Thursday, August 4, 2022

What Is Wrong With My Social Security Number

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

Where Social Security Went Wrong

Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing whether someone has your Social Security number until they use it. Some companies offer dark web monitoring, which tracks your information across areas of the internet typically reserved for criminal activities. Your information often ends up on the dark web if you are the victim of a data breach.

However, even if your information appears on a dark web scan, there’s no way to guarantee that someone has your SSN specifically or that they are using it.

To check to see if someone is using your SSN, consider checking your credit report. You can do this online through AnnualCreditReport.com, the only authorized website for free credit reports. You can also use the Annual Credit Report phone number to request your credit report.

Once you have your credit report, review it to see if anything is out of the ordinary. Carefully confirm your accounts and open lines of credit to make sure all of the information in these sections is legitimate. If not, someone may be fraudulently using your information.

Lastly, you may also want to view your Social Security Statement. This document will show whether someone has begun withdrawing against your Social Security account earnings, which is another tell-tale indicator that someone is using your SSN.

Dont Send Your Ssn Via An Electronic Device

Never type your SSN into an email or instant message and send it. The majority of such messages can be intercepted and read. Also, dont leave a voicemail that includes your SSN. If you need to contact someone and give them your number, its best to do it in person. The second best way is to reach them on the phone and do it live.

If You Have Been Affected By A Data Breach

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the integrity of the SIN program from fraud and misuse. It takes any breach of information very seriously.

If you have been affected by a data breach, contact Canadas 2 major credit bureaus to monitor your file.

  • Equifax: 1-800-465-7166
  • TransUnion: 1-800-663-9980

Regularly review your banking and credit card statements, especially after the credit monitoring service ends.

If you notice any suspicious activity, immediately report it to the police, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, and inform Service Canada. This will help reduce the potential impact.

Service Canada does not issue a new SIN for those affected by a data breach.

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Wrong Ssn On Tax Return Paperwork

Recording 259-32-8803 for 259-32-8804 in your files is an easy enough mistake to make. Unfortunately, it’s a serious one. The SSA uses the number to track how much employees earn during the year. The more an individual earns, the more Social Security they receive in retirement. If the SSA loses track, the employee loses out.

Putting the wrong SSN on tax return paperwork, such as a W-2, is also a problem. When the government created Social Security in the 1930s, it had no purpose other than tracking Social Security records, according to the SSA. In 1962, however, the IRS adopted the SSN as the taxpayer ID number. From there, it spread to roles in Medicare, the Veterans Benefits Administration and other government agencies.

As an employer, it’s your responsibility to provide employees with an accurate W-2, Paycor advises. You also submit accurate copies to the IRS, the SSA and state tax authorities if they require it. You’re responsible for getting names right too. If an employee has changed their name but hasn’t notified the SSA, using the new name can cause as much confusion as the wrong SSN on a tax return. Wait until they receive an updated Social Security card with their new name.

Dont Give It Out To Strangers

Application for Social Security and Tax Account Number for Alvina M. Roloff

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.

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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 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.

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A New Sin Does Not Protect You From Fraud And Identity Theft

The Government can only share your new SIN with the federal departments and agencies that use your SIN.

Therefore, you are responsible of providing your new SIN to every financial institution, creditor, pension provider, recent and current employer, and any other organization with which you shared your old SIN.

When To Provide Your Ssn

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Not everyone who requests your SSN actually needs it. Generally speaking, if an entity reports information about you to the Internal Revenue Service , you probably have to supply your SSN. This includes your employer, banks/lenders, the U.S. Treasury for savings bonds, and state unemployment insurance and workers compensation offices.

Although other institutions and businesses have the right to ask for your number, they often dont need it, and you arent legally required to provide it.

As of Jan. 1, 2020, Medicare no longer uses Social Security numbers for identification. Instead, Medicare recipients receive a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier a unique series of numbers and letters that they should also try to protect from identity thieves.

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Placing A Fraud Alert And Credit Freeze

A fraud alert indicates to the credit bureaus that your information has been stolen and that they should be aware of the likelihood of unusual activity in your name.

A credit freeze goes one step further, locking your credit accounts so that no one can open a new account. Note that if you open a legitimate new account, you’ll need to give the lender a heads up that your credit file is frozen and that you need to unfreeze it before they can run a hard inquiry.

If you put a fraud alert on your credit file, you only need to contact one of the three major credit bureaus. But if youre placing a freeze on your file, you will need to do it with each of the three credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Protecting Yourself Against Fraud

Although SSN variations are not typically the result of identity theft or fraud, it’s always good to be aware of any changes in your credit report. Checking your credit report frequently or signing up for Experian’s free can help you catch signs of fraud earlier so you can act quickly to minimize any damage. Here are some other tips for preventing credit fraud:

  • Don’t keep your Social Security card or number in your wallet or car.
  • If your wallet is lost or stolen, contact your credit card issuers immediately to let them know your cards are missing.
  • Shred any documents containing your personal information.
  • Always use a secure connection when shopping online. Check for “https” in the URL. The “s” means the website is secure.
  • Don’t check your bank account using public Wi-Fi.
  • Create strong, unique passwords for every account. A secure password manager can help you keep track of them.
  • Beware of scammers and take steps to avoid them. For example, if a business calls you and requests personal information, let them know you will hang up and call them back. By initiating the call using their publicly listed phone number or the customer service number on your billing statement, you can be sure you’re talking to the real deal.
  • Be mindful of shoulder surfers. Don’t let anyone look over your shoulder while entering passwords or PINs.

Thanks for asking.

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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 personally identifiable information including SSNs, credit cards, financial account information, and birth dates, along with other important documents. It also provides access to online and mobile digital organization and storage of digital copies of important legal and personal documents, medical records, and other items.

Weve built best-in-class, innovative capabilities that continue to be named the best identity theft protection service throughout our industry. Additionally, our IdentityForce members receive full, white-glove restoration services to reduce the damaging effects of all types of fraud, theft, misuse, and unintended exposure of personal and financial data.

Let us show you how IdentityForce can help you manage through a compromised Social Security number incident. .

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

Your Social Security Number Is The Key

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Originally, your Social Security number was a way for the government to track your earnings and pay you retirement benefits. But over the years, it has become much more than that. It is the key to a lot of your personal information. With your name and SSN, an identity thief could open new credit and bank accounts, rent an apartment, or even get a job.

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What Should I Do If I Think Someone Is Using My Social Security Number

If you think someone is using your number, there are several actions you can take. Note that we can only resolve Social Security number reporting problems on our own records.

Review your Social Security earnings record Review the earnings posted to your record on your Social Security Statement. To get your online Statement, log into your personal mySocial Security account and check your account. If you see any inconsistencies, contact the Social Security Administration. We consider identity theft one of our major challenges so we have joined in government-wide efforts to prevent Social Security number misuse.If you want to report identity theft, where someone used your personal information, including your Social Security number, to get a loan or job, file a tax return, or conduct other business, please visit the Federal Trade Commissions Identity Theft page. This guides you through each step of the recovery process. Its a one-stop resource managed by the Federal Trade Commission, the nations consumer protection agency.Contact the Internal Revenue Service for issues involving taxesIf you believe someone is using your Social Security number to work, get your tax refund, or other abuses involving taxes, contact the IRS online or call 1-800-908-4490. Order a free credit reportYou can order free credit reports annually from the three major credit bureaus .Make a single request for all three credit bureau reports:

If You Suspect Someone Is Using Your Sin

If you think someone else is using your SIN, act quickly. This will help prevent loss and minimize the negative impact.

Be vigilant Watch for signs that someone else is using your SIN. For example, ifCRA contacts you with a Notice of Reassessment for undeclared earnings, it may mean that someone else used your SIN to work or to receive other taxable income.

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Signing Up For Credit Monitoring

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.

Here’s Where To Get More Information On Social Security Numbers

Your Social Security Statement IS Wrong! But This IS A Good Thing…

Identity Theft: If you think an identity thief is using your SSN to work or to collect benefits, call the Social Security Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271. If you think someone may be using your SSN to work, check your Social Security Personal Earnings and Benefit Statement. You can get a copy by calling 1-800-772-1213, or online at www.ssa.gov/online/ssa-7004.pdf. Also see the Social Security Administration’s booklet “Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number,” at www.ssa.gov/pubs/10064.html.

History of SSNs: For a chronology of the laws relating to SSNs, see www.ssa.gov/history/ssn/ssnchron.html.

What the Numbers Mean: For an explanation of the meaning of the numbers in SSNs and answers to other questions about SSNs, see www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/.

More on Protecting your SSN: “Fact Sheet 10: My Social Security Number: How Secure Is It?” from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, at www.privacyrights.org.

Recommended Practices: For recommendations on how organizations can protect privacy in their handling of SSNs, see Recommended Practices for Protecting the Confidentiality of Social Security Numbers on the Business page at www.privacy.ca.gov.

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How To Resolve Social Security Number Variations

If, after reviewing the report, you believe the variations are due to credit fraud, you should contact Experian to notify us and to dispute the information. You can also visit our Fraud Center to learn how to respond to fraud and protect your credit information.

If the variation does not seem to be the result of fraud, simply contact the creditor that reported the variation and ask them to correct their records. After the creditor updates its records, the new information will be reported to Experian and your credit report will be updated.

If you are unsure as to which of your creditors reported the variation, you can call the toll-free telephone number provided on your credit report for additional assistance. If the variation is not associated with one of your accounts, Experian can delete it upon your request.

Why Should I Verify Names And Ssns Online

  • Correct names and SSNs on W-2 wage reports are the keys to the successful processing of your annual wage report submission.
  • It’s faster and easier to use than submitting your requests paper listings or using Social Security’s telephone verification option.
  • Results in more accurate wage reports.
  • Saves processing costs and reduces the number of W-2c’s.
  • Allows Social Security to give the proper credit to your employees’ earnings record, which will be important information in determining their Social Security benefits in the future.

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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.

Getting A New Social Security Number Is Probably Not A Good Idea

What Millennials Get Wrong About Social Security

Victims of identity theft sometimes want to change their Social Security number. The Social Security Administration very rarely allows this. In fact, there are drawbacks to changing your number. It could result in losing your credit history, your academic records, and your professional degrees. The absence of any credit history under the new SSN would make it difficult for you to get credit, rent an apartment, or open a bank account.

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