How Do Thieves Profit From Stolen Social Security Cards
Identity thieves can use your SSN to apply for more credit in your name. Of course, the scammers never pay the bills, which can damage your credit, and cause you to get calls from unknown credit demanding payment for items you never bought. They may also place your Social Security number on the Dark Web to sell to other identity thieves.
What Should You Do If You Think Your Social Security Number Has Been Stolen
If you think your SSN has been stolen, you should immediately reach out to your banks, credit card companies and other financial services providers to let them know. Youll also want to inform the three main credit bureaus. Its a good idea to file a police report to have an official record, and make sure to check the FTCs official recommendations, which list who to notify and how.
Having your identity stolen can wreak havoc on your personal and financial life, but being as careful as possible with your SSN can help protect you. If you do find yourself the victim of identity theft or fraud, you may need to seek help from a or legal counsel.
Reviewed by Anna Grozdanov, Associate Attorney at Lexington Law Firm. by Lexington Law.
Note: Articles have only been reviewed by the indicated attorney, not written by them. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, act as legal, financial or credit advice instead, it is for general informational purposes only. Use of, and access to, this website or any of the links or resources contained within the site do not create an attorney-client or fiduciary relationship between the reader, user, or browser and website owner, authors, reviewers, contributors, contributing firms, or their respective agents or employers.
You Do Not Need To Take Any Action To Convert Ssdi To Retirement Benefits
Your benefits will technically change from Social Security Disability Insurance to Social Security retirement benefits at the appropriate time.
There is no action that you must take. You will still receive your monthly check just as you always have.
You may not collect Social Security disability and retirement benefits at the same time.
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Someone May Be Using Your Ssn
People can use your Social Security Number to access bank accounts, open new accounts, and more. If this is happening it may go undetected.
A lot of times there are indications that something is amiss. These are the top five signs your information has been compromised.
Having The Right Attitude
But above all of these, to recover from a successful cyberattack, it’s best to get mentally ready ahead of time.
I know that at your workplace, school, or through conversations with your kids or parents, you may have learned that stupid people cause cybersecurity incidents, and being not-stupid can prevent them. The conventional wisdom suggests it’s stupid to have an easy-to-guess password, to re-use passwords or to be fooled by a phishing email or to take a scammer’s call.
Stop thinking this way. Phishing emails that seek to convince you to give up account numbers, scam calls that are meant to trick you into providing your social security number — they are better than ever, and criminals are refining their tricks all the time.
The average person has hundreds of passwords — it’s inevitable that some of them are “bad” or subject to being mechanically uncovered by a simple algorithm. It’s inevitable that some may be reused.
Sure, it’s a great idea to use fresh and unique passwords, especially for financial accounts. But it’s impossible to imagine that everyone will do so perfectly every single time.
It is also important to pass on this attitude to your friends and family: The people closest to you can lose valuable time and money because they are too embarrassed to tell anyone they made a mistake.
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How To Find Out If Your Social Security Number Has Been Stolen
Thieves can operate under your identity for years without discovery, and some of these crimes are very difficult to detect. One of the best things you can do is regularly check a free credit report. Review your credit report thoroughly for unauthorized accounts or public records not related to you. These red flags could indicate clerical errors or identity theft. Either way, you want to watch out for it and act as soon as you see something suspicious. You can also check out these other ways you can find out if youre a victim of identity theft.
Christine DiGangi is the former Deputy Managing Editor – Engagement for Credit.com and covered a variety of personal finance topics. Her writing has beenfeatured on USA Today, MSN, Yahoo! Finance and The New York Times International Weekly, among other outlets. More by Christine DiGangi
is a USA TODAY content partner offering personal finance news and commentary. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.
What Happens If I Work And Get Social Security Retirement Benefits
You can get Social Security retirement benefits and work at the same time. However, if you are younger than full retirement age and make more than the yearly earnings limit, we will reduce your benefit. Starting with the month you reach full retirement age, we will not reduce your benefits no matter how much you earn.
- We use the following earnings limits to reduce your benefits: If you are under full retirement age for the entire year, we deduct $1 from your benefit payments for every $2 you earn above the annual limit.
For 2021 that limit is $18,960.
- In the year you reach full retirement age, we deduct $1 in benefits for every $3 you earn above a different limit, but we only count earnings before the month you reach your full retirement age.
If you will reach full retirement age in 2021, the limit on your earnings for the months before full retirement age is $50,520.
Starting with the month you reach full retirement age, you can get your benefits with no limit on your earnings.
Use our Retirement Age Calculator to find your full retirement age based on your date of birth.
Use our Retirement Earnings Test Calculator to find out how much your benefits will be reduced.
What counts as earnings:
Your benefits may increase when you work:
When youre ready to apply for retirement benefits, use our online retirement application, the quickest, easiest, and most convenient way to apply.
If you need to report a change in your earnings after you begin receiving benefits:
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What Can I Do To Prevent Identity Theft
Here are a number of ways to protect your assets and good name:
Periodically contact the major credit reporting agencies to get and review your file and make sure your information is correct. You can request a free annual credit report from each of the 3 national credit reporting agencies, whether or not you suspect any unauthorized activity on your account, by going to www.AnnualCreditReport.com or calling . Or you can request a report by directly contacting each of the agencies below. They can also tell you about setting up fraud alerts and security freezes:
Who Claims The Death Benefit
The CPP death benefit is taxable and must be reported by the deceased persons Estate or the individual who receives it. If received by the Estate, the benefit is reported on the CPP death benefit line of the Other Income and Deductions schedule on the T3 Trust income tax return.
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Your Social Security Card
Whether youve lost your social security card or someone an acquaintance used the number, this is another common way that someone has obtained this information. Keeping your social security card safe, not keeping it in your wallet, and making sure that no one can get to it is another way to protect your identity.
How Can Someone Get A Hold Of Your Social Security Number
Find Your Lost Social Security Card
Losing your SSN card is a BIG deal, and it could end up in anyones hands. You hope its going to be a good Samaritan, but more often than not, its someone with bad intentions. If you ever need to carry your card with you, make sure its in a safe place where it wont fall out or get misplaced.
Steal Your Mail, Purse, or Wallet
Someone could get a hold of your SSN card if they steal your mail, wallet, or purse. Mail often contains private personal information that an identity thief can use to find out your social security number.
You would be surprised by the number of online scammers that are looking to get your personal information. They will say and do anything to manipulate you into providing your bank and credit card information, along with your SSN number. For example, they may pose as a legit business in your area who has an exclusive deal for you.
Any website, business, or information database is open to being hacked. When data breaches occur, hackers often look to steal peoples personal information to sell or exploit. This includes someones social security number. Once the information is stolen, there is no way to get it back. All that can be done by the entity that was hacked is notify you about the situation.
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Minor Or Disabled Child
If you are the unmarried child under 18 of a worker who dies, you can be eligible to receive Social Security survivors benefits.
And you can get benefits at any age if you were disabled before age 22 and remain disabled.
Besides the worker’s natural children, their stepchildren, grandchildren, step grandchildren, or adopted children may receive benefits under certain circumstances.
Ask Questions Before Giving Out Your Social Security Number
Some organizations need your Social Security number to identify you. Those organizations include the IRS, your bank, and your employer. Organizations like these that do need your Social Security number wont call, email, or text you to ask for it.
Other organizations that might ask you for your Social Security number might not really need it. Those organizations include a medical provider, a company, or your childs school. Ask these questions before you give them your Social Security number:
- Why do you need it?
- How will you protect it?
- Can you use a different identifier?
- Can you use just the last four digits of my Social Security number?
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When A Family Member Dies
We should be notified as soon as possible when a person dies. However, you cannot report a death or apply for survivors benefits online.
If you need to report a death or apply for benefits, call 1-800-772-1213 . You can speak to a Social Security representative between 8:00 am 5:30 pm. Monday through Friday. You can also visit your local Social Security office. An appointment is not required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting to speak to someone.
When Do I Have To Provide My Sin
There are a few federal government departments and programs specifically authorized to collect the SIN.
Some private-sector organizations must also collect the SIN for income reporting purposes.
Service Canada, the federal government department responsible for the administration of the SIN, has identified some of the most common uses of the SIN on its website.
Note for Quebec residents: Hydro Québec is required by provincial law to collect a SIN for opening new accounts.
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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.
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What Are The Dangers Of Losing My Social Security Card
Scammers can use your SSN to apply for credit cards or loans in your name, or commit account takeover fraud and steal or access 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 your Social Security card is not 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.
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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.
What To Do If You Lose Your Social Security Card
Reading time: 5 minutes
- 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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Supplemental Security Income Benefits
Supplemental Security Income helps people who are unable to earn sufficient wages on their own. It is available to adults with disabilities, children with disabilities and people 65 or older. Individuals with enough work history may be eligible to receive SSI in addition to disability or retirement benefits. The amount individuals receive varies based on their other sources of income and where they live.
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.
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