Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the country, and nearly a third of all adults in the United States have experienced some form of identity fraud. Protecting your Social Security number is one of the best ways to protect your identity. When a thief logs into your SSN, they can open new bank accounts, drain existing finances, file fraudulent tax returns, and take many other nefarious actions. So how do you know if someone is using your Social Security number before it’s too late? There are a few steps you can take to stay vigilant and make sure no one is using your Social Security number.
How do you check if someone has used your Social Security number?
In today’s electronic world, it has become even easier for thieves to access your sensitive personal information. With thousands of data breaches every year, it’s becoming more and more likely that you’ll be a victim of identity theft. All it takes is for a scammer to gain access to your Social Security number and then go to the races! These identity thieves show no mercy and can quickly ruin your finances.
There are steps you must take to ensure that no one has gained unauthorized access to your SSN. Staying current can make it much easier to resolve any issues that may arise if you are a victim of Social Security identity theft. Here are some of the things you need to do to see if someone is using your Social Security number.
You have to keep an eye on your credit report. You can get a free copy at annualcreditreport.com and should check back regularly. This is one of the first ways you’ll notice that someone has gained access to your SSN and is using it to open new accounts. Then, sign up for a My Social Security account on SSA.gov to view your most recent Social Security statement. You can check your income and employment history to make sure nothing suspicious comes up. It’s also a good idea to get a copy of your latest tax transcript from the IRS . This will let you know if someone other than you has filed a tax return using your SSN.
Also, you should monitor your credit score to make sure it doesn’t suddenly change for no apparent reason. Finally, check your regular mail and email for suspicious signs. If you stop receiving items you normally receive like bank statements or account documents, or start receiving items you’ve never signed up for, you should investigate further.
5 Signs Your Social Security Number Has Been Stolen
If you know what to look for, there are some telltale signs that could tell you that your NHS has been compromised. Help protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft by observing these five things.
1. “Reset Password” email in your inbox
If you start receiving mysterious password reset emails, this could indicate a problem. This could be a sign that someone is trying to change your account password without your knowledge. Never click on the links in these emails. This could be a phishing scam designed to capture your SSN or other sensitive information. If the email is from an account or company that you recognize, you should go directly to their website and change your password immediately. If someone has gained access to your account, changing your password should keep them out of the way.
2. Significant changes in your credit score
Your credit score is how credit reporting agencies like Transunion, Equifax, and Experian track your credit history and creditworthiness. Your score is based on a number of factors, including how long you’ve had credit, how much debt you have, and how many new accounts you’ve recently opened. If your score changes significantly, it could be a sign that someone is using your SSN to open new credit accounts. If you notice this sudden change, you should immediately get a copy of your credit report and review it for accounts that don’t belong to you.
3. Inaccurate bank records
When a thief gains access to your Social Security number, they can also access your bank accounts. If you notice discrepancies starting to appear in your financial information, someone may have your SSN. Once they gain access to your accounts, they can move money to other accounts, transfer money from your account, sign up for new debit cards, and take other actions that could be detrimental to your finances. As soon as you notice these inaccuracies, you should immediately contact your bank’s fraud department.
4. Letters in the mail from the IRS or bank
For no reason, the Tax Agency will never contact you by phone. They will always communicate by mail, so if you receive a letter from them, it should be a red flag. Unless you’re having tax problems, IRS reports might report problems. Someone may be using your SSN to illegally get tax refunds or engage in other fraudulent activities. Letters from your bank could be a sign of similar problems.
5. Fraudulent tax returns
This activity is becoming more common in recent years. Someone gains access to your SSN and then files fraudulent tax returns on your behalf to access fraudulent tax refunds. The taxpayer often doesn’t know this has happened until they try to file the legal tax return. In some cases, it can take up to a year or more before they realize something has happened. If fraudulent claims have been made using your SSN, you can be sure someone is using your SSN illegally. Therefore, you must take all appropriate measures to protect yourself from further fraud.
What should you do if someone has used your social security number?
So what if you notice someone has used your SSN? What should you do next to report fraud and protect yourself from ongoing identity theft? There are several steps you need to take, and making sure you cover all of your bases is critical to protecting yourself in the future. This is what you should do.
1. Report Identity Theft Immediately
You should immediately report the theft to all relevant agencies. Start with your local police department. While the local police may not be able to figure out who is responsible, having that police report or theft affidavit goes a long way when it comes to fixing things on the back end. In addition, you must report the theft to the IRS, the Social Security Administration, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
2. Block your accounts
Freezing your accounts can help protect you from further fraud. Notify your bank and major credit bureaus that your SSN has been compromised. Call your credit card company to block your card and any additional credit. Locking your credit prevents anyone from opening new accounts in your name. Similarly, you can choose to place a fraud alert on your SSN with the credit bureaus. This fraud alert informs them that your SSN has been compromised and they will try to contact you before allowing someone to open credit in your name.
3. Request a replacement social security card
If your social security card was stolen or you simply lost your SS card, you will need to get a replacement card. In many states, you can replace a lost or stolen card online by using your My Social Security account and uploading a copy of your driver’s license. If you are in a state that cannot use the online service, you can apply for the card at your local Social Security office or by mail using a paper application. In most cases, you will keep the same SSN. However, if the fraud has become serious enough, the SSA will give you a new Social Security number when warranted.
Your Social Security number is one of the most important methods of identification out there and essentially contains your entire financial history and future. If someone logs into your SSN, they can use it to commit fraud and other crimes. Fortunately, there are things you can do to determine if someone has been using your SSN illegally. Watch for the signs listed in this article and make regular observations of your free credit report. Signing up for a credit monitoring or identity protection service is also a great idea because the service will notify you immediately if someone uses your number to obtain credit. Stay alert and you can protect yourself!
How do I put a notice on the social security number?
If you want to place a fraud warning on your Social Security number, you simply need to contact one of the three credit reporting agencies. Tell them you want to place a fraud alert on your SSN and they will notify the other two agencies. Make sure the credit bureau has your most recent contact information on file, as they will need to contact you if someone tries to use your SSN. This service is free and the notice lasts for one year. You should be aware that your Social Security number cannot be suspended. If you receive a call saying this, you should hang up immediately as it is a scam.
How do you check if someone has stolen your identity?
Maybe you are wondering how to check if someone is using my identity? The best way to verify identity theft is to check your credit report. If someone used your SSN to open accounts or get credit in your name, those records will show up on your credit report. If you notice something on your report that you didn’t, someone probably has your SSN and is using it to commit fraud. You can also check your Social Security return to make sure it’s accurate and request a tax transcript from the IRS to make sure no one has filed false tax returns using your SSN.
Can anyone log into my bank account with my social security number?
It is very likely that someone can access your accounts with your SSN. They could call your bank and pretend to be you to access your accounts. The bank generally verifies your identity by asking for your SSN or the last four digits of your SSN. If the thief has this information, the bank may be able to provide you with the account information. Once the thief gains access to your account, they can move or withdraw money and deplete your finances very quickly.
Where can I report fake Social Security calls?
You must report false calls from Social Security to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). You can use the scam report form on their website to report these calls. Providing as much detail as possible will help SSA investigate these calls and try to find the parties responsible for the calls. You can also notify the FTC of these calls, although you are encouraged to file a report with the OIG. You can also report Social Security fraud to the OIG’s Social Security Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271.
What can someone do with your social security number?
There are many things someone can do with their NHS and none of them are good. They can log into your bank or financial accounts, as well as open new accounts in your name. Getting a loan, getting credit cards, or applying for other types of credit are just a few examples. In addition, they can file fraudulent tax returns with the IRS and even claim your My Social Security account to manipulate your Social Security statements and employment history.
What is a phishing scam?
A phishing scam takes place over the phone or by email. The scammer tries to “fish” for your personal information. They do this by tricking you into believing that the communication is from a trusted source. For example, they may send an email that appears to be from your bank asking you to verify your SSN or account number. If you submit this information, the scammer will have access to it and may use it for improper purposes. If you receive suspicious calls or emails, you should not respond. Instead, contact your financial institution directly to determine if this is a valid communication.
What are the consequences of someone using my social security number?
So what can someone do with your SSN? The consequences of someone using your NHS can be dire. At a minimum, your credit score could be affected if someone opens unauthorized credit in your name. At the other end of the spectrum, your bank accounts can be emptied, including retirement accounts and other savings. This is why it is vital that you are vigilant about protecting your SSN and be on the lookout for any signs that could indicate illegal use.