Social Security Identity Theft
Social Security Identity Theft is definitely one of the fastest growing crimes in America. A dishonest individual who has your Social Security number can make use of it to get other personal information about you.
Identity thieves can use your number and your good credit to apply for more credit in your name. Then, they use the credit cards and don't pay the bills. You may not know that someone is using your number until you are turned down for credit or you begin to get calls from unknown creditors demanding payment for items you never bought.
Someone using your Social Security number illegally and assuming your identity can cause untold problems.
Social Security Identity Theft Fraud Topics for review
• Is my number confidential and secure?
• How might my card be stolen?
• What precautions should I take with my card?
• What do I do if I think someone maybe using it?
• I have credit problems I think an identity thieve did something?
• When do you need to get a new social security card?
• Contacting social security?
Is my number confidential and secure?
All social security records are kept confidential and secure. The Social security Administration will not give out a person’s social security number to anyone, except authorized law enforcement personnel.
It is very important that you’re also careful about sharing your number even when you maybe asked for this information. Social Security number should be treated on a “need to know” basis because if its value. This will help avoid social security identity theft.
When in doubt you may need to ask the company requesting the purpose of their request and if your social security number will be maintained in a secure location.
How might my card be stolen?
You may be surprised to know how social security identity theft is done and how identity thieves can steal your social security card.
• Stealing wallets, purse and your personal mail.
• Personal Information that is compromised on an unsecure website, additionally from records at work or at home that contain personal information.
• Going through your trash (dumpster diving).
• Posing as an imposter using the phone, or email for the purpose of having you reveal personal information.
• Your personal information is sold and or compromised by an inside person at a company or store.
What precautions should I take with my card?
Keep your Social Security Card in a safe place. Do not carry it with you in your wallet or purse.
The only times when you will need to routinely present your social security card is when being hired or in opening an account at a financial institution.
Today most employers are required to E-verify your documents and require a social security card and or passport as part of the hiring process.
What do I do if I think someone maybe using it?
Each year you should be receiving an annual statement of earnings. If you have not you can call the Social Security Administration and request a copy.
If you suspect that someone maybe using your number for work, you should contact and report the problem to your local Social Security office. They are equipped to review your earnings and help you with this issue.
I have credit problems I think I maybe a victim of social security identity theft?
If you think you have been a victim of social security identity theft and that your Social Security number has been compromised along with your personal information and may have been used to create credit problems there are a number of things you should do.
a. Social Security Administration cannot help with these kind of problems.
b. Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov or call them at 877-438-4338.
c. Contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov. This agency mission is to receive, develop and refer criminal complaints regarding cyber crimes to all agencies. This agency is a partnership between the FBI, Bureau of Justice and the National White Collar Crime Center and acts as a central referral agency.
d. You request a free credit report to monitor your credit activity, These reports are available at www.annualcreditreport.com.
When do you need to get a new social security card?
In the case of Social Security Identity Theft, the Social Security Administration does not like to give out new cards except under extreme circumstances. It will be up to the victim to provide a compelling case.
You cannot get a new Social Security number for any of the following reasons:
1. Avoiding the consequences of file for bankruptcy.
2. Avoiding your legal responsibility or
3. If your Social Security Card has been lost or stolen, and there is no evidence that your card is being used by someone else.
Applying for a new number will involve providing proof of age, US citizenship and lawful immigration status and identity.
In most cases a new social security number will not resolve all of your problems and may in fact create an entirely new set of issues. You would need to contact Internal Revenue Service, banks, credit card companies as well as reporting agencies about using a new social security number.
It’s best to try to keep your current number and work through the issues first.
Contacting Social Security?
If you continue to be concerned about social security identity theft you can contact Social Security Administration.
Social Security has a valuable website at www.ssa.gov and has all the information you need to know about the various social security programs.
In addition the SSA can be reached at 800-772-1213 from 7am to 7 pm Monday thru Friday. All calls are considered confidential and maybe monitored.
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