How To Protect Social Security Number From Identity Theft – With the number of identity theft and fraud cases on the rise, it’s becoming increasingly important to be aware of where and how you share your personal information. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that 17.6 million US residents experienced some form of identity theft in 2014 ( source ). The most important piece of information to protect is the key to your identity – your Social Security Number (SSN)!
It’s important to know who really needs to know your social security number and who doesn’t. Financial institutions, employers, and the IRS often ask to use your Social Security number to open a new account, run a background check, or file your taxes. If you are asked to provide your SSN, ask if another ID such as a driver’s license will work. For example, your SSN is not required to run a credit report. (source)
How To Protect Social Security Number From Identity Theft
Identity Theft Protection
Purses and wallets are lost or stolen; protect yourself from losing it by not keeping your social security number. Check your ID, health insurance, and Medicare cards to see if your SSN or other personal information is listed on the card. If so, put the card in a safe place. If you need to take the card with you, make a note of your personal details and make a copy to take with you.
You can also use the website www.annualcreditreport.com to access three free reports once a year. Once you arrive, review each item to ensure you are not a victim of identity theft. In other words, if you don’t plan to apply for credit in the near future, consider placing a security freeze on your records.
Access to your SSN and account numbers, addresses and birthdays can open the door to identity theft. Most financial institutions, including the Social Security Administration, prefer not to include your entire Social Security number in large information or documents. Instead, you will find the last 4 digits of your SSN listed. When replacing old statements or documents with new ones that contain your SSN, be sure to take the old one. This includes tax refunds after 3 to 7 years depending on the details of the refund.
As more people and organizations switch from paper to electronic, be careful how you share your information. Do not submit your Social Security number electronically, store your SSN in an unsecured computer system, or use your SSN to log in ( source ). When sharing personal information, be sure to use data encryption. Use strong passwords and update them regularly; also use software to protect against viruses and spyware.
Steps To Take If Your Social Security Number Has Been Stolen
Until organizations stop using your Social Security number as a primary identifier, individuals will be vulnerable to various forms of identity theft. Although some financial institutions may contact you about suspicious activity, use the steps above to find out who has your SSN to try and prevent unauthorized use of your personal information.
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Ways To Help Protect Your Social Security Number
• Sponsors (whether under a single name or a joint venture) are represented here for educational purposes only and are not an investment made by SH&J, nor are they intended to represent performance earned by SH&J. Know ways to avoid identity theft. it’s everything in today’s digital world. Why? Because no one wants to wake up to phone calls about unauthorized credit card charges or Instagram alerts for fake accounts created in your name. However, in 2020 there will be over 1.4 million identity thefts reported in the US. only, this has come as a surprise to many, and this is one of the most recent identity theft statistics to come out in the last two years.
We’ve compiled a list of over 30 hard facts and bad truths about identity theft to help you understand how serious identity theft is and link to identity theft protection tips to help you so you don’t become a target online and offline.
Identity theft occurs when a criminal steals your personal information and pretends to take your money, sensitive data or other assets.
What identity theft is will determine what type of theft you should do. Knowing the different types of identity theft techniques can help you learn what identity theft warning signs to look out for and who is most vulnerable.
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Get ahead of today’s identity thieves by learning about five of the most common types of identity theft that can compromise your sensitive data and reclaim your identity.
Many people know that financial identity theft is the most common form of identity theft – 47 percent of Americans surveyed say they will be a target by 2020. This happens when an identity thief tries to steal passwords, numbers phone, email, address, social security numbers and other types of personal data in e for their money.
How it happens: An identity thief takes your personal information, makes purchases, opens accounts and steals your money.
Criminal identity theft occurs when someone held by the law gives you your name and other identifying information instead of theirs. They can do this by getting hold of a stolen driver’s license or creating a fake ID.
What To Do If You Lose Your Social Security Card
How it happens: A criminal gives away your personal information when he’s arrested instead.
Surprising as it may seem, medical identity theft is a real threat today – with health data breaches affecting nearly 45 million people last year. You see this when someone tries to give out another person’s medical insurance information to get care they may not be able to afford themselves.
How it happens: Identity theft involves using someone else’s medical insurance to obtain prescriptions, access health services and obtain medical supplies.
It is hard to believe that anyone would pursue a teenager in his crime. However, child identity theft has become a serious issue, with more than 1.2 million victims in 2021. Criminals try to provide a minor’s name, address and/or social security number to open a new line of credit, creating a fake driver’s license or buying a house. People who have passed out often only find out when they try to apply for a student loan or open their first credit card.
Protect Your Social Security Number
How it happens: The culprit is the child’s personal information to open new accounts/lines of credit, create fake IDs, or make large purchases.
Called the fastest growing form of identity fraud, synthetic identity theft involves the creation of false identities and personal information. Identity thieves can combine stolen addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers to create fake identities. They can reveal those identities to commit crimes related to identity fraud, such as credit card and insurance fraud.
These identity theft protection tips send a message to cybercriminals that they want to find another line of work.
Always protect your social security number – against thieves, like finding a pot of gold. If someone asks for your SSN, always ask why and never give it out if you can’t protect it. Other good practices include keeping it in a safe place and shredding all the paper it contains before throwing it away.
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Monitoring your credit score and reviewing your reports regularly will help you catch any problems early. In addition, some firms will offer weekly credit reports through April 20, 2022—all to help you stay alert and try to prevent the fear of identity theft.
Freezing your credit prevents access to your credit history. This helps prevent identity thieves from opening new lines of credit or taking out loans in your name. It’s one of the best ways to prevent theft since it’s free to work with the three major credit bureaus.
You should shred important documents and remember to delete unnecessary files containing financial documents from your desktop and trash folder. Identity thieves often fish in dumpsters and get their revenge
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