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?
- 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.
Get A Social Security Statement
The Social Security Administration maintains an online service that lets you find out what you have paid into Social Security, how many hours of work your employers have reported each quarter, and what your expected benefits would be if you were to retire or go on disability in the near future.
You may think that would be wonderful since the worker reporting hours to your Social Security account is moving you closer to vesting your Social Security benefit, but in fact, you can have your expected Social Security payments greatly reduced if someone is reporting low-wage labor to your account. So you want to clear up any double-dipping of your Social Security account.
Requesting your statement is straightforward. You will need to create a my Social Security account if you dont already have one. You can access the sign-in/account creation page here. Once logged in, you can request a Social Security statement to print out from your account. If you prefer a low-tech approach, you can fill out a request form and mail it in, and get a statement mailed to you in 4 to 6 weeks.
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 Can I Protect My Child Against Identity Theft
One of the best things you can do to provide identity theft protection for your child is to keep their Social Security card stored in a safe and secure place until it is needed. Do not carry the card around with you or allow the child to carry it. Also, you should obtain a free credit report for them each year to monitor their credit history and make sure that nothing suspicious appears on the report.
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.
Also Check: Locate Someone By Social Security Number
How Thieves Steal Ssns
There are several ways thieves can get a hold of your SSN. The most obvious is by stealing the physical Social Security card. Be sure to keep it in a secure place. This is a no-brainer.
Things get more tricky when we go online. The three most used methods for stealing Social Security Numbers are phishing, malware and data breaches.
Phishing attempts are nothing new. In their efforts to steal your identity, jack your crypto or drain your rewards account, thieves use ever-more convincing methods to trick you into sharing your personal information. They often create fake websites that resemble websites of real companies that you may use regularly. The goal is to trick you into entering your private information. Often scammers will send spoofing emails with links asking you to re-enter your login information or even your SSN.
Malware falls more under the traditional hacker category. Thieves who use this method to steal personal information, including Social Security numbers, infect your computer or mobile devices with software. That software can record your keystrokes, and if you type in your social security number at some point, that will be recorded. Other types of malware steal information from files on your device.
Data breaches are a major threat to consumers because its difficult to manage your data, including Social Security Number, once submitted to a website or service and stored on their servers.
Consider Taking The Following Actions
Contact any of the three credit reporting agencies and ask that a free fraud alert be placed on your credit report. Also ask for a free credit report. You only need to contact one of the three agencies because the law requires the agency you call to contact the other two.
Once you have a fraud alert on your credit report place, a business must verify your identity before it issues new credit in your name. The alert remains active for a year and can be renewed by you for up to seven years.
Change the passwords, pin numbers, and log in information for all of your potentially affected accounts, including your email accounts, and any accounts that use the same password, pin, or log in information.
Contact your police department, report the crime and obtain a police report.
Go to the webpage of the Federal Trade Commission, report the ID theft and create an identity theft recovery plan:
Texas law provides victims of identity theft the option of seeking a court order declaring that you are a victim of identity theft. If you are granted this type of court order, you may submit it to private businesses and to governmental entities to help correct any records that contain inaccurate or false information which resulted from the identity theft.
ALWAYS: REMAIN VIGILANT
Request A Credit Freeze
A credit freeze may be inconvenient, but its necessary.
You will need to contact each one of the three major credit bureaus to place the freeze on your credit file its free to do, and it lasts indefinitely until you request to cancel the freeze.
When the freeze goes into effect, no lenders can access your credit file without getting your approval first. While this is effective, it can also be a hindrance if you plan to open a new bank account, move, or buy a car.
You will have to contact the three major credit bureaus to suspend your credit freeze temporarily, complete the transaction , then contact the credit bureaus again to reinstate your credit freeze. Whew!
Requesting a Fraud Alert
In addition to requesting a credit freeze, you can also request a fraud alert with the credit bureaus and this time, you only need to contact one of the three! However, fraud alerts are not quite as effective.
With a fraud alert in place, anyone pulling your credit report is requested to contact you first for approval but theyre not mandated to.
You can renew a fraud alert for free every year, if it helps you gain a bit more peace of mind. If you filed a police report regarding your identity theft, youre eligible to request an extended fraud alert that will last for up to seven years.
Apply For A New Social Security Number
In order to be considered for a new SSN, you will need to:
Prove fraudulent activity has occurred
Show a police report
Prove that the theft has caused you serious hardship, e.g. trouble with the law or IRS, or inability to get a mortgage loan
Even if you manage to get a new SSN, it may not help. Your old one will still exist and will still be linked to you, so youll need to monitor your credit anyway. Plus, youll have to start over with a new SSN that has no positive credit history.
What If Someone Steals My Social Security Number
All of this is of course very interesting, but lets bring it back to the point of this article: what if some bad guy steals, obtains, guesses at, or otherwise gets hold of your Social Security Number? As it happens, all kinds of bad things!
Because you have to have a Social Security Number to get a job in the United States , crooks are very fond of stealing SSNs specifically for the purpose of selling them to people who do not already have permission to work in the United States, so that those people can get a job.
Nothing is wrong with people getting jobs, of course, but if they are using your Social Security Number, it can cause untold confusion and issues with your taxes and your Social Security benefits. You could even LOSE your Social Security benefits and that can be hundreds of thousands of dollars.
As you can see, it is very important for you to be able to tell whether someone is using your Social Security Number without your permission. In this article, I will show you several methods of detecting whether your Social Security Number has been compromised.
Whether And How To Get A New Social Security Number
Many stolen Social Security numbers are used simply to gain employment, with no detrimental effect to the legitimate holders of the SSN. But others are used to defraud banks, retailers, the IRS and other government agencies, which could trash your credit.
If several years pass after the theft of your Social Security number, and the problems arising from the theft have not gotten any better, then you may want to apply for a new SSN. But before you take that step, there are several things to consider.
Also Check: How To Set Up Appointment With Social Security
What Happens If Your Social Security Number Is Stolen
If your Social Security number is stolen, another person may use it to get a job. That persons employer would report earned income to the IRS using your Social Security number. This will make it appear that you didnt report all of your income on your tax return.
The SS-5 can also be used to apply for an original Social Security card or update information to an existing card. To get a replacement Social Security card in Nevada, go online to the specific SSA website for the SS-5. You will notice the form says SS-5 and Social Security Administration in the upper left corner of all five pages.
Identity Theft: What You Need To Know
Thieves with access to personal information Social Security number, birth certificate, PIN or credit card numbers, even pre-approved credit card solicitations can steal your identity and apply for credit in your name, racking up huge debts without you even knowing that it has happeneduntil its too late. Stay safe. Follow these simple suggestions.
Safeguard Your Personal Information:
Protect Your Bank Accounts and Your Mail:
Protect Yourself on the Internet and Protect Your Computer:
- If you must use a public computer, confirm first that it is not running a desktop search engine and that the proprietor has denied users administrative privileges so they can’t install any programs that might be used to capture your emails or passwords.
If You Are a Victim of Identity Theft:
Certegy Inc.: 437-5120
Also Check: Making An Appointment At Social Security Office
Report The Theft To The Federal Trade Commission
Firstly, report the crime to the FTC using their dedicated website. You must establish, as quickly as possible, that you are a victim of a stolen SSN, in case a thief commits crimes or racks up debt using your identity. The FTC will use your information to develop and put into action a personalized recovery plan. They also provide sample letters that you can send to banks, credit card companies, and other agencies to dispute charges/debts and get fraudulent information removed from your credit file.
Did You Receive A 1099
Taxpayers who receive an incorrect Form 1099-G for unemployment benefits they did not receive should contact the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment to request a revised Form 1099-G showing they did not receive these benefits. To report that you have received an incorrect/invalid 1099-G to CDLE, complete the Report Invalid 1099-G Form. In cases of identity theft, a corrected Form 1099-G showing zero unemployment benefits will help taxpayers avoid being sent an unexpected tax bill for unreported income. For more information, visit the CDLE website. Taxpayers should still file an accurate tax return, reporting only the income they received.
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Social Security Identity Theft
What should I do if I believe my Social Security number has been stolen or misused?
If you think someone is using your Social Security,
- Review your Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.
- Review your Social Security earnings record for accuracy.
- Visit the Federal Trade Commission at www.identitytheft.gov to report identity theft and get a recovery plan.
- Contact the Federal Internal Revenue Service Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490.
- Order a free credit report .
- File a police report.
*Note the Social Security Administration can only resolve Social Security number reporting problems on their own records.
What should I do if I think my name and/or Social Security number is being used to obtain a fake drivers license?
The Michigan Department of State Office of Investigative Services is committed to protecting the integrity of all MDOS programs and documents issued by the agency.
If you witness, suspect or know of fraudulent, improper or suspicious activity involving any MDOS documents or programs, please contact the OIS immediately at:
- FRAUD TIP LINE: 844-372-8356
When you contact OIS, provide as much detail as possible. Include your contact information as an investigator may need to contact you for additional information. All reports will be kept confidential.
Do I Have To Give My Social Security Number
Providing your Social Security Number for non-credit inquiries is clean. optional And if you learn to say no gracefully, you can protect yourself from potential identity theft. Because the more places that contain your credit card information, the more opportunities thieves have to gain access to it.
Leave Your Card At Home
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.
If Your Debit Card Or Number Is Stolen
A debit card is an ATM card with a credit card logo on it. It accesses money directly from your bank account, and the legal protections are different from those for credit cards. If your debit card is compromised, call your bank right away and cancel the card. The bank will send you a new debit card and your checking account number will not change. The stolen money, however, will be gone while your bank investigates the matter. If you call the bank within two business days of the fraudulent transaction, your liability is limited to only $50. As time goes by, your liability for fraudulent transactions increases. If you wait more than 60 business days from the date the bank mailed the statement with the fraudulent transaction, you could lose the entire amount of the fraud.
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