One Number Is Issued To Two Different People
You may be wondering, if Social Security numbers are unique to each person, how could two people have the same number assigned to them?
There are the exceptional times when the SSA issues the same number to two people as happened to two women in Florida. Both women were born on the same day and given nearly identical names. Add to the confusion two hospitals created the same birth record resulting in 25 years of tribulations for the two.
Can you recognize #SocialSecurity phone scams? Arm yourself against scammer tactics like this. Watch this important message from us to learn more.
How Do You Check To See If Someone Stole Your Identity
Maybe youre asking yourself how to check if someone is using my identity? The best way to check for identity theft is by checking your credit report. If anyone has used your SSN to open accounts or obtain credit in your name, then those records will appear on your credit report. If you notice anything on your report that you did not do, then someone likely has your SSN and is using it to conduct fraud. You can also check your Social Security statement to make sure that it is accurate and request a tax transcript from the IRS to make sure that no one has filed false tax returns using your SSN.
Warning Signs Your Identity Has Been Stolen
You or someone you know may have already been the victim of identity theft. But thats not the only scary part. Whats also scary is you may not even know when or how it happened. Was it last weeks online shopping spree? Or that one time you worked from your local coffee shop using shared WiFi two years ago? There are many uncertainties when it comes to suspected identity theft. Here we hope to clear up those concerns so youre informed of the possibilities and empowered to take action.
You May Like: How Much Have I Put Into Social Security
What To Do If Your Social Security Number Was Found On The Dark Web
Many members of the UC Berkeley community have recently received alerts from Experian that their Social Security numbers were found on the dark web, a part of the web that does not show up in online searches.
This occurred following news from the University of California about a cyberattack impacting the UC and hundreds of other organizations.
Individuals who have not yet signed up for the free credit and identity monitoring, and consequently who may not be aware of potential exposure of their information, shouldnow, said Jenn Stringer, Berkeleys associate vice chancellor for IT and chief information officer. For help with enrolling, call 617-1923 and reference engagement number DB26512.
Stringer acknowledged that receiving a message from a credit monitoring service about your Social Security number being found on the dark web can be unsettling. She received one herself and advises everyone to continue to check their notifications and follow the instructions .
Anthony D. Joseph, a Berkeley engineering professor and an expert in cybersecurity, noted the importance of the Experian alerts. The alerts provide you with important and specific information that you should then act on to help protect your credit and identity, he said. The sooner you are notified, and take action, the better.
Both Stringer and Joseph strongly recommend that individuals with their Social Security numbers found on the dark web do the following:
Is Someone Using Your Child’s Social Security Number
By | Submitted On August 16, 2009
Who should read this article: You should study this article if you are a United States citizen and a parent of at least one child under the age of 18.
Introduction:Stealing a social security number and using it for work purposes is nothing new. It is easy for someone to take a dead person’s social and adopt it as their own.
Why bother to take someone else’s ssn? There are at least two good reasons:1. The person can’t find a job that will pay them cash only.
2. For whatever reason, they cannot use their own social security number, so they must adopt another, preferably one from a deceased person. But sometimes they will go after a very much alive minor child and grab their ssn.
Think about it for a minute. Let’s say a man takes the social of a four year old boy. That boy will not be working for at least another 12-14 years. It’s easy to use his ssn undetected for payroll and credit purposes.
So how can you make sure no one is using YOUR minor child’s social security number? Read on.
Steps you need to take now:1. There are three major credit bureaus that you need to write to:a. Experianb. TransUnionc. Equifax
Just put those three into any search engine to look up their mailing addresses. You can also call them using their toll free numbers. If you call them, make sure you have enough time to wait in the queue. Ask them for a credit history under your child’s name and ssn.
Also Check: Search Someone By Social Security Number
Placing A Fraud Alert And Credit Freeze
A fraud alert indicates to the credit bureaus that your information has been stolen and that they should be aware of the likelihood of unusual activity in your name.
A credit freeze goes one step further, locking your credit accounts so that no one can open a new account. Note that if you open a legitimate new account, you’ll need to give the lender a heads up that your credit file is frozen and that you need to unfreeze it before they can run a hard inquiry.
If you put a fraud alert on your credit file, you only need to contact one of the three major credit bureaus. But if youre placing a freeze on your file, you will need to do it with each of the three credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Here’s Where To Get More Information On Social Security Numbers
Identity Theft: If you think an identity thief is using your SSN to work or to collect benefits, call the Social Security Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271. If you think someone may be using your SSN to work, check your Social Security Personal Earnings and Benefit Statement. You can get a copy by calling 1-800-772-1213, or online at www.ssa.gov/online/ssa-7004.pdf. Also see the Social Security Administration’s booklet “Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number,” at www.ssa.gov/pubs/10064.html.
History of SSNs: For a chronology of the laws relating to SSNs, see www.ssa.gov/history/ssn/ssnchron.html.
What the Numbers Mean: For an explanation of the meaning of the numbers in SSNs and answers to other questions about SSNs, see www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/.
More on Protecting your SSN: “Fact Sheet 10: My Social Security Number: How Secure Is It?” from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, at www.privacyrights.org.
Recommended Practices: For recommendations on how organizations can protect privacy in their handling of SSNs, see Recommended Practices for Protecting the Confidentiality of Social Security Numbers on the Business page at www.privacy.ca.gov.
Recommended Reading: How Much Is In My Social Security
What Can Someone Do With Your Social Security Number
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, act as legal, financial or credit advice. See Lexington Laws editorial disclosure for more information.
Your Social Security number is one of the most important identifiers you have for financial and legal purposes. Most people born in the United States are issued one at birth, but its not usually something you use yourself until youve reached adulthood. But what happens if someone gets your Social Security number? Keep reading to find out how your SSN can be stolen and what criminals can do with it once they have it.
Sowhat Do You Do If Someone Is Using Your Social Security Number
A stolen SSN causes endless headaches. So its important to act as soon as you notice that someone is using your Social Security number. Any delay could mean loans taken out in your name or a stolen tax refund in other words, hours of your time to unravel the mess!
The Social Security Administration recommends the following:
Even if your Social Security number isnt being used improperly, there are still a litany of other threats to your privacy. But there are ways to counter those threats! Heres what to do if your identity is stolen.
Your Most Unique Identifier Calls For Extra Care And Protection
Of all the forms of identity theft, the theft of a Social Security Number is certainly one of the most potentially painful because it can unlock so many vital aspects of your life. Its uniquely you, even more than your name alone at least in the eyes of creditors, banks, insurance companies, criminal records, etc. Your SSN calls for extra protection, and if you have any concerns that it may have been lost or stolen, dont hesitate to spring into action.
How Do You Check To See If Someone Is Using Your Social Security Number
The FTC recommends following these additional steps if your Social Security number is being used by a cybercriminal:
If your information was exposed by a third-partys data breach, take advantage of their restoration offer, which should include free credit monitoring for at least a year. Or sign up for an identity protection plan that includes full-service expert restoration assistance. Alert the FTC immediately if you see any transactions or accounts you dont recognize.
You can freeze your credit to block any new accounts or lines of credit. Or you can place a fraud alert on your account to make it more difficult for anyone trying to use your stolen identity for financial gain.
File your taxes early. This way, the right tax return is processed and cybercriminals with your Social Security number wont be able to fraudulently file.
Check your credit report regularly to watch out for any new activity.
If someone is misusing your personal information, report your identity stolen here.
Safe browsing, friends! The internet should make life easier, more fun, and more productive. But identity theft is very real. Use caution and know what to look out for to protect your identity and personal information.
Don’t Miss: Social Securitly
Why Service Canada Does Not Issue New Social Insurance Numbers For Those Affected By A Data Breach
A new Social Insurance Number is not a fresh start or protection from fraud or identity theft.
If someone else uses your old Social Insurance Number and the business does not check the persons identity, you may have to prove you were not involved in the fraud or pay the impostors debts.
The Government can only share your new Social Insurance Number with the federal departments and agencies that use your Social Insurance Number.
This means that it would be up to you to provide your new Social Insurance Number to all the financial institutions, creditors, pension providers, recent and current employers, and any other organizations with which you shared your old Social Insurance Number.
Not doing or failing to do so properly risks not receiving benefits or leaves the door open to subsequent fraud or identity theft.
A new Social Insurance Number does not erase your old Social Insurance Number. You would therefore need to monitor your accounts and credit reports for both Social Insurance Numbers on a regular and ongoing basis. This would put burden on you. Numerous Social Insurance Numbers multiply the risk of fraud.
The best way to protect yourself if you are affected by a data breach:
How We Use Your Social Security Number
We use your Social Security Number to verify your income and work history by checking for wages reported by your recent employers. If there is a mismatch between what you told us when you applied for benefits and the wages reported by employers, that difference could be due to a simple mistake in what you told us, what we entered into our system, or what your employer reported. It is also possible that the difference is due to someone else using your SSN, which is sometimes called “identity theft.”
It is important to correct wage history errors because if you receive benefits based on incorrect wages or wages that are not yours, you must repay any overpayment.
Recommended Reading: How Is Monthly Social Security Benefit Calculated
Are Social Security Records Public
Social security records are not public they are held by the Social Security office and can be retrieved from a local Social Security office or securely online using login information provided by the SSA. These records include earnings as well as estimates for various benefits, including disability, survivors and retirement benefits that the individual and/or their family may be entitled to.
Check Your Credit Report
The Social Security Administration can tell you if someone is working on your SSN and the IRS can tell you if someone is filing taxes on it, but only your credit agencies can tell you if someone is using your SSN to acquire and use credit in your name.
There are three major credit reporting agencies in the United States: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They each have slightly different methodologies and scoring programs, but they all more or less provide the same service.
You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report every 12 months . By contacting each service and requesting your report, you can immediately spot any suspicious activity on your credit accounts. Look for credit card applications, loan applications, and any debt you dont recognize.
Requesting your reports is simple:
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289 transunion.com
is a reputable service, and if you sign up for it you can keep a monthly eye on your credit score and your credit history, making it very difficult for an identity thief to put one over you in the long run.
Don’t Miss: How To Claim Social Security At 62
Checking Your Credit Score
The most common way to catch unauthorized activity is by checking your credit information. If an account appears that you did not initiate, someone is using your Social Security number.
You can check your credit score using a third-party service like or check with your credit card company to see if they have such a feature.
If youre applying for a new line of credit and get turned down, this could mean that there are fraudulent accounts or activities that are affecting your credit score.
Request A Replacement Social Security Card
If you had your Social Security card stolen or simply lost your SS card, then you will need to get a replacement card. In many states, you can replace a lost or stolen card online using your My Social Security account and uploading a copy of your drivers license. If you are in a state that cannot use the online service, the card can be requested at your local Social Security office or through the mail using a paper application. In most cases, you will keep your same SSN. However, if the fraud has become bad enough, the SSA will issue you a new Social Security number when warranted.
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.
How To Look Up Someones Social Security Number
How to find someones social security number. On their website, you can conduct up to ten social security number searches each and every day.
Social Security Number For Immigrants And Visitors Citizenpath
- A social security number can be used to find basic information about a person by just knowing the social security number.
Don’t Miss: Is Social Security Based On Last 3 Years Of Work
Overview Of Social Security Numbers
In the United States, a Social Security number is a number issued to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and people that are temporarily working in the country. The number is issued to an individual by the SSA, an agency of the federal government.
Its primary purpose is tracking working individuals for taxation purposes and to track Social Security benefits. Since it was initially introduced, the SSN has become the primary national identification number, even though it was not originally intended to be used as a form of identification.