This is a Guest Post by Ryan Moalemi
In United States, Americans are using the Social Security Number as the main proof of identity in all major transactions or interactions. This is the reason why many of them became victims of identity theft. Once an unscrupulous person steals the SSN, your information will be used in making transactions such as applying for credit using your name. Once the credit is approved, they will not pay the bills. This shows that the Social Security Number and identity theft are intertwined with each other. With this, it’s a big deal knowing the right actions to do in case your SSN was lost and became a victim of identity theft.
Importance of Social Security number
The Social Security Number is an important record that is confidential. In fact, it is protected by the Social Security Administration to ensure the confidentiality of individual number. Thus, it’s the responsibility of the owner not to share the number to anyone unless it is authorized by the law. Likewise, it is also your right to decline to such request.
Ways your social security number may get steal
Identity thieves nowadays are very smart because even confidential records can be stolen. There are several ways these dishonest people obtain your personal information without your permission through the following instances:
- Stealing wallets that contain important records including the SSN and other documents.
- Stealing of information from an unsecured website, from personnel records at work or business establishments and even at your residence.
- Identity thieves can also obtain information from your trash.
- Getting information from landlords and employers.
- Paying someone who has access to pertinent information.
To avoid those circumstances, the best thing to do is to securely keep your SSN and never share it to anyone. Likewise, other documents in which your SSN is stated should be kept in a safe place. As much as possible, you should avoid carrying important documents unless it is needed.
What action to take if your SSN is being used by someone?
Determining whether other person is using your Social Security Number is not that easy. The most evident to know that you become a victim of identity theft is when you receive a bill of statement from a lender or from a bank or store. In this case, you should report immediately to the Social Security Administration to trace the person using your number. If you’re suspecting that somebody is using your SSN, it’s about time to monitor everything including your credit card and bank balances. Signing up for account alerts from the bank can also help to protect your account against fraud. You will receive alerts if ever someone is trying to access your account by using your SSN.
What you should do if you are into credit issues due to an ID Thief?
If ever a dishonest person has been using your SSN and other personal information in making credits, then you should expect that it will bring trouble. The best thing to do is to report the incident to www.identitytheft.gov and request for recovery plan. You may also contact the Internal Revenue Services to prevent anyone to use your SSN in filing tax return or receiving refund. The Internet Crime Complaint Center can also help and all you have to do is to file an online complaint. The complaint will be send to different regulatory agencies and law enforcement agencies.
Note: Are you from India? Cyber Crime Cells in India (Click Here)
Cases where you can apply for a new social security number
If the circumstance is repeated for several times in spite of implementing all the necessary measures, then it’s about time to request for a new Social Security Number. But, you will be required to provide evidence proving your ongoing problems due to misuse of your SSN. Having a new Social Security Number won’t guarantee that you won’t become a victim of identity theft again. Once you have a new SSN you should stop using the old number. On the contrary, the Social Security won’t release a new number under the following circumstances:
- If you’ll be using the new SSN in filing a bankruptcy.
- If a person is avoiding the law or evading any legal responsibility.
- If the card is stolen or lost, but no evidence of misuse.
If ever you’re using the SSN when making other transactions, it makes sense shredding the documents or mail containing the personal details. This way identity thieves won’t have a chance to misuse your information. They can also obtain information from mails, thus you should always check your mailbox every day.
The best way to avoid identity theft is to register for identity protection service from Lifelock. The service includes identity insurance at minimal amount. You can also avail LifeLock Promo Code and obtain discounts. In addition, it is not recommended to use the Social Security Number as a password on any electronic device. Never send your SSN through an email because someone can intercept and read it. If it is a must to share your number, it’s better to give it personally. This way you’ll know whom to call or approach in case of misuse.
That’s it, Hope you liked this article, If you have any queries then feel free to ask via comment section below.
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