Friday, May 20, 2022

How To Tell If Someone Used Your Social Security Number

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If Your Mail Was Stolen Or Your Address Changed By An Identity Thief

Is someone using your child’s Social Security number without you knowing?

Notify the Postal Inspector if you think an identity thief has stolen your mail or filed a change of address request in your name. To find the nearest Postal Inspector, look in the white pages of the telephone book for the Post Office listing under United States Government. Or go to the Postal Inspection Services Web site at www.usps.gov/websites/depart/inspect.

How Can I Protect Myself

If you discover that your SSN or other personal information has been stolen, there are a number of steps you should take as quickly as possible.

First, file a report at the Federal Trade Commissionâs IdentityTheft.com website. The site will give you a recovery plan outlining the other steps you need to take, from notifying the IRS and your banks to requesting a credit freeze and reporting the fraud to local law enforcement.

That kind of reactive response after the fact is important, but proactive avoidance is even better. Remember the old adage about the ounce of prevention and the pound of cure? The ounce of prevention, in this case, includes things like staying up to date on basic internet safety and the latest scams , securing your home network, avoiding public Wi-Fi when you have sensitive data to send and even something as simple as securing your physical mail from prying eyes.

Itâs difficult to protect yourself completely and still live in the modern world, but criminals are pragmatic and usually look for the easy score. If you take the necessary steps to not be that easy score, youâll reduce the likelihood of being victimized.

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

Also Check: How To Apply For My Child Social Security Card

Kinds Of Id Theft Using A Social Security Number

With the Equifax breach still fresh in our minds, many of us are wondering if our financeslet alone our identitiesare safe and secure. If youre one of the 145.5 million potential victims of the 2017 Equifax data breach, the hackers may have the so-called skeleton key to your finances and, ultimately, your identity: your one and only Social Security number.

What exactly can a thief do with your Social Security number? The answer isnt pretty, especially if they also have access to other personal data, as the Equifax hackers may.

Whether youve had your Social Security number stolen or are trying to keep it secure, its important to know what criminals can do with it, so you know how to recognize red flags.

One of the identity theft-related crimes most people think of is credit card fraud. However, credit card fraud may be just one of the crimes that can be committed if a criminal assumes your identity with your Social Security number and other personal information.

While stolen credit cards and the like can be cancelled and replaced, it can be difficult to obtain a new Social Security number. The Social Security Administration requires that you prove your identity and provide evidence that someone is misusing your Social Security number and causing you significant continuing harm. In fact, until you sort everything out, the Internal Revenue Service and other government entities may not know if you or the criminal who has stolen your identity is the real you.

Changes Have Been Made To Your Email

We All Have A Social Security Numbers...But What Are They ...

Another popular tactic that thieves and hackers use is watching your email for any valuable information and stealing it as soon as it comes. Hence, if you notice changes in your email, such as not receiving invoices or bank statements, or receipts, this could be a sign that your SSN has been stolen.

There are two types of email changes that you need to keep an eye out for:

  • When you do not receive email notifications for any purchases that you make.
  • When you begin to receive notifications for purchases that you did not make. This can include mail arriving at your doorstep addressed to people you don’t know.

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Stay Vigilant To Help Protect Your Personal Information

If your Social Security number and personal information fall into the wrong hands, it could take you months to undo the damage. Monitoring your credit helps prevent the likelihood of this happening. The sooner you catch fraudulent activity, the easier it can be to reverse.

However, if you find that someone is using your SSN, it’s possible to remove the activity from your credit file. Filing reports with the proper authorities can help reverse the impact of someone stealing your personal information.

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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.

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How Do I Check To See If Someone Is Using My Social Security Number

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the country, and nearly one third of all adults in the United States have experienced some form of identity fraud. Safeguarding your Social Security number is one of the best ways to keep your identity safe. When a thief gets access to your SSN, they can open new bank accounts, drain existing finances, file fraudulent tax returns, and take many other nefarious actions. So, how do you know if someone is using your Social Security number before it is too late? There are some steps you can take to stay alert and make sure that no one is using your Social Security number.

There Is Inaccurate Information In Your Banking Statements

Did Someone Steal Your Social Security Number to File Taxes? Here’s What to Do

The main aim of a Social Security Number identity thief is to steal your money. Hence, your bank statements are a great way to check if you have been hacked.

Take a look at your bank statements carefully. If you see any payments for any subscriptions you didn’t make, you are most likely dealing with a stolen SSN. Even small fees on your credit or debit accounts indicate that someone is trying to open membership or a new account in your name.

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How To Obtain Social Security Number

Steps for Obtaining a Social Security Number Talk with your DSO about working and training in the United States. Verify you are in Active status in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System . Wait 10 days after arriving in the United States before applying for an SSN to allow enough time for your arrival information to update in all government systems.

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.

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How To Know If Someone Is Using Your Social Security Number

  • Post author
One of the most dangerous forms of identity theft is a stolen SSN. But how do you know if someone is using your Social Security number? Here are a few telltale signs.

Your SSN is the key to your identity. And thats why its so vulnerable: if a hacker gets ahold of it, theyre able to crack open the most secure of accounts and wreak havoc on your life. But how do you know if someone is using your social security number?

As soon as hackers have access to your SSN, theyll have the ability to access your bank accounts, open new accounts in your name, open lines of credit and credit cards, obtain your tax return, take our loans, use your health coverage and open utilities and memberships in your name.

Unfortunately, not everyone knows when theyve been a victim of Social Security number identity theft. To stay safe and protect your privacy , you need to learn how to tell if someone is using your social security number.

Is your personal information in the wrong hands? Use Privacy Bees free Data Breach Checker to find out.

What Are The Consequences Of Someone Using My Social Security Number

Why U.S. Social Security Cards Have Never Been a Secure ...

So, what can someone do with your SSN? The consequences of someone using your SSN can be dire. At the least, your credit score might be affected by someone opening unauthorized credit in your name. On the other end of the spectrum, your bank accounts could be drained even including retirement accounts and other savings. This is why it is vitally important for you to be vigilant in protecting your SSN and keeping a watchful eye on all the signs that might point toward illegal usage.

Read Also: How Do You Report Social Security Fraud

Tip : Beware Of Phone And Email Scams

Identity thieves may try to trick you into revealing your SSN. For instance, in a phone or email, they might pose as your employer or a government office requesting information. Avoid sharing your number unless youre positive its a legitimate request.

Better yet, consider calling the requesting organization at a verifiable telephone number to provide the information. Or visit in person.

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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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Consider Signing Up For Identity Theft Monitoring

Filing someone elses tax returns requires the fraudster to have a fairly significant amount of your personal information, and unfortunately this tax season may not be the last time they use your information.

For consistent, proactive monitoring of your information, you may want to think about signing up for a credit monitoring or identity theft protection service. There are several companies that monitor the web and other databases for uses of your personal information. Many will even work with you if you do become the victim of identity theft or if you incur costs as a result of a theft. While these services typically include an annual or monthly membership fee, they can serve as a valuable layer of additional protection especially if youve experienced identity theft in the past or youve been a victim of a data breach. At WaFd Bank, we offer IDProtect with our Green and Stellar Plus checking accounts.

Start better protecting your identity. To find out more about Green or Stellar Plus Checking, including IDProtect, contact your local branch or our Client Care team at 800-324-9375.

IDProtect and insurance products are not FIDC insured or insured by any Federal Government Agency not a deposit of or guaranteed by the bank or any bank affiliate. Visit our My WaFd Wins Benefits page for more details and product disclosures.

Signing Up For Credit Monitoring

What To Do If Your Social Security Number is Stolen

Your credit card company or one of the credit bureaus may offer free credit monitoring, especially if you have previously been the victim of identity theft or a data breach. If not, you can purchase the service. These services monitor your credit reports for suspicious activity and alert you when a new account is opened using your information.

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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.

File A Formal Complaint With The Federal Trade Commission

You will need to file an Identity Theft Complaint with the FTCs Identity Theft Clearinghouse so that they can investigate what happened.

You can call the FTC at 1-877-438-4338 or send your Identity Theft Complaint to: Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C. 20580. You can also submit a complaint online on the Federal Trade Commissions Complaint site.

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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

Where Do I Report Fake Social Security Calls

Social Security number

You should report fake Social Security calls to the Office of the Inspector General . You can use the Scam Reporting Form on their website to report these calls. Providing as much detail as possible will help the SSA investigate these calls and attempt to find the parties responsible for the calls. You can also notify the FTC of these calls, although they encourage you to make your report to the OIG. You can also report Social Security fraud to the OIG Social Security fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271.

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How Will I Know If Someone Is Using My Identity

Here are some things to look for, according to the Federal Trading Commission , the authority on identity restoration in the case of theft:

  • Check your bank statement often at least every month to make sure there arent any withdrawals or transactions you didnt make.

  • If you use personal checks, and they are suddenly no longer welcome at places they used to be.

  • Bills and regular mail stops coming.

  • You get phone calls from debt collectors about unpaid amounts for which you cant account.

  • You get mail in your name thats obviously intended for another person. This person could be using your name and address.

  • There are suspicious items on your credit report.

  • You get medical bills in the mail. Or worse, youre told youve reached your maximum benefit of your medical plan even when you know you didnt use them up.

  • You get W-2s for companies for whom youve never worked or the IRS notifies you of another tax return filed in your name.

  • More certainly, you get an email or letter stating your information was compromised in a data breach. You should be offered free restoration in such case be sure to save all communication regarding the breach.

  • Your wallet and its contents are lost or stolen. Notify all credit card companies and banks and request new cards . If your Social Security card was in your lost or stolen wallet, here are some additional steps you can take to protect yourself.

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