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.
File A Report With The Relevant Authorities
Report the potential identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission at . You can also call 1-877-IDTHEFT to do this.
You should also alert the police and file a police report if you fear that your Social Security Card is lost. Filing an identity-theft report will help prevent you from becoming a criminal rather than a victim if a thief uses your Social Security Number to commit a crime. Furthermore, this is required if you want to obtain a new Social Security Number.
Review Your Credit Reports Carefully
When you receive your credit reports, read them carefully. Look for accounts you dont recognize. Look in the inquiries section for names of creditors from whom you havent requested credit. You may find some inquiries identified as promotional. These occur when a company has gotten your name and address from a credit bureau to send you an offer of credit. Promotional inquiries are not signs of fraud. Also, as a general precaution, look in the personal information section to verify your Social Security number, address and name.
If you find anything you dont understand, call the credit bureau at the telephone number listed on the report. Tell them you want to block, or remove, any information on the report that is the result of identity theft. For more on what to tell the credit bureaus, see the Privacy Rights Clearinghouses Identity Theft: What to Do When It Happens to Youwww.privacyrights.org/fs/fs17a.htm
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When To Provide Your Ssn
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.
Whether And How To Get A New Social Security Number
Many stolen Social Security numbers are used simply to gain employment, with no detrimental effect to the legitimate holders of the SSN. But others are used to defraud banks, retailers, the IRS and other government agencies, which could trash your credit.
If several years pass after the theft of your Social Security number, and the problems arising from the theft have not gotten any better, then you may want to apply for a new SSN. But before you take that step, there are several things to consider.
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Call All Three Bureaus
This isnt a pre-date chat where youre relegated to just texting youre allowed to nag the bureaus with other forms of communication. And since time is of the essence, a little redundancy and repetition wont hurt, either. Call the same three bureaus and ask for a freeze. You will need the same information you provided in Step 3.
Warning Signs Your Identity Has Been Stolen
You or someone you know may have already been the victim of identity theft. But thats not the only scary part. Whats also scary is you may not even know when or how it happened. Was it last weeks online shopping spree? Or that one time you worked from your local coffee shop using shared WiFi two years ago? There are many uncertainties when it comes to suspecting identity theft. Here we hope to clear up those concerns so youre informed of the possibilities and empowered to take action.
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Stolen Or Lost Social Security Card: What To Do Next
If your Social Security card is lost or stolen, it could wreak havoc on your personal affairs. Since your Social Security number is used for basically everything from identification to creditworthiness, you could easily become the victim of identity theft if your card falls into the wrong hands. There are steps that you need to take immediately upon recognizing that your card has been compromised. We will outline those steps in this article as well as tell you what you need to do to get a replacement card. While losing your card is not good, following the advice below can help you ensure that your lost card does not end up causing a disaster for you.
If Your Mail Was Stolen Or Your Address Changed By An Identity Thief
Notify the Postal Inspector if you think an identity thief has stolen your mail or filed a change of address request in your name. To find the nearest Postal Inspector, look in the white pages of the telephone book for the Post Office listing under United States Government. Or go to the Postal Inspection Services Web site at www.usps.gov/websites/depart/inspect.
S To Take If You Think Youve Been Scammed
The Social Security Administration publishes a useful booklet called “Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number.” In addition to basic protection tips, it provides information about what you should do if you believe your identity and SSN have been stolen or compromised.
The Social Security Administration closed all of its offices for in-person services in March 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its online services, however, remain available.
Reporting A Stolen Social Security Card
If you suspect or know that your social security card is either lost, missing, or stolen, the first step should always be to report it to the relevant authorities. File a non-emergency police report by dialing 311. The police will obviously not be able to help you get back your card, but reporting it will help if someone uses your documents to commit identity theft because you will have a legal record of the theft.
Report the lost/missing/stolen social security card by contacting the Social Security Office directly. You can do that by setting an appointment at your local Social Security Office or calling the number provided at their website. If you suspect that someone is already using your identity, you should call the Social Security Fraud Hotline.
Accessing Your Personal Information
If you live in Canada, the Privacy Act gives you the right to access and correct personal information about yourself that is held by federal government organizations. This means you can ask for information about your SIN record.
To request copies of SIN application forms you have previously submitted:
Social Security Number Theft: What To Do If Someone Steals Your Ssn
- Post author
Social Security number theft and identity theft are major headaches that can crush your credit score. Heres what to do if someone steals your SSN number.
The importance of your Social Security Number cant be exaggerated. The nine-digit number is your connection to the Social Security Administration but goes far beyond that. It has become one of the most commonly used numbers for verifying identity. Unfortunately, identity thieves realize the potential of these numbers and Social Security theft costs victims billions of dollars in damages each year.
You need a Social Security number to get a job, collect Social Security benefits, apply for federal loans, open bank accounts, buy a home and sign up for private insurance.
The unique number is a way for the government to keep track of your lifetime earnings and the number of years worked to calculate Social Security benefits later in life.
Social Security Number theft happens when a thief gains control of your unique number and uses it for their own advantage. There are many ways a thief can use this number and the damage they can do with it is significant.
You Wired Money To A Scammer
In a typical wire fraud scam, a criminal breaks into the email of someone who you know, usually professionally — an attorney, realtor or business associate. He or she squats on the email until he or she knows how you interact with this person, and then strikes, sending you a message — usually an urgent one — convincing you to wire money to an unfamiliar bank account, in order to facilitate a legal matter, home transaction or vendor payment.
Usually, the bank account is offshore. Because the transaction involves email fraud, your bank won’t reimburse you. It’s a more involved type of cybercrime and for a good reason — because criminals get money wired directly to their accounts, and often very large sums.
Drop everything and call your bank. If you have fallen victim to this type of crime, drop everything you’re doing and contact your bank’s wire department to attempt to halt the wire. If you are successful, this can save you enormous headaches later. If you know the real identity of the receiving bank, you can attempt to contact its wire department as well, although the fraudster’s bank is usually overseas and may be more difficult to reach.
Guard Against Identity Theft First
Before you even start thinking about replacing your lost or stolen Social Security card, you need to take steps to protect yourself from identity theft.If your Social Security card has been lost or stolen, or if you suspect your Social Security number is being used illegally by someone else, the SSA and the Federal Trade Commission recommend that you take the following steps as soon as possible:
Your Social Security Card Got Stolen
Put a Fraud Alert on your Credit Report
First, you want to put a fraud alert on your credit report by contacting all three major credit bureaus. When you do this, lenders and creditors use very strict guidelines when they screen any application with your information on it. These alerts last for a year, but you can get an extension when that year has passed.
Freeze Your Credit
If you want to get even more secure, think about freezing your credit. When doing so, you cannot use your credit for things like refinancing or opening a new credit line until you lift the freeze, which is good, because neither can a criminal.
Consider ID Theft Protection
If you can afford a couple of hundred dollars a year, you should consider ID theft protection. This ensures that your credit is monitored 24/7 by a team of experts who can also help to restore your credit if someone steals it.
Watch Your Credit Report
Even if you freeze your credit or get a fraud alert, that doesnt mean that you are all in the clear. Thieves can definitely steal your identity in alternative ways. So, it is very important that you watch your credit closely. You can get a free report online at AnnualCreditReport.com or with some identity theft protection plans you can get access to credit reports once a month.
Be Smart When Online
Finally, there are some tips and tricks out there that cybercriminals use that people fall for all of the time:
How To Get A New Social Security Number
First, you need to determine whether your credit is at risk. Many times, thieves sell Social Security Numbers to people trying to get a job, but other times criminals will use the number to commit fraud, which is when you need to get a new Social Security Number by filing with the Social Security Administration. There are a few things you need to know first.
- The process is tedious. You must provide clear evidence of hardship, including run-ins with police, denial of new loans or credit that is too difficult to fix.
- The problem does not vanish when you obtain a new SSN. Your old SSN still exists, and therefore you must continue to monitor it. When you apply for new credit, your old SSN will still be associated with you.
- You’ll have to build your credit from scratch. With a new number, you will have no prior credit, making loans and credit cards difficult to obtain.
- The Social Security Administration has final authority. The agency typically does not support giving out new numbers, and so it may not give you one.
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What To Do If Your Social Security Card Has Been Stolen
Your Social Security card is an important form of identification. Most people have their Social Security number memorized. Since employers, schools, healthcare providers, banks, and many government offices and programs ask for it. Often, you will only need to provide your actual number. However, there are times when you will have to present your physical card. So, its important to have it available for when you need it. If your Social Security card has been stolen, you are at risk for identity theft. This can damage your credit and your finances. Obviously, this can have a serious impact on many aspects of your life. Therefore, if your Social Security card has been stolen, you should immediately take the following steps to minimize the risks.
Step 1: Report that your Social Security card has been stolen
First, youll need to report that your Social Security card has been stolen. In order to lock your credit or qualify for bank restitution, you will need a police report number. So, you should immediately contact the police and report your Social Security card stolen.
Step 2: Freeze or monitor your credit
Step 3: Replace your Social Security card
- U.S. passport
- U.S. drivers license
- State-issued ID card
Depending on your circumstances, the SSA may request additional forms of ID or paperwork. You can find out which documents you will need here.
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If You Are Contacted By A Debt Collector
Tell the debt collector that you are the victim of identity theft. Say that you dispute the validity of the debt. Say that you did not create the debt and are not responsible for it. Send the collector a follow-up letter saying the same things. Include a copy of your police report and of any documents youve received from the creditor. Write in your letter that you are giving notice to a claimant under California Civil Code section 1798.93, subsection that a situation of identity theft exists. Send the letter by certified mail, return receipt requested. If the debt collector is not the original creditor, be sure to send your letter within 30 days of receiving the collectors first written demand for payment.
How To Replace A Lost Social Security Card
To replace a lost Social Security card, you must contact the Social Security Administration. If you meet certain eligibility requirements, you may be able to do this online .
If you understand the proper filing process and the supporting documents, then filing for a new card is relatively straightforward. However, be aware that your application must be 100% accurate and submitted with the right documents in the proper format or else your application will be denied.
Even though the process seems rather simple at first, thousands of Americans struggle each year and end up getting their applications denied. If you are unsure how to navigate the process or simply dont have the time to go through all of the bureaucratic hoops, then you might want to consider using an agent to do it for you.
Heres how to apply for a lost social security card.
Fill in the SS-5 form
Step 1 is to fill in the SS-5 form. You can get this form either from the SSA or online at the administrations website.
You must provide:
Name shown on the previous card
The form must be filled in accurately and submitted with the proper documentation.
Note: This form can be a bit confusing for first-timers. Our automated application simplifies the process by filling the form in for you based on a series of questions.
Provide or Obtain the correct documents
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How To Request A Social Security Card Replacement
If all you need is a replacement Social Security card, with no other changes, you can simply request a new card online at the Social Security website. Youll need to be a U.S. citizen age 18 or older with a U.S. mailing address and will have to supply information from a drivers license or state-issued identification card from a participating state or the District of Columbia.
Currently, every state but Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and West Virginia participates in this program. If youre from Alaska, Delaware, and Wisconsin, note that Social Security will only accept a drivers license.
This service is not yet available to people whose drivers license or identification card was issued by a U.S. territory, such as Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Note that a new Social Security card can also be requested by filling out the application and returning it via mail to dropping it off at the local Social Security Administration office. Or applicants can go to the local Social Security Administration office and fill out an application there.