Someone can steal your Social Security number by:Stealing your wallet,purse,or mail.Obtaining personal information you provide to an unsecured site on the Internet.Rummaging through your trash.Posing by phone or email as someone who needs information about you.
What to do if your Social Security number was stolen?
What to do if your Social Security number is stolenTell each of the three agencies that your SSN has been stolen. …Report the theft of the Social Security number to the IRS at http://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-central. …Report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.identitytheft.gov. …File an identity-theft report with your local police. …More items…
How to protect your Social Security number from being stolen?
Use strong passwords and two-step verification on financial accounts and any other sites or apps that store personal data.Don’t give out your SSN over the phone or via unsecured online networks. …Shred paperwork with personal information listed on it — don’t just throw it in the trash.More items…
Can anyone ‘steal’ my Social Security number?
People who steal a person’s social security number can use their identity for long periods without being found out. However, there are ways that you can check whether your social security number has been compromised. The best way to find out if someone has stolen your social security number is by keeping a close eye on your credit report.
What to do if your Social Security number is compromised?
Submit an IRS Form 14039,Identity Theft AffidavitContinue to file your tax return,even if you must do so by paper,and attach the Form 14039Watch for any follow-up correspondence from the IRS and respond quickly.
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, it’s possible.
What is malware hacking?
Malware falls more under the traditional hacker category. Thieves who use this method to steal personal information, including Social Security numbers, infect your computer or mobile devices with software. That software can record your keystrokes, and if you type in your social security number at some point, that will be recorded. Other types of malware steal information from files on your device.
Why are data breaches a major threat to consumers?
Data breaches are a major threat to consumers because it’s difficult to manage your data, including Social Security Number, once submitted to a website or service and stored on their servers . Banks, hospitals, schools, libraries and stores keep your personal data in their databases.
What are the three methods of stealing Social Security numbers?
Things get more tricky when we go online. The three most used methods for stealing Social Security Numbers are phishing, malware and data breaches.
Why is my social security number 9 digits?
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 …
How do thieves get your SSN?
How thieves steal SSNs. There are several ways thieves can get a hold of your SSN. The most obvious is by stealing the physical Social Security card. Be sure to keep it in a secure place. This is a no-brainer. Things get more tricky when we go online.
How much did Social Security make in 2019?
The Social Security Administration estimates that in 2019 the administration made $7.9 billion in improper payments due to fraud. This boils down to an average cost of identity thef t of over $1,000 per person! The problem is a growing one.
What to do if someone steals your social security number?
If someone misused your Social Security number to create credit or other problems for you, immediately go report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission. Their website provides detailed information to help you defend against identity theft. You can reach them by phone by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT ( 1-877-438-4338 ); TTY 1-866-653-4261.
What is identity theft?
Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personally identifiable information and pretends to be you. They can use this information to open bank or credit card accounts, file taxes, or make new purchases in your name. It is important that you take steps to protect your Social Security number from theft.
How to protect your Social Security from identity theft?
Make sure you give your employer and your financial institution (s) your correct Social Security number, so your records and tax information are accurate. To minimize the risk of identity theft, keep your Social Security card and any other documents that show your Social Security number in a safe place. Do not carry your Social Security card …
Why is it important to protect your social security number?
It is important that you take steps to protect your Social Security number from theft. If someone obtains your Social Security number, they can use it to get other personal information about you, including your bank or credit information.
Where to file a complaint about a crime?
You may also want to contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and file an online complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
How do identity thieves get their hands on your social security number?
There are a number of ways for identity thieves to get their hands on your social security number. Data breaches are one major way, and are unfortunately becoming increasingly common. The 2017 Equifax breach exposed more than 143 million social security numbers when cyber criminals exploited a vulnerability on the credit bureau’s website. In addition to social security numbers, birthdates, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and credit card numbers were stolen.
How many social security numbers were exposed in the 2017 Equifax breach?
Data breaches are one major way, and are unfortunately becoming increasingly common. The 2017 Equifax breach exposed more than 143 million social security numbers when cyber criminals exploited a vulnerability on the credit bureau’s website.
What information do you need to open a new account?
Opening up new accounts – Your social security number is the main piece of information required when applying for a bank loan, credit card, or opening any new financial account. With that information in hand, thieves can pretty easily get credit cards or loans in your name that they can use and abuse. By maxing out credit limits and defaulting on payments they’ll do major damage to your credit score and severely impair your ability to get any type of loan in the future.
What does it mean when your tax return is rejected?
If you or your tax preparer attempt to file your tax return and it is rejected as a duplicate, that likely means you have been the victim of tax return fraud. Obtaining medical care or prescriptions – Your social security number gives thieves access to just about any and everything that belongs to you.
How to detect fraud and identity theft?
Being proactive by regularly monitoring your credit report is the best way to identify fraud and identity theft. Your credit report and credit score can help you to quickly detect fraud and put an end to it. If you see new accounts or public records you did not initiate, you’ll need to act immediately.
How do criminals obtain personal information?
Of course, there are other methods for criminals to obtain this personal information, including sifting through trash to recover personal documents that contain identifying information . It’s important to be careful how and where you dispose of documents.
How long does it take to recover from identity theft?
Therefore, it can take years to recover from identity theft when a social security number has been compromised.
Signs That Your Social Security Number Has Been Stolen
There are a few red flags to watch for that can indicate someone’s gotten ahold of your SSN and used it. One sign is that your credit score drops without any plausible explanation. Another is that your bank account has mysterious charges or withdrawals. You also may see suspicious emails or mail arrive at your home.
Contact the Social Security Administration to File Fraud and Incident Reports
To kick off the identity-theft recovery process, you need to contact the Social Security Administration to report the fraud and begin creating a record of your identity theft. The Social Security Administration may direct you to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) reporting website. You can visit the site directly at identitytheft.org.
File a Police Report
To begin documenting your identity theft, the Social Security Administration may want you to provide a record of the theft that it can later use while investigating your case. You can file a police report in your local community to legally document the crimes of fraud. This is also used later if any legal action is taken.
Apply for a Replacement Social Security Number
The Social Security Administration allows you to receive a new SSN under certain circumstances. One example is if you’re in immediate danger or being threatened in a domestic abuse situation. Another is if your SSN has been stolen.
Call the IRS Protection Unit and Check on Tax Filings
In addition to contacting and filing documentation with the Social Security Administration, you also want to notify the IRS about the fraud. This is an important step in preventing anyone from filing a false tax return in your name to claim your tax refund.
Set Up Fraud Alerts
As soon as you learn that identity theft has happened to you, you’ll want to set up fraud alerts through your bank and credit card companies. This improves the likelihood that you’ll discover any new charges or suspicious activity on your credit report early on.
Freeze Your Credit Reports and Contact Banks
After you’ve experienced identity theft, notify all banks and credit card companies where you have open accounts. Notify lenders, too. You can do this over the phone or through their websites. You’ll also need to inform the company or companies where the fraud took place, if possible.
What is the scheme that uses your stolen Social Security number to file and collect a fake tax refund under your name?
One rising scheme is tax identity theft. This is when an identity theft uses your stolen Social Security number to file and collect a fake tax refund under your name. This can then delay or even rob you of the tax refund that you are owed.
How often do I get my credit report?
Getting your credit report is simple. You’re entitled to a free credit report once a year from each of the three reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. I recommend requesting a report from one company every four months. That should be enough monitoring for anybody.
What happens if a thief gets caught and arrested?
For example, if the thief gets caught and arrested for a crime, he or she can give your stolen Social Security number out to the police. The consequences of this switcheroo are not hard to imagine. You can be stuck with a crime you didn’t commit, tainting your criminal background checks and your chances for employment.
How to tell if someone is taking out a loan in your name?
Your credit report is one of the best ways to spot potential problems. It can tell you if someone is taking out a loan in your name, starting a second mortgage, or even just running your information. Look for credit checks from businesses you don’t remember visiting and accounts you never started.
How do banks use your social security number?
Open financial accounts under your name. Banks use your Social Security number as their main means of getting information about you. They use it to get your credit report and history and from there, decide if an account can be opened or a loan will be offered under your name.
How to fight a tax identity thief?
One way to combat this is to file your taxes early so a would-be tax identity thief will have fewer opportunities to file a fake refund before you . But of course, this also means your Social Security number has been compromised and your problems go beyond fake tax refunds. 5. Steal your benefits.
What is the most important part of your identity?
One crucial component of your legal identity is your Social Security number. With it, identity thieves can either start charging your credit cards with unauthorized purchases or worse, open new credit lines under your identity. You may not even realize what’s going on until the collection agencies start stalking you for accounts …
How Can Someone Steal My Social Security Number?
For example, thieves have found them by simply searching through trash to find personal documentation. Your social security number could also be at risk in the online sphere, with cybercriminals able to exploit data breaches and then either use your details themselves or sell them on the dark web.
What happens if you get a stolen identity?
Once your personal details have been discovered, thieves can either sell your identity to others or take advantage of services in your name. They can access medical care, file fraudulent tax returns, steal benefits, commit crimes, and open accounts in your name, all with your social security number.
How to keep your social security number safe?
Any record of your social security number online should be password protected. Take cyber safety steps such as having a good antivirus and malware software installed on your computer to ensure you do not fall victim to hackers.
What to do if you notice suspicious activity?
If you notice suspicious activity, report it immediately to the relevant government agencies. The Social Security Administration and Federal Trade Commission are good places to start. You should also file a police report. Another thing you can do is freeze your credit with major credit bureaus. This stops your credit cards from being accessible to lenders and prevents new accounts from being opened in your name.
What to do if playback doesn’t begin?
If playback doesn’t begin shortly, try restarting your device.
What happens if you have false information on your health records?
False information on your health records could lead to disastrous consequences. For example, if you needed a blood transfusion and the wrong blood type was given, it could be life-threatening. It can also impact your ability to access your medical insurance when you need it .
Can a thief use my social security number to get a tax refund?
A thief may be able to use your social security number to obtain a fraudulent tax refund in your name. Not only can this prevent any rightful tax rebates from going to you, but it can also taint your tax record.