What Happens If Someone Knows Your Ssn – Your social security number is one of your most important personal details, so losing your social security card can have consequences.
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- 1 What Happens If Someone Knows Your Ssn
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- 3 How Do I Know If Someone Is Using My Social Security Number? — Tally
What Happens If Someone Knows Your Ssn
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Identity theft can have serious consequences, including damage to your credit score and loss of money. Unfortunately, if you lose your Social Security card and the wrong people get it, it puts you at serious risk for identity theft. Here’s why losing your card is a big deal and what to do if it happens to you, including recommendations for the best protection against identity theft.
Almost all legal residents of the United States are assigned a Social Security number. This is a unique identification number that many government agencies and private businesses rely on.
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National ID numbers are included in the National Insurance certificate that comes from the National Insurance Institute. Parents can apply for an ID number for a newborn child and they will be sent a card for that child. Adults can apply with appropriate proof of citizenship and identity.
These are just some of the many uses of ID numbers. As a result, if someone obtains your Social Security card and uses it to obtain your number, you are at serious risk of identity theft.
This person can use your card to steal your benefits, apply for credit in your name, file tax returns and receive refunds in your name, or even apply for a passport.
If you (or your parents) have lost your card and do not know your National Insurance number, you may have difficulty applying for a loan or performing the other tasks mentioned above. Fraudsters can get your Social Security number from your card and use it to steal your identity. And you don’t need to show the card to potential employers or others who need to see the card to verify your identity.
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If your Social Security card is lost, you should take smart steps to protect your identity and make sure you replace it when you need it. Here’s what you need to do.
You cannot freeze your National Insurance number, and if you suspect that someone is abusing your number, the National Insurance Institute cannot help. Even if you decide to apply for a new number, it usually doesn’t solve your identity theft problems because credit reporting agencies and government agencies still keep the old number.
What you can do, however, is freeze your credit. A credit freeze means contacting the three major credit reporting agencies—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—and telling the credit bureaus not to grant access to your credit report.
When identity thieves have your Social Security number and want to do something with it, like apply for a loan in your name, they give your number to potential lenders, who then try to check your credit history. If your credit is frozen, these lenders won’t be able to access your report and likely won’t allow a fraudster to open a line of credit on your behalf.
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If you suspect your Social Security card has been taken or your wallet or purse containing your Social Security card has been stolen, contact your local police department and file a report.
The police can investigate the theft and possibly take action against fraudsters who steal your information. You may need a police report later to prove your identity was stolen.
If your Social Security number has been compromised, you can also send a fraud alert to the credit reporting agencies. This notifies lenders that they need to take extra steps to verify your identity because there is a high risk of a fraudster using your information.
If you post a fraud alert, it will last for one year and you can renew after that. After the warning is sent, you are also eligible to receive a free copy of your credit report from all three major reporting agencies.
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If you did fall victim to identity theft, you can still submit an extended fraud alert, which will be placed on your credit report. You will only be eligible if you have filed a report with the FTC at identitytheft.gov and/or if you have filed a police report.
Monitoring your credit report will quickly alert you if someone is misusing your social security number to open new credit accounts in your name. You can usually get one free copy per year at www.annualcreditreport.com from all major credit reporting agencies. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, credit reporting agencies will offer online credit reports on a weekly basis until the end of 2023.
After you receive a copy of the report, review it for anything suspicious. This may include inquiries (requests for credit information) from companies you have never contacted, and records of credit accounts not opened by you; unexplained charges on cards; or judgments or other legal proceedings against you of which you were not aware.
If yours is lost or stolen, you can request a replacement card. You can fill out the application online or in person and your card will be mailed to you. The Social Security website to apply for a replacement card is ssa.gov/ssnumber.
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You will need proof of your citizenship, such as a passport, and a birth certificate or other proof of birth, such as a hospital record. Proof of identity, such as a driver’s license or passport, is also required.
Parents can request a new social security certificate even for a child who has not yet received a social security card. They can apply after the baby is born in the hospital or at the National Insurance. The parents must provide proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, and other proof of eligibility, such as medical documents; school or daycare records; or adoption decrees.
Identity theft protection services can help fight identity theft by monitoring your credit and alerting you to anything suspicious. Many identity protection services also help you deal with identity theft if the worst happens. Below is a list of services that offer protection against identity theft:
You can open a Social Security account to ensure that no one can open an account in your name and get your information. Your Social Security account also allows you to track your earnings records, so you can make sure no one is using your Social Security card for work.
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Storing your card in a home safe, bank vault or other safe place can also reduce the risk of loss or theft. Do not carry your Social Security card in your purse or wallet, unless you have a special need to keep the card with you, such as providing the information to an employer after you have been hired.
Do not provide access to your Social Security card or number unless absolutely necessary, and never provide this information unless you are sure you can trust the person or company to whom you are disclosing this information. Always ask why you need to provide your information and what happens if you refuse to do so.
You can ask the Social Security Administration to block electronic access to your Social Security records if you know your information has been compromised. To do this, you must call 1-800-772-1213. Once you’ve blocked access, no one can change your personal information online or over the phone—including you.
It is not possible to freeze a T.Z. number. You can block access to your Social Security records, which will prevent you or others from changing your personal information online or over the phone. To do so, contact us at 800-772-1213.
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