Report The Crime To The Police
Under California law, you can report identity theft to your local police department.1 Ask the police to issue a police report of identity theft. Give the police as much information on the theft as possible. One way to do this is to provide copies of your credit reports showing the items related to identity theft. Black out other items not related to identity theft. Give the police any new evidence you collect to add to your report. Be sure to get a copy of your police report. You will need to give copies to creditors and the credit bureaus. For more information, see Organizing Your Identity Theft Case” by the Identity Theft Resource Center, available at
Apply For A New Ssn As A Last Resort
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.
Contact The Social Security Administration To File Fraud And Incident Reports
To kick off the identity-theft recovery process, you need to contact the Social Security Administration to report the fraud and begin creating a record of your identity theft. The Social Security Administration may direct you to the Federal Trade Commissions reporting website. You can visit the site directly at identitytheft.org.
On the website, start by filing fraud and incident reports, which will include some basic information about the incident and what happened. From there, the site offers suggestions about what to do next. Depending on the specifics of your situation, you may need to report the theft to a landlord or credit card company, and you might also need to get a new SSN altogether. The FTCs website offers a step-by-step guide that includes links to file reports and initiate the recovery process.
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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.
Diligence with your credit is a round-the-clock effort. Tally1 makes it easier for you to keep track of your credit card accounts and manage your monthly payments with a low-interest line of credit.
1To get the benefits of a Tally line of credit, you must qualify for and accept a Tally line of credit. The APR will be between 7.90% and 29.99% per year and will be based on your credit history. The APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
4 Late Fee Protection With a Tally line of credit, late fee protection is available on linked credits cards for users who are current on their account, in good standing, and have provided accurate credit card and bank account information.
6The portion of your credit line that can be paid to your cards will be reduced by the amount of the annual fee.
Hackers Can Intercept Your Tax Refund
If youre like most people, youre excited to get your tax refund. But sadly, hackers can intercept your tax refund by filing a fake tax return, using your Social Security number, birthdate and name.
Consumers who wait until the last minute to file may be more vulnerable. Youd likely only find out once you file your tax return and it gets rejected.
To help prevent this, the IRS recommends the following precautions:
- Always use security software with firewall and anti-virus protections. Use strong passwords.
- Learn to recognize and avoid phishing emails, threatening calls and texts from thieves posing as legitimate organizations such as your bank, credit card companies and even the IRS.
- Dont click on links or download attachments from unknown or suspicious emails.
- Protect your personal data. Dont routinely carry your Social Security card, and make sure your tax records are secure.
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Visit Identitytheftgov To Get A Recovery Plan
You can visit IdentityTheft.gov to report identity theft and, more importantly, set up a recovery plan, or you can call 877-438-4338 to do so. Both will guide you through a process that includes:
Know The Signs Of Identity Theft
You may not know youre a victim of identity theft until youre notified by the IRS of a possible issue with your return.
Be alert to possible tax-related identity theft if:
- You get a letter from the IRS inquiring about a suspicious tax return that you did not file.
- You cant e-file your tax return because of a duplicate Social Security number.
- You get a tax transcript in the mail that you did not request.
- You get an IRS notice that an online account has been created in your name.
- You get an IRS notice that your existing online account has been accessed or disabled when you took no action.
- You get an IRS notice that you owe additional tax or refund offset, or that you have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return.
- IRS records indicate you received wages or other income from an employer you didnt work for.
- Youve been assigned an Employer Identification Number but you did not request an EIN.
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Someones Got Your Number What Can You Do
Figuring out that someone has your Social Security Number is one thing. Fixing the problem is another. If you think someone is using your Social Security Number, you need to move quickly.
You have four things you need to do. You need to contact the Federal Trade Commission to report identity theft, contact the credit reference agencies to report the theft, contact the Social Security Administration, and contact your local police.
- The FTC is at 1-877-438-4338 or . There is a form to complete to report identity theft.
- Contact the three credit reference agencies and ask them to place a freeze on your credit report. This will prevent any new applications being created in your name. This will stop more debt from piling up.
- Contact the SSA on 1-800-269-0271 or Log on to the IRS Identity Protection website to alert them and prevent any tax returns from being filed in your name.
- Optionally, but recommended, alert the Internet Crime Complaints Center at . They alert other agencies that your SSN has been compromised.
Once all that has been done, report the crime to your local police. If you know how the theft took place, for example, you had your wallet stolen, the police will want to know where the theft would have happened, and what transpired.
How To Track an iPhone Without Them Knowing
Whenever You Hear News About A Data Breach You May Wonder Exactly What Hackers Can Do With Your Information As It Turns Out Quite A Lot
Unfortunately, hackers work fast, too. According to May 2017 research by the Federal Trade Commission, it took only nine minutes before the hackers tried to access the information from a fake data breach.
If youve recently found out your data was compromised, then you should know the various ways identity thieves can use your information. This knowledge can prepare you for managing the effects of identity theft as soon as it happens.
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Can I Get A Loan With Just My Ssn
To get what you want, you dont need a large sum of money from your family or friends, and you dont have to take out a loan from a bank. With so many financial institutions to choose from, getting a loan is as simple as filling out an application and submitting supporting documentation. The Social Security Number is one of the requirements for submitting an application .
Five Steps To Take If Your Social Security Number Is Stolen
Contact the businesses and agencies involved
Whether its your credit card, an electrical company or your insurance carrier, let the fraud department know as soon as possible about questionable charges or statements.
Report the loss to the Federal Trade Commission
Do this by logging on to IdentityTheft.gov. It will provide a step-by-step reporting and recovery plan. You can also call 1-877-IDTHEFT.
File a police report
This way, if your name is tied to any wrongdoing, theres a record tied to the incident, which will help bolster your case.
Alert one of the major credit bureaus
These include Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Contact one, and the other two will also know . Explain that there has been fraudulent activity and request a credit freeze. This will help stem any additional damage by preventing thieves from opening a new credit card account or applying for a loan. While youre at it, check your credit report . If a companys security lapse caused your Social Security number to be exposed, see if the company offers free credit monitoring, and if so, use it.
File your taxes early
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How Did Someone Get My Social Security Number
In order to steal your identity or Social Security number, there are a variety of methods. By exploiting data breaches, searching through the trash for personal documents, or using any number of other methods, thieves could steal your Social Security number. In the worst-case scenario, thieves can use your identity to perpetrate fraud, create accounts in your name, get medical treatment, file false tax returns, or even sell your identity.
As part of its Guard It service, ExtraCredit keeps an eye on the dark web and notifies you right away if your Social Security number or other personal information is compromised or shared online. Additionally, Guard It provides $1 million in identity theft insurance to cover the costs of identity restoration, legal fees, and lost pay in the event of a theft of personal information. The sooner you sign up, the better!
What Is Social Security Number Theft
Social Security Number theft or Social Security Number fraud is big business for thieves. The Social Security Administration estimates that in 2019 the administration made $7.9 billion in improper payments due to fraud. This boils down to an average cost of identity theft of over $1,000 per person!
The problem is a growing one. In 2017 the number of Social Security Numbers compromised in data breaches surpassed the number of credit card numbers, according to a study by Javelin Strategy & Research.
Social Security Number theft can wreak havoc on your credit score. The effort and time required to undo that sort of damage can often take years.
Once hackers or thieves have your SSN, they can make false statements on claims, file claims under your SSN, file fraudulent tax returns for refunds, open bank accounts and credit cards and more. A SSN, especially one with a good credit score attached, can be used to extract serious money quickly via these scams.
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They Can Use Your Ssn To Open A Phone Account In Your Name
Its easy for criminals to open a phone account in your name if they have your name, address and SSN, Focht said. One of his clients learned that her SSN had been stolen when she received a Verizon Wireless bill. It turned out that someone had opened an account in her name, then purchased several expensive phones, charging them to the account.
What was particularly irksome in her case was that the accounts were opened using an address the client hadnt lived at for more than a decade, Focht said.
Pro tip: Focht said that phone companies usually have fraud departments to deal with stolen services. Immediately let the department know what is going on, and then follow up with a letter. You might need to send a copy of that letter to the credit agencies if the issue shows up on your credit report.
What Is A Social Security Number For
Your Social Security is a nine-digit number thats a unique identifier for you for government purposes. Its usually assigned upon birth in the United States, but if you had an undocumented birth or your parents didnt ask for a SSN, you may need to request one as an adult.
Your SSN is very important and is required for several things, such as:
- Filing taxes
- Opening credit card and bank accounts
- Getting a passport
- Filing legal documents
Because your SSN is a unique identifier, its usually not possible to be assigned another one. There are some exceptions in extreme cases, such as if youre changing your identity for safety purposes. Its very difficult to get a new SSN, and the approval process is long.
Your Social Security Number
This is where we begin to get into the information that has the greatest value for identity thieves.
Among all those types of information, none is more important than your Social Security number.
The fact is:
Its the gold standard for identity thieves because it opens so many doors to your financial life.
This is where the combination of general information, like your name, with a Social Security number can be devastating.
This is commonly referred to as personally identifiable information, or PII. When such information is linked to your name, it gives the thief easy access to your identity.
Armed with just your name and your Social Security number, a thief can not only access your accounts but also obtain credit in your name.
How to protect it
You cant afford to drop the ball on this one, the stakes are simply too high.
- Never carry your Social Security card with you.
- Never give it out where its not absolutely necessary.
That includes writing it on a check, other than to the IRS. Also, be sure to store your income tax returns securely.
Many institutions are now showing only the last four digits of your Social Security number, which eliminates a lot of leaks.
What Can Someone Do With My Social Security Number
Once your personal details have been discovered, thieves can either sell your identity to others or take advantage of services in your name. They can access medical care, file fraudulent tax returns, steal benefits, commit crimes, and open accounts in your name, all with your social security number.
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It’s A Horrible Situation To Be In Here’s How To Handle It
Social Security fraud has been a glaring problem for a long time, but last year’s major Equifax breach did a fine job of taking things up a notch. In 2017, an estimated 143 million Americans had their data compromised, including their Social Security numbers, which means that the likelihood of falling victim to fraud is all the more great.
If you have reason to believe your Social Security benefits have been stolen, you’ll need to take action right away. Otherwise, you risk losing out on money that’s rightfully yours.
Report And Close The Fraudulent Accounts
Contact the companies where fraud happened. Tell each companys fraud department that someone opened an account using your childs information, and ask them to close the account. Ask for written confirmation that says that your child isnt responsible for the account.
Contact the three credit bureaus. Tell each credit bureau that someone opened an account using your childs information. Ask them to remove any fraudulent accounts from your childs credit report.
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What Happens If Someone Steals My Stimulus Check
Fortunately, the IRS has a procedure to help. If your third-round stimulus payment is lost, stolen or destroyed, you can ask the IRS to perform a payment trace to see if your check was cashed or direct deposit misdirected. Ultimately, if everything goes smoothly, youll be issued a new payment. Thats the good news.
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.