score will be negatively impacted.
File A Fake Tax Refund/Return
An identity thief with your SSN could assume your identity and claim a pending tax refund you have. These criminals try to beat their victims to the punch by claiming the return early on in tax season. Victims will typically find this out when their tax refund is denied multiple times.
Medical Care and Insurance Theft
If someone has your social security information, they could claim to be you and use your health insurance to receive medical care. However, this is way deadlier than you may think. If there are medical records on file about the criminal , it could lead to a medical mix-up down the road when you need care. And not to mention the expensive medical bills youll be left to pay!
Steal Your Social Security Benefits
Hackers Can Take Flight With Your Airline Miles
Using your email and passwords, hackers can get access to your airline miles to book trips or even redeem for cash.
Airline miles can be converted to cash as easily as going to websites that buy miles, Lavelle says.
To help prevent this, use a different password than the one you have on other accounts, and keep track of your mile activity regularly.
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How Are Swift / Bic Codes Ibans Sort Codes And Routing Numbers Different
If you’re planning to send or receive money through your bank, you will likely come across unfamiliar terms such as routing number , SWIFT / BIC code, IBAN, and sort code. What exactly are these acronyms, and what are they used for? Well, all of them seemingly do much of the same thing which is to help banks identify where your money needs to go when being transferred, but each is required in specific situations because different countries and banks have different processes and requirements.
SWIFT / BIC codes are 8 or 11-digit codes that uniquely identify banks and financial institutions worldwide. Unlike routing numbers, these codes are used for international payments.
IBANs are international bank account numbers that identify the country, financial institution, and individual bank accounts. They’re mainly issued by banks in the Eurozone, but other countries are starting to adopt them as well.
Sort Codes are 6-digit numbers used for domestic transfers in the United Kingdom which identify the bank and the branch where a bank account is held.
Routing numbers are 9-digit codes used in the US to identify banks when processing domestic ACH payments or wire transfers. These are not required when making payments outside the United States.
Transit numbers are 9-digit codes used in Canada for electronic funds transfers. They identify a specific Canadian bank and branch where a payment will be sent.
They Can Use Your Ssn To Pay For Their Utilities
For a customer to use their services, its pretty standard for utility companies to ask for your Social Security number as a way to check your credit history, according to the FTC. But this just means theres another opportunity for a hacker to get your personal information and unfairly wreak havoc on your finances. Once your SSN lands in the hands of hackers, they can freely open utility services under your name for their personal use. You might not see any signs of this until you receive a notice for a past due payment.
Pro tip: Before you mindlessly give out your SSN, take a moment to ask about the companys security policies and what measures are in place to protect you and your SSN.
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They Can Use Your Ssn To Drain Your Existing Bank Accounts
Identity hackers also can use your stolen SSN to dip into any of your existing bank accounts. Armed with that knowledge, they simply can transfer money.
If they hacked your SSN, they might have obtained your passwords and the answers to secret security questions, too, such as your mothers maiden name. The drain on your accounts might be gradual or you might wake up to find your entire savings gone. Hackers also have begun to use apps such as Zelle to transfer money illegally.
Pro tip: Its important to protect yourself from hackers and scammers. Monitor your bank account on a daily basis to identify the slightest unfamiliar withdrawal or other changes to the account. The earlier you catch the fraud, the easier it will be to deal with it.
What Is The Best Credit Card For New Immigrants
Top credit card options for new U.S. immigrants include the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card, U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card* and the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card, but what card might be right for some wont necessarily be right for you. Consider your spending habits, budget and credit situation to determine which card is right for you before applying for any card.
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Use Donotpay To Avoid Searching For Unclaimed Money By Using Ssn
DoNotPay can protect you from all the scammers with our 100% safe and easy-to-use search tool. We want you to claim what is rightfully yours, so we created the feature Missing Money.
Our app has a super simple search platform that you can use to find any unclaimed assets. We search through a variety of state and federal databases and present the results within five minutes.
After you locate your unclaimed funds via DoNotPay, we will help you claim your money!
Open our app in any web browser, create an accountif you dont have oneand follow the next few steps to find your missing money:
DoNotPay will find everything you forgot you own with this five-minute search. Since we comb through various databases, you can cover all the states across the U.S.
After you find the property that belongs to you, you can instruct DoNotPay to file a property claim in your name. We will speed up the complicated process of filing the claim by yourself.
How Your Social Security Number Can Be Stolen
There are various ways your Social Security number could fall into the wrong hands. The most notorious one is the data breach, like the massive Equifax incident last year.
Be extra careful about jotting down your Social Security number or leaving it in paper forms, thieves sometimes rummage through trash looking for receipts, credit card bills and, of course, Social Security numbers they can use. Make sure you shred your documents and paperwork when you throw them away.
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Getting Started With Your Queries
Go to the state’s comptroller, controller or treasurer’s office online. The exact office that handles unclaimed money differs from state to state. If you have lived in several different states, start with the office in the state that you lived in when the money was lost, or just search through all the states where you’ve lived. Enter your first name, last name, middle initial if you have one and city you lived in when the funds were lost, into the corresponding fields.
Some websites only require that you enter your name, but it can help narrow down your search if you enter more information, particularly if you have a more common name. Click the search option. Search the list of results. Depending on how common your name is, the search may return several results. Find the one that matches your information and click on it.