Thursday, June 16, 2022

How To Report Identity Fraud To Social Security

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How To Report Social Security Fraud To The Office Of The Inspector General

How to Report Social Security Fraud

Raise your voice. It is simple, safe, and secure to report social security fraud to the SSA Office of the Inspector General. A major telephone fraud concerning Social Security is currently taking place across the country. If you believe you have been a victim of this crime, please call 1-800-772-1213 immediately to report it.

Place A Fraud Alert On Your Credit Reports

Request that your credit report be flagged with a fraud alert and add to your report a statement that you are a victim of fraud and that all creditors should contact you at a phone number you provide to verify all future applications. Each of the major credit bureaus may have different procedures, so ask each one how long the fraud alert will remain on your report and the circumstances under which that period may be extended. You should also request a written copy of your report to review and verify that each piece of credit information is valid.

Placing a fraud alert may not necessarily prevent the fraud from resuming. Some creditors may not see these alerts if they do not obtain your full consumer report, but rather rely on a credit score or another automated credit application system.

Social Security Fraud By Mail

While the rise of scams perpetrated electronically, and thus cheaply, has reduced the volume of Social Security fraud by mail, the practice has not entirely vanished. One such scheme is a direct mail scam that primarily targets older people

A letter comes in the mail offering an extra check, along with a form asking for personal information and a filing fee. In it, the scammer asks the recipient for a Social Security number, money, and/or bank account information to help with the application.

Again, this is a red flag. The Social Security Administration will never ask for your full Social Security number, because it already knows it. In the event the SSA does send you a letterfor example, when your benefits increaseit will never ask you for money or any other personal information.

The Social Security Administration will never ask you for your full Social Security number. It already knows it.

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If Your Driver’s License Or Dmv

Immediately contact your local DMV office to report the theft. Ask them to put a fraud alert on your license. Then call the toll-free DMV Fraud Hotline at 1-866-658-5758. If the thief is using your license as ID, you may want to change your license number. Ask DMV for an appointment. Take a copy of the police report and copies of bills or other items supporting your claim of fraud. You will also need to prove your identity. Take current documents such as a passport, a certification of citizenship or naturalization, or a U.S. military photo ID. DMV will issue a new license or ID card number when you meet all the requirements.

How We Chose The Best Identity Theft Protection

The Most Stolen Social Security Number in History

We evaluated each providers monitoring services, additional tools and features, reimbursement policies, and customer service in order to establish which companies offered the best identity theft protection services. We determined that, in order for a company to be considered the best, they needed to offer the following services:

  • Comprehensive identity theft monitoring: We preferred services that offer daily credit checks, dark web surveillance, and bank and credit account monitoring.
  • Alerts: The best identity theft protection services are those that send you real-time alerts via email and SMS text messaging when breaches are detected. All the companies we chose have iOS and Android mobile apps to make communication easier.
  • Identity Restoration: The best identity theft protection services have experts who guide you through the identity restoration process, contact financial institutions and government agencies on your behalf and include fraud insurance, which can reimburse you for legal fees.

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How To Report Identity Theft

Reporting identity theft starts by filing a report with the Federal Trade Commission at IdentityTheft.gov or calling 1-877-438-4338. Once you fill out the FTC report, you may also file a police report, especially if you have an idea of who may be behind the crime. To prevent damage to your credit, contact your bank, credit card issuer and the credit bureaus to notify them of the situation.

When it comes to phishing emails, you can forward them to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org. Text messages can be forwarded to SPAM . Remember to report the phishing attack to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

Avoiding Social Security Fraud: Leave Your Social Security Card At Home

Once you receive your replacement Social Security card, lock it away in a safe place until you absolutely need it. Experts advise to avoid carrying your card around on a regular basis partly because of the risk of losing it again, and partly because you really dont need to present your Social Security card on a regular basis. In fact, one Social Security expert says that Social Security cards are irrelevant in the digital age, and the real priority should be targeted at fraud protection.

Its extremely rare that you need your actual Social Security card, says Steven J.J. Weisman, Esq., an Amherst, Massachusetts-based college professor whose expertise is in investigating white-collar crime. A Social Security number is the most important piece of information that a criminal can use to make you a victim of identity theft so you shouldn’t carry it with you in your wallet, anyway.

But if you do lose your card, Weisman recommends taking direct action to protecting the cardholder from financial fraud.

Because of the danger of identity theft if your Social Security card is lost, you should put a credit freeze on your credit reports at each of the three major credit reporting agencies in order to prevent someone from leveraging the Social Security number into accessing your credit or establishing accounts in your name, he says.

Other data security experts agree, citing the high risk of losing a card if you cart it around in your wallet or pocketbook.

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How And Where To Report Fraud

If you do not want your name, address and telephone disclosed, then you need to make an anonymous report on the Fraud Hotline at 252-3642.

If you would prefer to submit your information via email you may do so to .

WARNING: Once you send your email message and the Texas Workforce Commission receives it, the message becomes an official state record. Included as part of the message is the identifier that is inserted by your internet service provider, which cannot be removed from the record pursuant to Texas Penal Code Chapter 37. The accused has a special right of access under the Public Information Act to review the official record and/or obtain copies of the record. Therefore, if you wish to remain anonymous, DO NOT contact TWC via email. Instead, you may report any allegations by calling the TWC Fraud Hotline at 800-252-3642. For Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf , call Relay Texas at: 711 .

You may also report suspected fraud, waste and abuse involving state resources directly to the State Auditorâs Office . You may contact the SAO through the SAO Hotline website or by calling the SAO Hotline at 800-TX-AUDIT 892-8348.

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Leave Your Card At Home

How to Report Social Security Fraud

Dont carry your Social Security card around with you in your wallet or purse. Dont enter your SSN into your phone, laptop, or other devices. It would be rare for you to need your card. Typically, reciting the number is all thats required. Keep the number in your head and the card locked up at home.

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Identity Theft Victim Checklist

  • Information Sheets
  • Identity Theft Victim Checklist
  • This checklist can help identity theft victims clear up their records. It lists the actions most identity theft victims should take to limit the damage done by the thief. For more information, see the Web sites of the Federal Trade Commission at , the Identity Theft Resource Center at www.idtheftcenter.org, and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse at www.privacyrights.org

    The Impact Of A New Social Security Number

    Before getting a new Social Security number, you will want to consider the impactsuch as how it might affect your credit. While the SSA says that your old and new numbers will be linked, the reality is that it’s not that simple. There is likely going to be a new credit report generated and your credit scores may decrease because there’s no credit history associated with the new SSN at first.

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    How Service Canada Protects Your Sin

    Service Canada stores personal information requested to apply for a SIN in the Social Insurance Register. This information includes your name, date of birth, place of birth and your parents’ names. Dates of death are also recorded in the Register.

    Service Canada protects your SIN in the following ways:

    • we store your personal information carefully on our premises and in computer systems that are only accessible to authorized employees who have a “need to know”
    • we provide guidance about how to protect your SIN and your personal information

    How To Report Fraud To The Office Of The Inspector General

    The Problem of Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number

    You can report claims of fraud, waste, and abuse involving SSA programs and activities using this online form. Our office also investigates claims of criminal activity and significant misbehavior by Social Security personnel. If you believe you have been the victim of crime or misconduct by an employee of the Social Security Administration, please contact the local office of the inspector general for your state or territory of residence.

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    How To Report Fraud

    Do you suspect someone of committing fraud, waste, or abuse against Social Security? You can contact the OIGs fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271 or submit a report online at .

    If you receive a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from our agency, hang up, and then report details of the call to the OIG at .

    Our investigations are most successful when you provide as much information as possible about the alleged suspect and/or victim involved. The more you can tell us, the better chance we have of determining whether a crime has been committed. As you fill out a fraud allegation, please include the following about the alleged suspect and/or victim:

    • Names.

    Its helpful to know facts about the alleged fraud, such as:

    • Description of the fraud.
    • Location where the fraud took place.
    • When the fraud took place.
    • How the fraud was committed.
    • Why the person committed the fraud .
    • Who else has knowledge of the potential violation?

    OIG will carefully review your allegation and take appropriate action. However, they cannot provide information regarding the actions taken on any reported allegation. Federal regulations prohibit the disclosure of information contained in law enforcement records, even to the individual making the allegation.

    Request Additional Free Credit Reports

    California identity theft victims with a police report of identity theft are entitled to receive up to 12 free credit reports, one per month for the 12 months following the date of the police report. The procedure for requesting free monthly reports is different for each of the credit bureaus.

    Experian: Make a single request to receive all of your free monthly reports. Mail your request for 12 free monthly reports to Experian at P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013. Enclose a copy of the police report of identity theft, a copy of a government-issued identification card , and a copy of proof of current mailing address . Also provide your full name including middle initial , previous addresses for the past two years, Social Security number and date of birth.

    TransUnion LLC: Write or call in your request each month. Mail to TransUnion LLC, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016. Or call the toll-free number printed on your most recent TransUnion LLC credit report. Provide your full name including middle initial , Social Security number, date of birth, and proof of residence .

    Equifax: Write or call in your request each month. Mail to Equifax Fraud Department, P.O. Box 740250, Atlanta, GA 30374. Or call the toll-free number printed on your most recent Equifax credit report.

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    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.

  • File a complaint with the police. Ask for the case reference number and the officerâs name and telephone number. If you choose to obtain a copy of the police report, make sure it states your name and SIN.
  • Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501. The national anti-fraud call centre is jointly managed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ontario Provincial Police and Competition Bureau Canada. They provide advice and assistance about identity theft.
  • Ask for a copy of your credit report. Review it for any suspicious activity. Also check to see if your credit file should be flagged . To obtain additional information regarding fees and other requirements, please contact:
  • TransUnion: 1-800-663-9980
  • Inform your bank and creditors by phone and in writing about any irregularities.
  • Report any irregularities in your mail delivery to Canada Post, for example, opened envelopes, missing financial statements or documents.
  • Visit a Service Canada office and bring all the necessary documents with you proving fraud or misuse of your SIN. Also bring an original identity document . One of our officials will review your information and provide you with assistance and guidance.
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    Identity Protection By Organizations

    Fraud Watch: Social Security scam becoming nationwide problem

    In their May 1998 testimony before the United States Senate, the Federal Trade Commission discussed the sale of Social Security numbers and other personal identifiers by credit-raters and data miners. The FTC agreed to the industry’s self-regulating principles restricting access to information on credit reports. According to the industry, the restrictions vary according to the category of customer. Credit reporting agencies gather and disclose personal and credit information to a wide business client base.

    Poor stewardship of personal data by organizations, resulting in unauthorized access to sensitive data, can expose individuals to the risk of identity theft. The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse has documented over 900 individual data breaches by US companies and government agencies since January 2005, which together have involved over 200 million total records containing sensitive personal information, many containing social security numbers. Poor corporate diligence standards which can result in data breaches include:

    The failure of corporate or government organizations to protect consumer privacy, client confidentiality and political privacy has been criticized for facilitating the acquisition of personal identifiers by criminals.

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    Penalties For Ssdi Fraud

    There are severe penalties for Social Security card fraud and disability fraud.

    Felony criminal penalties can be up to $250,000 in fines and/or up to five years jail time. On top of the criminal penalties, there may be civil penalties as well. A person found guilty of fraud may be sued in civil court and have to pay a large fine, and may have his or her professional license suspended. Each false statement a person made by signing a form or statement while knowing that he or she was not eligible can result in fines up to $5,000.

    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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    What To Do If You Lose Your Social Security Card

    Reading time: 5 minutes

    Highlights:

    • Your Social Security number can be valuable information for identity thieves
    • Consider placing a security freeze or fraud alert on your credit reports if your Social Security card is lost
    • If you know your Social Security number has been stolen, there are some additional steps you can take

    Your Social Security number is a valuable piece of information to identity thieves. Its a key element of your identity and is also linked to taxes and credit information. And except in limited circumstances, it cant be changed. Thats why its so worrisome to have your card lost or stolen.

    Here are some steps to take for a lost or stolen Social Security card:

    1. Consider placing a fraud alert or a security freeze on your credit reports or locking them. With an initial fraud alert, potential lenders and creditors are encouraged to take additional steps to verify your identity, such as contacting you by phone, before extending new credit. A fraud alert lasts for one year and can be renewed. Fraud alerts are free. Contact one of the three nationwide credit bureaus Equifax, Experian or TransUnion to request a fraud alert, and that bureau will notify the other two.

    Options for locking your credit report may also be available from the three nationwide credit bureaus. Learn more about fraud alerts, security freezes and credit report locks.

    You might also consider calling the Social Security Administration at 772-1213 to report the lost card.

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