What Happens If Someone Steals My Social Security Number

What Happens If Someone Steals My Social Security Number – Your Social Security Number, a unique identifier issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA), is meant to stay with you for life and never change. But there are cases where the SSA makes exceptions. These include times when your security is compromised or you are the victim of identity theft. Here’s why some people change their Social Security numbers and how to do it if you want to.

The SSA generally discourages people from changing their Social Security Number (SSN). But like many other rules, there can be exceptions. For example, the SSA can issue a new SSN if you can prove that using your existing number will cause you harm, such as in cases of domestic abuse or harassment. The agency also reissues Social Security numbers in certain cases when someone is a victim of identity theft.

What Happens If Someone Steals My Social Security Number

However, one thing to keep in mind is that even if you get a brand new SSN, it doesn’t mean you’ve cleared the list. The SSA usually maintains records under the original SSN, as do other government agencies, such as your state’s department of motor vehicles and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This also applies to some companies, such as credit card companies, who keep files on you.

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As mentioned above, the SSA has relatively strict requirements for changing one’s social security number. For example, it will not provide one for a person who wants to avoid the consequences of bankruptcy or avoid the law. Additionally, you cannot get a new number if you simply lost your Social Security number unless there is strong evidence that your number is being used by someone else. (You can, however, get a replacement Social Security card with your old number.)

Sometimes it is necessary for a person trying to escape from an abusive relationship or other life-threatening situation to give up their previous identity for protection. Victims of domestic violence and stalking, or those who are under threat of other physical harm, may be eligible for new numbers.

Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the United States, the SSA notes, and Social Security numbers play a major role in that. In addition to scouring the Internet for unprotected information, thieves can obtain your SSN and other personal details by going through your trash, stealing your wallet, or contacting you by phone or email while posing as employer, bank teller or social security representative. Identity thieves often sell your information on the dark web or underground market.

Once your identity is stolen, it may not be possible to truly recover it. If someone manages to steal your SSN, they can use it to obtain other information about you, such as your name, birthday, and credit information. Armed with this knowledge, a criminal can open any number of new credit card accounts under your name, use them until their credit limits are met, and never repay the debts. They may also file a false income tax return on your behalf to receive a fraudulent refund. If you can prove that your identity was stolen and it continues to be a problem, you may be eligible for a new number.

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Oftentimes, a person doesn’t know their identity has been stolen until they start getting calls from lenders or are turned down for a loan because of a bad credit score. This is a good reason to check your credit reports regularly and look for any accounts you don’t recognize.

There are several other reasons why the SSA will issue a new number. For example, it may approve a change if similar numbers in a family unit cause confusion or if two identical numbers have been issued in error. If you have a religious objection to a particular number or sequence of numbers in your current SSN, you may also qualify for a change.

To change your SSN for any reason, you must apply in person at a local Social Security office. You can find their address and phone number using the Social Security Office Locator.

Please note that SSA has closed all of its offices for face-to-face business as of March 17, 2020. You can still contact SSA online and by phone.

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After you provide a statement explaining why you need a new number, you must provide credible, third-party documentation of your reason, including medical, legal, or law enforcement documents about identity theft, abuse, or harassment.

You’ll need to fill out a new Form SS-5, the same one you (or your parents) filled out to apply for a Social Security number and card in the first place. It asks a number of questions, including whether you or someone acting on your behalf have ever registered for or received a Social Security number and card, and if so, under what name.

In addition, you must provide documentation of your US citizenship or legal residency, age, ID, and current SSN. If you have legally changed your name in the past, you will also need to provide supporting documents to this effect.

The Social Security Administration allows you to change your number, but only in limited circumstances, such as identity theft or if your safety is at risk. You will also need to provide the appropriate documentation to support your application for a new number.

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The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships that receive compensation. This offset can affect how and where records appear. does not include all offers available on the market. Your Social Security number is valuable to identity thieves because it is tied to your identity. Learn what to do if your Social Security card is stolen or lost and how to keep your personal information safe. [Duration – 1:48]

Your social security number is valuable information to identity thieves. It is a key element of your identity and is also linked to your tax and credit information. And except in limited circumstances, it cannot be changed. That’s why it’s so worrying to lose your card or have it stolen.

1. Consider placing a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit reports or blocking them. With an initial fraud alert, potential lenders and creditors are encouraged to take additional steps to verify your identity, such as contacting you by phone, before extending new credit. A fraud alert lasts for one year and can be renewed. Fraud alerts are free. Contact one of the three nationwide credit bureaus — , Experian or TransUnion — to request a fraud alert, and that bureau will notify the other two.

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Security locks help prevent access to your credit reports to open new credit accounts, with some exceptions. Security freezes are federally regulated, and the freeze must be temporarily or permanently removed each time you apply for new credit. Placing, lifting and removing security blocks is free, but security blocks must be placed separately with each of the three national credit bureaus. At , you can create my account to freeze security. Visit our security freeze page to learn about other ways you can place a security freeze on your credit report.

Credit report freeze options may also be available from the three nationwide credit bureaus. Learn more about fraud alerts, security freezes and credit reports.

2. Request a replacement card from the Social Security Administration. The Social Insurance Administration allows free replacement of cards; you’re limited to three per year or 10 in a lifetime (name changes and other exceptions don’t count). You can create my Social Security to apply for a replacement card if:

Please note: You cannot create my Social Security account online if you have a fraud alert or security lock on your credit reports.

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If you’re not in a participating state and can’t apply online for a replacement card, you’ll need to apply at a local Social Security office. You will need to provide proof of your identity and age. Find out here what documents are required. Print an application and fill it out, then take the application and documents to the Social Security office. Your new card will be sent directly to you.

3. Check your credit reports. Maintain your credit reports in the future to ensure that no new unauthorized accounts are opened in your name or that existing accounts are not changed without your authorization. You may also want to be aware of any address changes that you do not you have made or to the inquiries of creditors and creditors to whom you have not applied for credit. You can get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three credit bureaus nationwide by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. You can also create a My Account to receive six free credit reports each year. In the

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