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How To Protect Your Social Security Number From Identity Theft

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Apply For A New Ssn As A Last Resort

How to better protect your social security number

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.

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:

After The Theft Of A Social Security Number

It can happen in many ways.

Identity thieves can get your social security number by stealing your wallet or purse, or by buying the number from someone who did. Thieves can rifle through your garbage for bank and credit statements or copy the information from unsecured websites. Sometimes they’re so brazen they’ll even attempt to get it over the phone by posing as a representative of your insurance company or bank.

Check your statement.

The Social Security Administration suggests you contact them immediately if you think someone is using your number for any reason, such as applying for credit or a job. You can review your Social Security Statement to check for suspicious activity, and also contact the SSA through the site.

If the theft is especially serious, you can apply for a new Social Security number. It’s a fairly drastic step, so be sure to talk with someone at the SSA before you do.

Identity theft?

If credit problems due to the theft are really affecting your life, visit IdentityTheft.gov to report your situation and get a recovery plan. Or call 1-877-IDTHEFT .

Identity thieves may also try to use your Social Security number to get a tax refund. So it’s a good idea to contact the IRS and report your situation. You can also call 1-800-908-4490.

Keeping your number safe.

If someone on the phone asks for your Social Security number, ask why, and be sure you know the reason it’s needed. Ask what will happen if you refuse to provide it.

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Get The Best Identity Theft Protection Today

If you think youve been victimized after experiencing a lost or stolen Social Security card, or your Social Security number has been exposed by a data breach, we can help you take the steps to protect what matters most. IdentityForce can help monitor your identity and credit while providing you with the latest news and information in identity theft protection. Our Smart SSN Tracker alerts you if an unfamiliar name, alias, or address is associated with your SSN, and our experts will be there to assist you every step of the way. IdentityForces Identity Vault provides online encrypted storage for your important PII including SSNs, credit cards, financial account information and birth dates, along with other important documents. Access to online and mobile digital organization and storage of digital copies of important legal and personal documents, medical records, and other items.

Weve built best-in-class, innovative capabilities that continue to be named the best identity theft protection service throughout our industry. Additionally, our IdentityForce members receive full, white-glove restoration services to reduce the damaging effects of all types of fraud, theft, misuse, and unintended exposure of personal and financial data.

Let us show you how IdentityForce can help you manage through a compromised Social Security number incident. Get this exclusive limited-time offer today and save 20%.

**Originally published July 11, 2017. Updated April 14, 2021.**

Check If Your Child Has A Credit Report

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Generally, a child under 18 wont have a credit report unless someone is using his or her information for fraud. A good way to find out if someone is using your childs information to commit fraud is to check if your child has a credit report. To do that, contact the three credit bureaus and ask for a manual search for your child’s Social Security number. You may have to give the credit bureaus a copy of

  • your drivers license or other government-issued identification card
  • proof of your address, like a utility bill, or a credit card or insurance statement
  • your childs birth certificate
  • your childs Social Security card

If youre not the childs parent, you may have to give the credit bureaus a copy of documents that prove you are the childs legal guardian.

When Your Child Turns 16

When your child turns 16, you may want to check if theres a credit report in his or her name. This could help you spot identity theft, since children under 18 usually dont have a credit report. If theres inaccurate information in your childs credit report, youll have time to correct it before he or she applies for a job, a college loan, a car loan, or a credit card, or tries to rent a place to live.

Also Check: Can Social Security Block Your Social Security Number

Tip : Be Careful Sharing Through Electronic Devices

There are risks in sharing your Social Security number by email, text, voicemail, and fax. For example, your SSN could get intercepted and read after you send your information. There are sometimes ways to help keep your information safe for instance, by using a VPN on an unprotected Wi-Fi network. But the safest way to share may be face to face with someone you know and trust.

Your Social Security number is a big responsibility and a vital component of your identity. You may not be able to control whether its exposed in a data breach. But theres still plenty you can do to help keep it safe.

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Leave Home Without It

Sometimes you need to show your social security card to someone but generally, the best option is to avoid carrying your SSN card or any other related documents that show your SSN. It might happen that you forgot your wallet or documents someplace. If you leave for social security card at home, then the chances of getting lose decrease, and scammers will not be able to get access to your social security number.

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How To Protect Yourself

By creating your own safeguards, you can greatly reduce your risk of fraud or identity theft. Here are three key steps:

1. Sign up for account notifications. Many financial services firms will let you set up notifications via text and email that alert you about activity in your account. That way, you’ll get a heads-up that unauthorized transactions are taking place. Make sure you have your alerts turned on and review your statements regularly.

2. Check your credit report. Keeping tabs on your credit file will help you spot any accounts that aren’t yours and identify and correct errors that might hurt your credit score.

Due to the pandemic, you can get a free weekly report from each of the three major credit bureaus through April 20, 2022. You can access each of your reports via annualcreditreport.com.

3. Add extra layers of security. A growing number of companies, including tech firms and brokerages, offer two-factor authentication, which requires you to validate your identity before accessing your account. You may have to enter a code provided by text or email, for example, or use a physical security key or security tokens.

And don’t forget to use strong passwords or a password manager for your accounts.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with new information and additional advice. It also adds a clarification that a credit freeze makes it harder for scammers to open loans in your name but doesn’t prevent it entirely.

Penelope Wang

How To Protect Your Social Security Number From Identity Theft

How To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Your Social Security Number is the most sensitive piece of information tying to your name. Its a number that you do not want anyone else to know. With minimal information about you, plus your SSN, anyone could commit fraud under your name. So, you must learn how to protect your SSN now!

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How Does A Child Get Their Identity Stolen

Even though your children arent opening credit cards in their name, their Social Security numbers are used so much it certainly seems like they are. School records, summer camps, doctors offices, summer jobs, extracurricular activities more often than not, these require you to reveal Social Security numbers and other identifying data.

Just like adults, children are also at risk of having their personal information revealed during a data breach. In fact, Hawaii-based attorney Brandee Faria says that many children had their identities compromised the same time adults did during this summers Equifax breach. And, although she is seeking justice for her victims, no monetary amount will fix their problems overnight.

How Do I Protect My Identity If Ive Lost My Social Security Card

There are several things you can do to minimize the risk that your card or number will be used for illicit purposes.

  • Place a fraud alert | Contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file. You may also want to place a credit freeze. And, while a credit freeze wont stop the majority of identity theft from occurring, it can alert you to suspicious activity and is an important part of layered protection against identity crime.
  • Review your financial statements | You should use to help watch your credit card and bank activity for suspicious activity and review your credit reports. Look over your report for any activity you did not authorize, such as opening a new credit card, and immediately report any fraudulent or inaccurate information to creditors.
  • Use an Identity Theft Protection Service | These services ensure that your credit and identity are monitored 24/7 by a team of pros who can also help you restore your identity if it is stolen. Make sure you understand exactly how identity theft protection works before you sign up.

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Remember Your Social Security Number

If you will remember or memorize your social security number then it can be handy and you dont have to write and carry it everywhere. You can avoid carrying your social security card. This looks like a small thing. It also helps to protect your social security card or slip of paper in which your social security number is written. There are chances of falling the card or paper on the ground or anywhere from where identity theft can steal it. But if you memorize your SSN then the chances of stealing your number becomes less.

You Need A Mysocialsecurity Account

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SSA.gov is the official website of the Social Security Administration . It offers many helpful pieces of information and various types of forms. The website also offers a my Social Security account feature. This allows anyone in the United States to track where their SSN gets used. This information is made available through your Social Security Statement, which you can access at any time.

You have to supply your full name, date of birth, home address, and Social Security Number to sign up. Before going to the next page, you are given the option to request a text message notification any time you log into your account. This is beneficial to have because if your account gets compromised, you will find out right away. To complete your registration, you will also have to verify your identity by answering a few questions about yourself.

Some other great perks for my Social Security account users include the ability to change your address, direct deposit information, and request a replacement Medicare card. You can also log on during the tax season and request a new copy of your SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S form.

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Ask Questions When They Ask For Your Social Security Number

There is no law that prevents businesses from asking for your SSN. And you may be denied service if you don’t give the number. If giving your SSN to a business doesn’t seem reasonable to you, ask if you can show another form of identification. Or ask if the business can use another number as your customer number.

Remember that some government agencies can require your SSN. These agencies include DMV, welfare offices, and tax agencies. Look for the required “disclosure” form. The form should state if giving the number is required or optional, how it will be used, and the agency’s legal authority to ask for it.1

Getting A New Social Security Number Is Probably Not A Good Idea

Victims of identity theft sometimes want to change their Social Security number. The Social Security Administration very rarely allows this. In fact, there are drawbacks to changing your number. It could result in losing your credit history, your academic records, and your professional degrees. The absence of any credit history under the new SSN would make it difficult for you to get credit, rent an apartment, or open a bank account.

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Consider Locking Your Social Security Number For Employer Searches

Many employers use E-Verify, a service run by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, to confirm the employment eligibility of potential hires. If youre not looking for a job, . Anyone using your SSN to apply for a job with an E-Verify employer will come up as a mismatch, and alert you and the employer of attempted fraud. You can unlock it any time a third party needs to verify your eligibility.

Guard Your Personal Information

How To Avoid Identity Theft
  • Only provide your SSN or financial account numbers online through valid, secure websites. Secure websites often have a lock icon in the lower right-hand corner. A secure websites address will change from http to https.
  • Be cautious about providing any personal information online, but keep in mind that some government sites and the credit bureaus require such information. Read privacy policies and ask how your personal information will be used.
  • Dont post personal financial information on social networking sites or in chat rooms.
  • Beware of websites that ask personal questions or require a credit card number to enter the site.
  • Before you do business with a company online, check them out with the Attorney Generals Office by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or check with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Use one low-limit credit card for all online purchases, or request a one-time-use number from your credit card company.
  • Choose an alias as a user name and use an alternate email address for online shopping, Internet auctions and other online transactions.
  • When selling goods online, watch out for counterfeit checks and money orders. Never agree to wire excess payments back to the buyer or to someone else.

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When You Don’t Have To Provide Your Sin

Some private-sector organizations may ask for your SIN. This practice is strongly discouraged, but it is not illegal.

Here are examples of when you don’t have to give your SIN:

  • proving your identity
  • completing a job application before you get the job
  • completing an application to rent a property
  • negotiating a lease with a landlord
  • completing a credit card application
  • cashing a cheque
  • applying to a university or college

Important Information About Ip Pins

  • An IP PIN is valid for one calendar year.
  • A new IP PIN is generated each year for your account.
  • Logging back into the Get an IP PIN tool, will display your current IP PIN.
  • An IP PIN must be used when filing any federal tax returns during the year including prior year returns.
  • FAQs about the Identity Protection Personal Identification Number

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