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.
What Can I Do To Prevent Identity Theft
Here are a number of ways to protect your assets and good name:
Periodically contact the major credit reporting agencies to get and review your file and make sure your information is correct. You can request a free annual credit report from each of the 3 national credit reporting agencies, whether or not you suspect any unauthorized activity on your account, by going to www.AnnualCreditReport.com or calling . Or you can request a report by directly contacting each of the agencies below. They can also tell you about setting up fraud alerts and security freezes:
Prevent Or Curtail Further Identity Theft Abuses By Contacting The Following Agencies
An identity thief may use your personal identifying information to fraudulently obtain a driver’s license, file for bankruptcy, apply for social security benefits or even get a passport. To head off such possibilities, contact the following agencies and follow their procedures to limit the damage an identity thief can do.
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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.
What Should I Do If My Identity Is Stolen
Notify all your banks and financial companies as soon as you realize your identity has been stolen or an account is at risk. If you bank with us, . We’ll work with you to help correct any unauthorized transactions in your Chase accounts, fix any incorrect information weve sent to the credit reporting agencies and help protect you from any future identity theft or account fraud.
We also urge you to take these steps immediately:
You can also check out these resources for more tips and information:
- U.S. Department of JusticeFraud Section site
Requirements for Requesting Credit Card Documentation
We realize you may be a victim of credit card identity theft and would like details from a credit card application or account business records. Before we can send you specific details from any application or business record, were required by the FACT Act of 2003 and our own identity protection policies to obtain the following information from you:
Chase Card Services
A Message From Social Security
We are committed to preventing, detecting, and eliminating fraud in our programs.
Our mission is to deliver Social Security services that meet the changing needs of the public. Every day our employees work diligently to ensure the public receives the services and benefits it deserves. We strive to ensure the integrity of our programs and provide a high level of service to the public despite the efforts of those who seek to abuse our programs.
What Is Child Identity Theft
Child identity theft happens when someone takes a childs sensitive personal information and uses it to get services or benefits, or to commit fraud. They might use your childs Social Security number, name and address, or date of birth. They could use the stolen information to
- apply for government benefits, like health care coverage or nutrition assistance
- open a bank or credit card account
- apply for a loan
- sign up for a utility service, like water or electricity
- rent a place to live
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Identity Theft: What It Is How To Prevent It Warning Signs And Tips
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Identity theft is when someone uses your personal data your name, Social Security number, birthdate, etc. to impersonate you, typically using that information to steal from you.
It’s a growing problem in the U.S., and pandemic relief made it worse as identity thieves targeted relief checks and unemployment benefits. Theft of benefits in 2020 was up a whopping 2,920% over 2019. Overall, the Federal Trade Commission received 1.4 million complaints of identity theft from consumers in 2020, up 113% from the year before.
Heres what you need to know to reduce chances youll be a target, spot warning signs and take quick action to minimize damage.
Protect Your Information Online
- Beware of phishing, emails that claim to come from a bank, Internet Service Provider, business or charity and ask you to confirm your personal information or account number. Forward the email to .
- Never send your SSN or financial account numbers by email or transmit these numbers online unless using a secure website or encryption software.
- Shop only on secure websites, and read website privacy policies
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Write To The Credit Bureaus
Write a letter to each credit bureau. Repeat what you said in your telephone call . Send copies of your police report and completed ID Theft Affidavit. Remind the credit bureaus that they must block or remove any information that you, as an identity theft victim, say is a result of the theft. Send your letters by certified mail, return receipt requested. Keep a copy of each letter. See the Sample Letter to Credit Bureaus on page 7.
P.O. Box 2000Chester, PA 19016
Check Employer Verifications At My E
You can also check for the names of employers who have verified your eligibility to work in the U.S. if they went through the Department of Homeland Security E-Verify system. To do that, go to the myE-Verify webpage. If you see an employer whose name you do not recognize, someone else may be using your number to work in the U.S. The site also has a self-lock feature that lets you place a lock on your SSN.
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.
Tip : Rarely Share Your Number
You may have to provide your Social Security number to your bank or employer. But theres no reason your pizza delivery guy needs it. If someone asks for your Social Security number, ask questions. Why? How will it be used? What if I refuse to share it?
You may be able to offer an alternative form of identification, such as a drivers license number, student ID, or utility bill.
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Safely Dispose Of Old Electronics
- Make sure you have removed all of the personal information your old computer holds before you sell, donate or recycle it. For best results, use a wipe utility program that overwrites everything on the hard drive.
- Transfer phone books, contact lists, etc. to your new phone, and then wipe your old phone completely clean. Consult the owners manual, the manufacturers recommendations, and your service provider for tips on how to remove all of your old data, histories, photos, etc.
If You Suspect Someone Is Using Your Sin
If you suspect that someone is using your SIN fraudulently, act quickly to prevent personal loss and minimize the negative impact.
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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:
What Are The Drawbacks Of A Fraud Alert
Activating a fraud alert will cause problems if youre used to walking into an electronics store, signing up for their amazing dont pay anything later credit offer, and walking out of the store with a new big-screen TV.
With a fraud alert active, you have to be available at either your work phone or home phone to approve opening the credit account. No big deal. It will just require a short delay in your instant gratification and a call-back to the credit company authorizing the new account.
If you can live with that, putting a fraud alert on your credit will help protect you in some situations.
NOTE: You want to be cautious if youre just about to apply for a home loan or refinance. Let your broker know that you have a fraud alert in place because youre trying to protect yourself against fraud.
On the plus side, a fraud alert wont cause any problems with your current credit card, bank or credit accounts. Its focused on new credit accounts, not the ones you already have opened.
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What Are The Dangers Of Losing My Social Security Card
Scammers will use stolen or highjacked phones and an SSN to access one-time passwords that allow them entry to bank accounts, credit cards, and other sensitive financial information. The thief can use this information to commit account takeover fraud and steal your money and 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 you havent had your Social Security card 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.
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.
How Does Identity Theft Occur
Your personally identifying information may be compromisedthrough a variety of methods.
Dumpster Diving – Looking through your garbage for bills or other paper with your personal information on it.
Skimming – Skimmers are small electronic devices that can be easily concealed in a pocket and when your credit card is swiped through it, the device reads all of the information encoded on the magnetic strip on your card.
Phishing – Phishing scams are electronic mails sent from what appears to be a legitimate financial institution. They are devised to trick you into sending them account and password information. A common scam would be an email advising you that due to a security issue your bank would like you to confirm or reset your password.
Address Change – Your bills are diverted to another address where they are read or your mail is stolen from your mail box.
Theft – Your personally identifiable information is acquired through the theft of a wallet, purse, home burglary or car burglary.
Pretexting – Your are called or receive a text message from what appears and sounds like a legitimate financial institution in an attempt to trick you into revealing personally identifiable information.
Additional information can be found at:
How To Report A Stolen Social Security Card
This article was co-authored by Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD. Clinton M. Sandvick worked as a civil litigator in California for over 7 years. He received his JD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998 and his PhD in American History from the University of Oregon in 2013.There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, several readers have written to tell us that this article was helpful to them, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 545,789 times.
One of fastest growing crimes in the United States is identity theft. Over 13.1 million Americans were victims of identity fraud in 2013 alone.XResearch source Thieves can target social security cards and then charge up credit cards under your name. Luckily, the Social Security Administration has a department devoted to receiving reports of stolen social security cards and preventing future fraud.
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