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What If Someone Got My Social Security Number

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Get The Best Identity Theft Protection Today


If you think youve been victimized after experiencing a lost or stolen Social Security card, or your Social Security number has been exposed by a data breach, we can help you take the steps to protect what matters most. IdentityForce can help monitor your identity and credit while providing you with the latest news and information in identity theft protection. Our Smart SSN Tracker alerts you if an unfamiliar name, alias, or address is associated with your SSN, and our experts will be there to assist you every step of the way. IdentityForces Identity Vault provides online encrypted storage for your important PII including SSNs, credit cards, financial account information and birth dates, along with other important documents. Access to online and mobile digital organization and storage of digital copies of important legal and personal documents, medical records, and other items.

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Let us show you how IdentityForce can help you manage through a compromised Social Security number incident. Get this exclusive limited-time offer today and save 20%.

**Originally published July 11, 2017. Updated April 14, 2021.**

Important Resources For Identity Theft Victims:

Did you know that it is illegal for collection agencies to harass you once you have notified them that the debt is due to Identity Theft? Here are some steps to take if you find yourself in this situation:

  • Contact the fraud department of any one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your file.
  • Close the accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Use the ID Theft Affidavit when disputing new unauthorized accounts.
  • File a police report where you live.
  • Get a copy of the report or report number.
  • Contact any of the other agencies specific to your particular type of Identity Theft.
  • File your complaint with FTC.
  • Follow up in writing. Attach a police report/number along with any other documentation you may have. Send Certified Mail – Return Receipt Requested.
  • Document everything!

It’s Entirely Up To The Social Security Administration To Decide Whether You Can Get A New Number

If the agency doesn’t think you need a new one, you won’t get one.

If you do decide to get a new Social Security number, the first step is as easy as filling out a standard SSN application form. You’ll enter the old number on it. But be prepared to plead your case, and to have ample documentation to prove it.

Don’t forget that the old Social Security number never completely goes away, even if it goes dormant. The Social Security Administration never invalidates an SSN once it’s been issued.

Don’t Miss: What To Do If Your Social Security Is Compromised

What Should I Do If My Ssn Has Been Stolen Or Being Used Without My Consent

Identity theft is alarming, especially that it can happen with just the last 4 digits of SSN and DOB. Now, your next question could be, how do you put an alert on your social security number that has been stolen?

When you receive suspicious notices, alerts, billings, or;notice peculiar happenings, you need to do the following immediately:

How To Find Out If Your Social Security Number Has Been Stolen

How to find out a Social Security number?

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 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.

Read Also: How To Replace Your Social Security Card Online

Can I Get A New Social Security Number

If you were late to discover the theft of your SSN and significant damage has been done to your credit, its possible.;

First off, getting a new SSN is not easy. To do so, you have to prove the identity theft and also that the theft has led to you facing problems with law enforcement, the IRS or that your bad credit cant be fixed.

There are significant downsides to obtaining a new SSN. The first is that your new number will have an empty credit history. This means you will have to start from zero, building up your credit score, which can take years.

If you decide you want to pursue this option, you need to start by filling out a SSN application form. It is up to the Social Security Administration to decide whether or not to grant your request for a new number.;But, if youre trying to figure out what to do if your identity is stolen, its going to be the best route to take. Your new SSN will be free of fraud and clear of potential headaches.

What Are The Consequences Of Someone Using My Social Security Number

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.

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How Can I Check If My Ssn Was Leaked

Data leaked during breaches usually ends up on the dark web. There are databases online that can scan the web for leaked personal information. Mostly, these include email addresses, which is not a lot.

Surfshark Alert can check the web for leaks of your emails and passwords,Social Security numbers, and It will also continue to monitor your information and will notify you if it finds that any of your data leaked on the web.

Heres how you can check your SSN for leaks with Alert in 6 steps:

  • On the left side of your panel, navigate to Alert and select Scan IDs.
  • Select the United States and
  • Input your Social Security number and
  • Wait for the Scan to finish. This shouldnt take more than a few seconds.
  • Voila, your SSN is scanned. If you wish to keep it under regular monitoring, add it to your dashboard!
  • Everyones Social Security Number Has Been Compromised Heres How To Protect Yourself

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

    All of our SSNs have been compromised, say experts.


    Every day, it seems, another data security disaster puts our personal information at risk. If its not a major hotel or restaurant chain getting hacked, its a financial institution.

    Following breaches at Capital One, Equifax and a slew of other financial and healthcare organizations, theres little doubt that your social security number has been compromised, say cybersecurity experts. Not just yours. Mine, too, as well as those of our spouses, neighbors, friends and colleagues.

    Your social security number is somewhere out there on the dark web, says Charles Henderson, who heads up X-Force Red, a team of hackers at IBM Security that companies hire to break into their computer systems to expose vulnerabilities.

    Its totally reasonable to assume that your social security number has been compromised at least once, if not many times, says Mike Chapple, associate teaching professor of information technology, analytics and operations at the University of Notre Dames Mendoza College of Business.

    A compromised social security number is much more problematic than when other types of personal data hacked. If your credit card number is stolen, your bank can issue a new one within days. If your passport or drivers license is stolen, you can get a replacement issued with brand new numbers.

    With Marriott and the other hotel breaches, all of those credit cards got revoked and re-issued, points out Henderson.

    Also Check: How To Change Banking Information With Social Security

    Tips For Recognizing Identity Theft

    Below are some tips for recognizing when you have possibly been a victim of identity theft:;

    • If you did not receive an expected bill or statement by mail – or you receive a bill for something you didn’t order.
    • If unexpected charges occurr;on your account credit cards.
    • If there are charges on your account from unrecognized vendors.
    • If posted checks appear on your Bank account significantly out of sequence.
    • If you receive credit cards that you didn’t apply for, in your name or someone else’s!;
    • If you are denied credit or are offered less than favorable credit terms for no reason.
    • If you get calls from creditors or debt collectors regarding merchandise or services that you did not buy.

    Someone May Be Using Your Ssn

    Quick Links

  • Someones Got Your Number What Can You Do?
  • 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.

    Also Check: Can You Lock Your Social Security Number

    Act Fast And Protect Yourself From Future Fraud

    There are a lot of ways for someone to get your Social Security number.

    • Print icon
    • Resize icon

    Lets face it: your;Social Security number is probably out there somewhere. This federal identification number is used for so many purposesfrom;tax forms to credit apps to student information formsthat it exists in myriad places. And while organizations that ask for personally identifying information, including your;Social Security number , do have an obligation to keep it as secure as possible, mistakes and cyberattacks happen. Sometimes, the person who gives up your SSN to a scammer is you.

    Find out what to do if youre a;victim of;identity fraud, and learn about;Social Security number;fraud and how to avoid it in the future.

    What happens if you accidentally give someone your;Social Security number?

    No matter how or why it happened, if you give your SSN to someone you suspect might be a scammeror think that your SSN has been;stolen for any other reasontake action quickly. You could become a;victim of identity theft. First, check your credit reports to ensure nothing is amiss right now with your accounts. If you find anything, consider working with professionals such as Lexington Law to;address errors on your report.

    How do I check to see if someone is using;my Social Security number?

    Open Accounts In Your Name

    How to Find a Social Security Number

    A criminal can use your social security number to open bank accounts, take out credit cards, and loans in your name. This can adversely impact your credit score and leave you unable to secure financial loans in the future.;

    Although you may be able to detect a social security number breach using your credit report, it wont instantly wipe these transactions from your record. Even if you have been a victim of identity fraud, the damage done by the thief can take months or even years to recover from.;

    Read Also: Can The Irs Take My Social Security Back Pay

    How Service Canada Protects Your Sin

    Service Canada stores personal information requested to apply for a SIN in the Social Insurance Register. This information includes your name, date of birth, place of birth and your parents’ names. Dates of death are also recorded in the Register.

    Service Canada protects your SIN in the following ways:

    • we store your personal information carefully on our premises and in computer systems that are only accessible to authorized employees who have a “need to know”
    • we provide guidance about how to protect your SIN and your personal information

    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.

  • Keep your Social Security Number safe.
    • 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.

    Read Also: What Does Your Social Security Number Say About You

    Request A Credit Freeze

    A credit freeze may be inconvenient, but its necessary.

    You will need to contact each one of the three major credit bureaus to place the freeze on your credit file its free to do, and it lasts indefinitely until you request to cancel the freeze.

    When the freeze goes into effect, no lenders can access your credit file without getting your approval first. While this is effective, it can also be a hindrance if you plan to open a new bank account, move, or buy a car.

    You will have to contact the three major credit bureaus to suspend your credit freeze temporarily, complete the transaction , then contact the credit bureaus again to reinstate your credit freeze. Whew!

    Requesting a Fraud Alert

    In addition to requesting a credit freeze, you can also request a fraud alert with the credit bureaus and this time, you only need to contact one of the three! However, fraud alerts are not quite as effective.

    With a fraud alert in place, anyone pulling your credit report is requested to contact you first for approval but theyre not mandated to.

    You can renew a fraud alert for free every year, if it helps you gain a bit more peace of mind. If you filed a police report regarding your identity theft, youre eligible to request an extended fraud alert that will last for up to seven years.

    Ways An Identity Thief Can Use Your Social Security Number

    How To Find Someone’s Social Security Number | Lookup SSN by Name

    Having your Social Security number or card stolen isnt quite like getting your bank account information taken though granted, both are stressful experiences. The major difference is that you can get a new bank account number, while the Social Security Administration very rarely issues new Social Security numbers.

    Recommended Reading: How To Get More Social Security

    Take Action If You Are A Victim

    There are steps you can take if your Social Security number or other personal information is compromised.

    If your Social Security number is compromised and you know or suspect you are a victim of tax-related identity theft, the IRS recommends these actions:

    • Respond immediately to any IRS notice: Call the number provided.
    • If your e-filed return is rejected because of a duplicate filing under your Social Security number, or if the IRS instructs you to do so, complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit. Use a fillable form at, print, then attach the form to your return and mail your return according to instructions.
    • Visit for steps you should take right away to protect yourself and your financial accounts.

    See Identity Theft Victim Assistance: How It Works for more information about how the IRS can help you.

    If you previously contacted the IRS and did not have a resolution, contact us for specialized assistance at . We have teams standing by to help you.

    Fraudulent Returns

    If you believe someone has filed a fraudulent return in your name, you can get a copy of the return. See Instructions for Requesting a Copy of Fraudulent Returns.


    Data Breach

    Not all data breaches or computer hacks result in tax-related identity theft. Its important to know what type of personal information was stolen.

    Assigned an EIN Not Requested

    Some tips:

    Phishing Emails and Scams

    You can report other suspicious online or emailing phishing scams to .

    You Gave Your Social Security Number Away

    If you suspect somebody has your Social Security Number — whether they stole it from a company or you gave it to them voluntarily –; it’s important to set up credit monitoring. Typically your bank or the company that was breached will provide this to you for free.

    You generally shouldn’t pay for credit monitoring, as high quality free products have proliferated in the marketplace particularly after the incident at Equifax. Paid credit monitoring services can be tricky to cancel, and you can typically achieve the same level of service with a free product.

    Set up alerts so you know the instant anything changes with your credit score — you can usually do this through the credit monitoring program offered by your bank or credit card company, which is almost always a free service. Some of these services are free even if you’re not a customer of the bank, such as Capital One’s Credit Wise. In fact, you may want to do this anyway — monitoring your credit in this manner is good for everyone, not just victims of cybercrime.

    If you provided a scammer with your Social Security Number directly, or you already think your number was used fraudulently, you will need to act more urgently. You can place a credit freeze on your account with the three credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Transunion and Experian.

    Also Check: How Do I Look Up Social Security Number

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