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An incomplete Social Security number can cause many problems for you, whether you are retired or not.

What Happens If Someone Steals Your Ssn

What Happens If Someone Steals Your Ssn

A social security number is something you probably don’t use very often. Maybe you don’t know it by heart.

Someone Used My Social Security Number To File Taxes. Help!

But your social security number is important information. It’s the number you’ll need to provide when you work, apply for a loan or file your tax return. And if your Social Security number falls into the wrong hands, the consequences can be dire, unfortunately.

A criminal who gets hold of your Social Security number can do a lot of bad things with it. Someone can open a credit card in your name that you don’t know anything about, make a payment and then not pay the bill. Once this happens, your credit score can take a huge hit, and you can be smart until you apply for a new loan or credit card.

A criminal with your Social Security number can also use it to file a tax return in your name and steal your tax return. But if you’re old enough to qualify for Social Security benefits (which happens when you turn 62), someone can file and steal them. All they have to do is transfer the money to an account they control. It is very simple.

In some cases, you can be careful even if your security number ends up in the wrong hands. For example, if your bank experiences a data breach, someone can find out what your security number is and use it against you.

Here’s What To Do If Your Social Security Number Has Been Stolen

However, there are some steps you can take to avoid this situation. First, don’t bring your social security card. Be careful when interpreting this number. And don’t give it without asking.

In recent years, fraudsters have increased the number of elderly people through financial fraud. If someone calls you out of the blue claiming to be an employee of the Social Security Administration (SSA), hang up. Do not give them your security number. Similarly, do not respond to emails, text messages, or even random letters in the mail asking for this information.

A common scam used by criminals on the elderly is to call them and threaten to withhold their Social Security benefits if they don’t meet certain financial questions. You should know that the SSA will never do this.

What Happens If Someone Steals Your Ssn

That doesn’t mean Social Security can’t be improved. This can happen, for example, if you don’t try to pay the IRS when you have an outstanding balance. But in that case, you will receive an official letter in the mail informing you about this result. You will not receive a call from a random person asking you to confirm your security number.

What To Do If You Lose Your Social Security Card

If you have reason to believe your Social Security number has been stolen, contact the SSA for advice. What might it look like?

Let’s say you’re trying to apply for a Social Security check, only to find out that you have an entitlement on file. This is the kind of thing you’ll want to try going forward.

Similarly, let’s say you receive Social Security benefits every month, but suddenly those payments stop. This is also a situation that needs to be investigated immediately.

If your social security number is used for things like opening a new credit card in your name, the SSA can’t really help you. In that case, you’ll want to report the activity to IdentityTheft.gov. This site is operated by the Federal Trade Commission. You can also contact the IRS if you believe your Social Security number has been linked to any type of tax fraud.

Social Security Number, Explained

It’s unfortunate that criminals can do a lot of bad things with Social Security numbers. But the consequences of your own theft can be shocking, whether you are retired or not. That’s why it’s important to do what you can to protect the number, and know what to do if it falls into the wrong hands.

A retirement group at the end of 2023 could save you thousands down the road How much money should you contribute to a Roth IRA in 2024? Are you ready to apply for Social Security spousal benefits in 2024? Roth IRA Limits Will Increase in 2024: Can You Contribute? Will you be 70 in 2024? 3 things you should know.

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock tips, portfolio management and more from The Motley Fool’s premium service. Losing your Social Security card is not a bad thing. After all, you won’t need to show your card anywhere. It is important to know your security number.

What Happens If Someone Steals Your Ssn

But what can happen if you lose your Social Security card? If your lost card falls into the hands of fraudsters or cyber criminals, they can get hold of your Security Number and cause serious damage.

Can Someone Steal Your Identity With Your Id Or License?

Using your Social Security number, criminals can take out a loan or open a credit card account in your name. They can access your online banking or credit card account, use your money to buy electronics, expensive restaurant meals, hotel stays, and anything else they want.

Some can use your social security number to file a tax return for you and get back the taxes you owe. Third parties may sell your security number to interested parties on the dark web.

The most important thing is to help protect yourself from identity theft. Yes, you can apply for a replacement card, but your top priority should be preventing criminals from using your Social Security number to disrupt your financial life.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent the damage thieves can do even if they steal your Social Security number.

Simple Safeguards Handout

Placing a fraud alert on the three national credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) will encourage lenders or creditors to do more to verify that you are applying for a loan if it is a new credit card and not your identity.

For example, if someone applies for a new credit card in your name, the credit card company may call you at the number you provided. You may find that you have already applied for the card or that someone is fraudulently trying to open an account in your name.

Just contact one of the three credit bureaus and they will contact the others. Your fraud alert will be kept on your credit file for one year. After one year, you have the option to renew the post.

What Happens If Someone Steals Your Ssn

Best of all, setting up a fraud complaint is free. You can contact the authorities here and add a notice to your credit file:

Identity Theft: 6 Ways Someone Can Exploit Your Ssn

You want to identify the signs of identity theft as soon as possible. If you’ve lost your Social Security card, you should order your free credit report, which is maintained by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion at AnnualCreditReport.com.

You can usually get a free report from any company every year. Due to the economic uncertainty following the COVID-19 pandemic, you can file a complaint at any agency for free every week. This makes it easier to track suspicious activity on your credit report.

When you get your statements, check them for any credit card or loan accounts you know you haven’t opened. Different accounts on your credit report are signs that someone is using your identity.

It’s important to check for suspicious purchases or large withdrawals from online banking and credit card accounts, as criminals can use your Social Security number to access these accounts. If you’re particularly concerned about identity theft, consider checking these online accounts daily for suspicious activity.

What Is A Data Breach And How Do I Help Prevent One?

If you see anything unusual on your credit report, bank account, or credit card account, contact the bank, financial institution, or lender associated with those accounts.

Explain that you recently lost your Social Security card and suspect that a criminal is using your Social Security number to make purchases in your name, make fraudulent loans, or use your information to open accounts credit card.

Remember that you are not responsible for buying these scams, but you must report them. Ask your bank or credit card provider to block your card and bank account to stop any further purchases or withdrawals.

What Happens If Someone Steals Your Ssn

Another thing you’ll want to do if you’ve lost your Social Security card is to change the password for your online account. You want to make it difficult for an identity thief to access these accounts, and protecting them with strong passwords is an easy step.

How To Replace A Lost Or Stolen Social Security Card

You can get additional protection from fraudsters by freezing your credit

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John Pablo

📅 Born: May 15, 1985 📍 Location: New York City 🖋️ Writer | Financial Enthusiast Welcome to my corner of the web! I'm John Pablo—a finance enthusiast and writer passionate about making money matters simple and accessible.

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