Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Why Is Experian Asking For My Social Security Number

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Reasons You May Not Recognize Security Question Information

Scam alert: Your social security number isn’t suspended

There may be several reasons you could have difficulty answering the security questions. While the presence of fraudulent activity on your report is one possibility, there may be several other explanations that are unrelated to identity theft:

If none of those reasons apply, there may be accounts opened in your name fraudulently. If you have been the victim of identity theft, you may not recognize accounts or personal information asked about in the security questions. If Experian is unable to sufficiently match your identifying information or response to the verification questions, you will need to provide documentation to verify your identity.

How Do I Know If I Have Been Affected By The Equifax Breach

Equifax has created a website where you can find out if you have been affected by the breach. The website will ask you for the last six digits of your social security number and your last name, and then will tell you if you have been affected. You can also call 1-833-759-2982.

If you are concerned about providing your social security number to this website, remember that Equifax already has your full social security number, and the settlement administrators need to verify who you are. Double check to make sure you are on the correct website and make sure you are using a secure internet connection before entering your social security number. A secure website’s web address should begin with “https.”

How Do You Speak To A Live Person At Experian

  • The Experian telephone number is 1-800-493-1058.
  • The first question the automated system will ask you for your social security number.
  • When prompted, choose option 2 for general questions about your credit.
  • Next, press 1 for questions about your credit report.
  • Next, press 1 again for questions about your credit report.
  • Next, press 1 and you will be directed to an Experian representative.
  • Experian also provides service via their website. You can create an account and manage your credit report and freezes at Experian.com.

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    Can You Check Your Credit Score Without A Social Security Number

    Through April 20, 2022, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax will offer all U.S. consumers free weekly credit reports through AnnualCreditReport.com to help you protect your financial health during the sudden and unprecedented hardship caused by COVID-19.

    In this article:

    A Social Security number is helpful when compiling your credit history because it is the only identifier uniquely assigned to each U.S. consumer. Experian will ask for it when you order your own credit report to help ensure that we provide you a complete and accurate report. If you don’t have an SSN, however, Experian will rely on other identification elements to compile your credit history.

    In addition to your Social Security number, Experian asks for other identifying information, including your name, addresses for the past two years and your date of birth. This is used to access the credit history information provided to us by your lenders so we can deliver your credit report.

    While it’s possible to have a credit report and credit score even if you don’t have an SSN, providing your full identification information is key to ensuring that the report you receive is accurate and complete.

    When Should I Reveal My Social Security Number

    Is Experian Letting Anyone Access Your Credit Freeze PIN?

    Not every request for your Social Security number is an effort to steal your identitybut not every request is mandatory. In general, you will need to provide your SSN to:

    • Employers for wage and tax reporting purposes.
    • Financial institutions, such as banks or brokerage firms, for tax reporting purposes.
    • Banks, credit card issuers or other lenders if you apply for a loan or new credit card.
    • Landlords or utility providers for a credit check.
    • Government agencies to obtain services and to file your taxes.
    • Equifax, Experian or TransUnionor AnnualCreditReport.com to obtain your credit report or credit score.

    When an individual or entity asks for your SSN, be sure to ask the following questions to help you decide whether to reveal it:

    • Why do you need my SSN?
    • Will you accept a different form of identification ?
    • How will you use my SSN?
    • How do you protect my SSN and other information from being stolen or misused?
    • What will happen if I don’t provide my SSN?

    Read Also: How Much Is My Social Security Worth

    Ordering Your Credit Report By Phone Or Mail

    If you prefer not to order your credit report online, you can order your credit report over the phone by calling 888-EXPERIAN . If the information provided matches the information on record, your credit report will be mailed to you. If you were unable to successfully complete the identification verification, you will need to provide the requested documentation or wait 30 days before requesting your report again.

    Experian takes the privacy and the security of your information very seriously. For this reason, if your identity is unable to be verified over the phone, you will be provided instructions for mailing in your request, just as with an internet request. If you suspect that you have been the victim of fraud, you should include that information when sending in your written request.

    Thanks for asking.

    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.

    Recommended Reading: How Do I Start Social Security Benefits

    Shred Mail And Documents With Personal Details

    Discarded mail and documents are a magnet for identity thieves. Dont just throw out papers that contain personal details such as your SSN. Get a paper shredder and use it on a regular basis. While youre at it, dont leave mail in an outside mailbox for long periods. Stealing mail is another way thieves can make off with your information.

    Why Are My New Alerts Not Available

    Four times you shouldnt give out your Social Security number

    Your Social Security number and new account alerts might not be available because:

    • Youve opted out.
    • Key information is mismatched or missing .
    • Your credit history is too new.
    • You opened your Discover Card account within the last 7 months
    • Your Discover Card account status is not in good standing.
    • You have a foreign address.
    • You have a credit freeze placed on your credit report.

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    Why Credit Scores Are Important

    Your credit score is important because it can impact your financial well-being. Lenders and other financial institutions use your credit score, as well as the information found on your credit report, to determine your risk as a borrower. Those who have a high credit score are considered less of a risk because they are more likely to manage their debts responsibly lenders will assume youâre more likely to repay the money you borrow in a timely manner. Individuals who have a low credit score are considered high risk because they are more likely to be irresponsible with their debt by making late payments, missing payments, or defaulting on loans.

    Here are the top four reasons your credit score is important:

    The Legality Of Experian

    Experian is a legal entity, but it must adhere to the Fair Credit Reporting Act . This federal law regulates the collection, access, and use of the data found in consumer reports. The credit reporting agency must also ensure the fairness, privacy, and accuracy of information found in consumer credit bureau files.

    As a consumer, you can dispute inaccurate or incomplete information in your Experian credit file. You also have a right to a timely response typically within 30 days Experian must either update or delete the information. It depends on the outcome of the investigation. If information is outdated per the reporting timeline, Experian must also refrain from reporting it.

    Regarding privacy, Experian can only release access to your credit file to individuals with a valid need. You are also permitted to review your credit profile. And if you wish to stop receiving prescreened offers based on the data in your Experian file, you have the right to opt-out by calling 1-888-567-8688 .

    If your identity is compromised, there are solutions, like fraud alerts and security freezes, available through Experian to protect yourself.

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    Everyones Social Security Number Has Been Compromised Heres How To Protect Yourself

    All of our SSNs have been compromised, say experts.

    Getty

    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.

    It’s 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 Dame’s 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 driver’s 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.

    What Does Discover Offer That Could Be Helpful If I’m Concerned About A Data Breach

    Experian Dispute Center Makes It Easier to Clean Up Your Credit Report ...

    See how the free alerts from Discover could help you protect your identity if you’re the victim of a data breach, or if you’re simply concerned about one.

    • Activate your free alerts from Discover at www.discover.com/freealerts if you haven’t already. We’ll alert you if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites. We’ll monitor your Experian® credit report every day and alert you when anyone pulls your credit, so you can recognize possible fraud. And we’ll alert you when new car loans, mortgages, credit cards or other accounts show up on your Experian® credit report.1
    • The free alerts from Discover are backed by 100% U.S.-based fraud resolution experts who can even help you place a fraud alert on your credit files with all three major credit bureaus.

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    How Many Credit Bureaus Are Monitored

    The best credit monitoring services look at your information across all three : Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. This is known as triple-bureau protection and key to having a holistic view of your credit.

    Only one Experian plan offers triple-bureau protection: Experian IdentityWorks Premium. The free and Experian IdentityWorks Plus plans only monitor your Experian credit report.

    Winner: Experian IdentityWorks Premium with alerts for all three credit bureaus.

    Q: Why Havent You Been Able To Verify My Identity When I Applied To See My Experian Credit Score

    A: Due to the sensitive nature of the information we hold about you, we have a number of rigorous identity checks which are completed when you apply to see your Experian Credit Score. There are a few reasons which may stop us from being able to verify your identity for example:

    • There may be too little information held about you. For example, if youve recently moved house it can take a while for electoral roll records to be updated and for lenders and utility providers to update us with your new details.
    • You may have answered the verification questions incorrectly without realising. For example, you could have entered a nickname and not your full name.

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    Do I Need To Do Anything

    The University asks that its community members remain vigilant against threats of identity theft or fraud. Additionally, it is always a good idea to be on alert for phishing emails or phone calls by someone who acts like they know you or are part of a company that you may do business with, and who requests sensitive information, such as passwords, Social Security numbers, or financial account information. You may report suspected phishing or social engineering attempts to the following email addresses depending upon your campus:

    • UC Davis & UC Davis Health â
    • UC Irvine & UC Irvine Health â
    • UC San Diego & UCSD Health â
    • UC San Francisco & UC San Francisco Health
    • UC Santa Barbara â
    • UC Santa Cruz

    The University also recommends that you rotate passwords and use multifactor authentication for your online accounts when offered.

    The University is offering free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services through Experian IdentityWorks to the following groups:

    • Employees and their dependents
    • Current students and
    • Certain other individuals who participated in the Universitys programs

    These individuals were notified between May 12-14, 2021. An activation code was contained in the email. The former universal activation code may no longer be used for new activations.

    Make Sure Youre Prepared

    If Asked For Social Security Number, Keep These 3 Things In Mind

    Before you call, make sure you have all of the information that you need.

    • Your Social Security Number
    • Your Experian Security Freeze PIN Number
    • A copy of your credit report and any specific details you would like to discuss on the call.
    • To obtain your credit reports from all three credit bureaus, go to Annualcreditreport.com.
    • Any letters or notices the Experian has sent you

    Recommended Reading: When Do You Get Social Security Payments

    Apply For A New Ssn As A Last Resort

    If you believe youve done everything you can and someone is still using your SSN, you may need to request a new number from the SSA. If you decide to apply for a new number, you will need to prove your identity, age, and U.S. citizenship or immigration status. You will also need to provide evidence that someone is using your old number. The SSA booklet Your Social Security Number and Card explains the application process.

    Bear in mind that a new SSN may not solve all your problems. Think about all the government agencies, banks, credit reporting companies, and others that already have and use your old number.

    Once you receive a new SSN, do not use your old number again. Make sure your new number is reported to all agencies that will need it and that those agencies know you no longer use your old number.

    Mail The Request And Document Copies

    You will send each form or letter, along with one set of documents, to each credit bureau. Equifax and Experian list their mailing addresses on their freeze request forms. TransUnions address is P.O. Box 380, Woodlyn, PA 19094.

    Either regular or certified mail is acceptable. Because you are mailing sensitive personal information, NerdWallet suggests using certified mail.

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    Why I Decided To Give Experian Boost A Try

    Now, I had heard a lot about Experian Boost but didnt see many reviews. Programs like Experian Boost and UltraFICO are designed to help consumers with their credit scores whether its simply to expand the customer base for lenders or genuinely help consumers remains to be seen.

    The key difference between Experian Boost and UltraFICO, however, is Boost focuses on payment histories while UltraFICO looks at your bank account for lack of overdrafts and an average balance over the past three months.

    Experian Boost seemed too good to be true. The option to raise my score a significant amount in real time was completely unheard of, hence my skepticism. Also, since both are fairly new programs, there isnt a lot of information yet about how effective they are.

    Nevertheless, Experian Boost seems a helpful initiative as it takes into account phone and utility payment histories. Those who sign up for the service give Experian access to their bank accounts in order to look at these bills which arent normally used when calculating credit scores.

    After a bit of research, I decided to give it a try. I figured it couldnt hurt. Here are the steps I took and what you can expect if you sign up.

    Experian Boost seemed too good to be true. The option to raise my score a significant amount in real time was completely unheard of, hence my skepticism.

    What Do I Do If I Think I Have Been A Victim Of Identity Theft

    FreeCreditReport.com Review: Free Experian Credit Report Every Month ...

    If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud or identity theft, contact one of the nationwide credit reporting companies and place a fraud alert in your credit report.

    You can contact the three nationwide credit reporting companies, Equifax

    TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance Department,P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016

    A fraud alert requires creditors who check your credit report to take steps to verify your identity before opening a new account, issuing an additional card, or increasing the credit limit on an existing account based on a consumer’s request. When you place a fraud alert on your at one of the nationwide credit reporting companies, it must notify the others.

    There are two main types of fraud alerts: initial fraud alerts and extended alerts.

    Initial fraud alerts

    To file an identity theft report, you must file either a police report or a report with a government agency such as the Federal Trade Commission.

    When you place an initial fraud alert in your file, you’re entitled to order one free copy of your credit report from each of the nationwide credit reporting companies. These free reports do not count as your free annual report from each credit reporting company.

    Extended alerts

    You can place an extended alert on your credit report after your identity has been stolen and you file an identity theft report.

    Security freezes

    Special help for servicemembers

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