What Should You Do If Someone Files Taxes Using Your Social Security Number
Youre racing around the house, frantically collecting forms and speed-reading to find the numbers that correspond to those little boxes. Finally, you get all the information plugged in and click Submit a moment of peace and relief. Another years filing, one that you swore would be done much sooner, is complete.
But wait, whats this? A message pops up that someones already filed your taxes!? For too many Americans – especially late filers – this bit of bad news will be a reality this tax season.
Last year, the IRS reported 787,000 confirmed cases of fraudulent tax filings, aka a fraudster filing taxes using someone elses identity. The payout of these phony filings? More than $4 billion in potentially fraudulent returns.
While the IRS does have security measures in place to help verify the accuracy of filers tax returns and the validity of Social Security numbers, some fraudulent filings are bound to get through this year. So what should you do if youre one of the unlucky individuals?
Significant Changes In Your Credit Score
Your credit score is how the credit reporting agencies like Transunion, Equifax, and Experian track your credit history and creditworthiness. Your score is based on a number of factors like the length of time you have had credit, how much outstanding debt you have, and how many new accounts you have opened recently. If your score changes significantly, then it might be a sign that someone is using your SSN to open new credit accounts. If you notice this sudden change, then you should immediately get a copy of your credit report and examine it for accounts that do not belong to you.
Identity Theft Is One Major Reason Today
Your Social Security number, a unique identifier issued by the Social Security Administration , is meant to stay with you for life and never change. But there are instances where the SSA makes exceptions. These include times when your safety is endangered or you are a victim of identity theft. Here is why some people change their Social Security numbers and how to go about it if you wish to.
Get More With These Free Tax Calculators And Money
See if you qualify for a third stimulus check and how much you can expect
Know what dependents credits and deductions
Know what tax documents you’ll need upfront
Learn what education credits and deductions you qualify for and claim them on your tax returnGet started
The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.
What Is Identity Theft
Identity theft is when someone uses your personal or financial information without your permission.
They might steal your name and address, credit card, or bank account numbers, Social Security number, or medical insurance account numbers. And they could use them to
- buy things with your credit cards
- get new credit cards in your name
- open a phone, electricity, or gas account in your name
- steal your tax refund
- use your health insurance to get medical care
- pretend to be you if they are arrested
Read Also: Update Address With Social Security
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.
What Should You Do If Someone Has Been Using Your Social Security Number
So, what happens if you notice that someone has been using your SSN? What do you do next to report the fraud and protect yourself from ongoing identity theft? There are several steps that you should take, and making sure you cover all your bases is crucial to protecting yourself going forward. Here is what you need to do.
Recommended Reading: Can I Locate Someone By Their Social Security Number
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.
Dont Give It Out To Strangers
You should never provide your SSN to someone you dont know who calls you on the phone and requests it. This same warning applies to unsolicited emails and any forms you fill out on the internet. In general, dont give your SSN to anyone unless you are absolutely certain they have a reason and a right to have it.
You May Like: How To Access My Social Security Account Online
Consider An Identity Protection Service
You can register with an identity protection service such as LifeLock, IdentityForce, or Identity Guard. Such companies charge fees that typically start around $10 a month. Banks and credit unions also have packages they sell to customers, as do major agencies such as Experian and TransUnion. Many of the best credit monitoring services also offer identity protection tools and services.
Report Identity Theft To Other Organizations
You can also report the theft to other organizations, such as:
Credit Reporting Agencies – Contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies to place fraud alerts or freezes on your accounts. Also get copies of your credit reports, to be sure that no one has already tried to get unauthorized credit accounts with your personal information. Confirm that the credit reporting agency will alert the other two credit reporting agencies.
National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center – Report cases of identity theft due to a stay in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
Financial Institutions – Contact the fraud department at your bank, credit card issuers and any other places where you have accounts.
Retailers and Other Companies – Report the crime to companies where the identity thief opened credit accounts or even applied for jobs.
State Attorney General Offices – Your state’s attorney general might offer tips, checklists, or an advocate to help you recover from identity theft. These resources don’t replace filing an ID theft report with the FTC.
You may need to get new personal records or identification cards if you’re the victim of ID theft. Learn how to replace your vital identification documents after identity theft.
Also Check: How To Locate Someone By Social Security Number
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.
Is Gta Suitable For A 15 Year Old
Its rated M for mature, which means that the game is rated for people 17 years or older. Teenagers shouldnt be playing games like thatnot just because of the violence and prostitution, but mostly because of the online interactions. You see, when I was fifteen and playing GTA, there was no online interactions.
The rise of technology has brought new threats to your personal data and its security. Identity theft is a crime that strikes at the heart of a modern citizens wealth, employment, social services, and more. Our identity specifically, the electronically-encoded identity that serves as the gateway to our bank accounts, to our home security systems, to our e-mail and network resources can be stolen by unscrupulous people and used for crimes great and small.
At best, an identity thief may use part of your identity as the launchpad for some phony persona that they are using to commit acts of fraud and light scams. At worst, they can drain your bank accounts, destroy your credit rating, and wipe out your hard-earned retirement benefits. Identity theft is not a minor crime in 2018, more than 60 million Americans reported that they were affected by identity theft.
Also Check: How Can Social Security Identity Theft Occur
You May Like: How Can I Reset My Social Security Account
Can Someone Access My Bank Account Using My Social Security Number
Although a criminal may be able to steal your social security number and use it to access medical care, benefits and take out new accounts in your name, it is more complex when accessing your existing accounts.
Luckily, identity thieves may find it quite challenging to access your bank accounts with your social security number. Most banks have requirements for additional pieces of identifying information to access your accounts, such as a passport utility bill. Most banks have added layers of security measures to prevent thieves from accessing your accounts, such as security questions and one-time passwords.
However, unfortunately, hackers can find identifying information and personal data to get into your accounts if you do not have the right kinds of protections in place on your computer or mobile device.
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
Recommended Reading: 820 Concourse Village West Directions
Why Use Self Lock
Employment-related identity fraud could mean that someone else is working under your identity and using your SSN. If this happens, someone elses wages are being reported in your name to the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration and other authorities. By using Self Lock, you can block someone from committing this fraud if they start working for an E-Verify employer. Even if you are not currently working, you may want to protect your SSN and identity with Self Lock.
Can Someone Access My Bank Account With My Social Security Number
It is very possible that someone can access your accounts with your SSN. They could call your bank and pretend to be you to gain access to your accounts. The bank typically verifies your identity by asking for your SSN or the last four digits of your SSN. If the thief has this information, then the bank might give out account information to them. Once the thief gains access to your account, they can move or withdraw money and drain your finances very quickly.
Recommended Reading: Www Socialsecurity Gov Retireonline On The Internet
Someone Is Using My Phone Number How Can I Stop This
Someone used my phone number to make calls to almost everyone in our neighborhood. Someone keeps using my phone number to call strangers. Can someone use my cell phone number without my knowledge? Someone is using my phone number, how can I stop this? Have you ever known a person who complained someone has their phone number and is using it? Or have you been caught in the same situation and wondered just what to do about it?
Considering how far weve come technologically, you would think that people wont be able to get away with using someone elses number. But then again, it is that very same technology that allows people to think of and push through with such schemes. So what exactly is this scheme? Well, its known as phone spoofing, which well discuss shortly. Also, read on to answer the questions Is someone using my phone number? If so, who is using my phone number and what can I do about it
How To Check If Someone Is Using My Identity Or Ssn For Employment
Are you wondering whether it is possible to check whether someone is using your personal SSN? Yes, it is possible to check by yourself. If you suspect that your Social Security Number is being used falsely, you can review your Social Security records to check for inaccuracies. Follow the steps indicated below:
Don’t Miss: 820 Concourse Village West Social Security
What Can I Do To Protect My Identity
Several unemployment claims related to identity theft are being investigated by unemployment agencies. If you dont want to be part of the list of fraud victims, you have to take the necessary steps to protect your identity.
- You can prevent scammers from fraudulently registering a Social Security account under your name by opening one yourself.
- Protect your Social Security account by adding another layer of protection. Aside from providing your username and password, which is your first layer of security, you can set up your account to require your phone number or email address before you can log in. Add a third layer of security by adding a security question that you must answer to verify your identity.
- Dont bring your Social Security card or any document that contains it unless it is absolutely necessary.
- If someone asks you for your Social Security number, be sure to ask why they need it, how it will be used, and what the consequences are in case you refuse.
2. Register for an unemployment benefits account through your state unemployment agency website. This way, youll be notified in case someone files a claim under your name.
3. Dont open or respond to suspicious or unsolicited texts or emails. Avoid downloading files or any attachments in any email correspondence from a person, group, or company you dont know. Some scammers pose as trustworthy companies as they try to get your personal information.
Write To The Credit Bureaus
Write a letter to each credit bureau. Repeat what you said in your telephone call . Send copies of your police report and completed ID Theft Affidavit. Remind the credit bureaus that they must block or remove any information that you, as an identity theft victim, say is a result of the theft. Send your letters by certified mail, return receipt requested. Keep a copy of each letter. See the Sample Letter to Credit Bureaus on page 7.
P.O. Box 2000Chester, PA 19016
Check Your Account For Any Inconsistencies
Once you are logged in, you can now review your account to see if all the information is correct. Are all the details related to your earning records correct? Are there wages recorded all yours? By checking these things, you will have an idea of whether someone else is using your SSN for employment.
If you find any errors or inconsistencies, you can then proceed to the next step.
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:
Read Also: Social Security Name Change Divorce