What To Do If Someone Gets Your Social Security Number

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There is a scam going around right now, where people pretend to belong to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and try to get your Social Security number or your money.

What To Do If Someone Gets Your Social Security Number

That scandal is now growing rapidly. For comparison: In 2017, the Federal Trade Commission heard from 3,200 people about SSA fraud scams, and those people reported losing about $210,000. In 2018, more than 35,000 people reported the scam and claimed to have lost $10 million.

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Scammers will call and say your Social Security Number (SSN) has been suspended because of suspicious activity or because you’ve been involved in a crime. Sometimes, the scammer wants you to confirm reactivating your SSN Sometimes, it will tell you that your bank account is about to be seized, but it will tell you what to do to stay safe. (Often, this involves putting your money on gift cards and giving them codes — which of course means your money is gone.)

Oh, and when these scammers call your caller ID often shows the original SSA phone number (1-800-772-1213), but they’re spoofing that number. This is not the true call of SSA.

Notify the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint and call the Mahwah Police Department at 201-529-1000 with any other questions. You can also report all scam calls @ A Social Security Number (SSN) is a nine-digit number issued by the US government to all eligible US citizens and US residents who apply for it. The government uses this number to track your lifetime earnings and how many years you’ve worked.

When it’s time to retire, or if you need Social Security disability income, the government uses your Social Security contribution information to determine your eligibility and calculate benefit payments. Most people will use the same Social Security number for the rest of their lives, although some people may need to apply for a replacement number at some point due to identity theft.

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Read below to learn more about when and why you need a Social Security number and when you should avoid it.

Whenever you are hired for a new job, your employer will ask for your Social Security number. Your employer’s accounting department will use this number to report your income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and to report your Social Security wages to the Social Security Administration.

Your employer will use this on your state tax return if you don’t have a state income tax. Employers who participate in E-Verify, a program to ensure workers can legally work in the United States, must obtain your Social Security number before they begin work.

Since the 1970s, the federal government has required banks to obtain a customer’s Social Security number or an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). Financial institutions use your SSN to check your credit, report your interest and investment income or losses to the IRS, report your tax-deductible mortgage interest to the IRS, and manage your accounts.

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Alternatively, some financial institutions will accept a tax identification number (in some forms, also called an employer identification number or EIN), which you must apply for through the IRS.

When you apply for a federal loan, such as a federal student loan, the government uses your Social Security number to make sure you qualify. For example, to qualify for a federal student loan, you must not have defaulted on another federal loan, you must have eligible citizenship or visitor status, and most male applicants must be registered for Selective Service.

Government assistance programs, such as unemployment benefits or Social Security Disability Income, are usually administered by federal or state government agencies that use Social Security numbers to identify people and make sure they don’t claim benefits they don’t have.

The Social Security Administration works with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to enroll people in Medicare.

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Federal law requires you to provide a Social Security number when applying for a US passport. If you do not have an SSN, you must provide an affidavit that you have never been issued one.

The IRS uses this number to match the income you report on your tax return with the income your employers and financial institutions claim they pay you. Additionally, you must provide your child’s SSN to declare your child as a dependent on your tax return.

If you have an SSN, many states require you to provide it when you apply for a driver’s license.

Noncitizens who do not have a Social Security number are exempt from providing a Social Security number in many situations that would normally require it, including obtaining a driver’s license, enrolling in school, applying for public assistance such as private health insurance or subsidized housing. The government does not like to issue Social Security numbers to non-citizens who are not authorized to work in the United States. He says even banks and credit companies typically won’t issue you a Social Security number if you don’t have one.

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However, without this number, financial institutions won’t be able to run a credit check on you, which makes getting a credit card or loan difficult, if not impossible.

Federal law basically allows anyone to ask for your Social Security number, but that doesn’t mean you have to give it. You should use your Social Security number as infrequently as possible. Just because someone asks for it doesn’t mean they really need it

For example, although most medical providers require your SSN, you can leave the line asking for it blank when filling out medical documents, and often no one will question it. Your doctor’s office and other companies may use other information to identify you and keep track of your information. That said, while you may refuse to provide your SSN, other parties may also refuse to do business with you.

Also, you shouldn’t carry your Social Security card with you unless you’re using it for a specific purpose that day, such as when you’re filling out paperwork to start a new job, and you need to show it to your employer as proof of citizenship. (Although if you can show a valid passport, you don’t have to provide your Social Security card).

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You don’t want to risk losing or having your card stolen because thieves can use this number, along with your other personal information, to apply for credit, get a loan, find a job, or even get health care in your name, creating potentially huge scams. The problem of identity theft.

Instead, keep the card at home or in a bank safe. If your card is lost or stolen, we recommend that you request a new card.

Likewise, all documents containing your SSN, such as your tax return, should be kept in a safe place. If someone breaks into your home, it’s best for you if they can only steal your belongings and not your identity. Electronic documents containing Social Security numbers also need to be carefully protected If you have an encrypted PDF of your tax return on your laptop, you’re effectively carrying your Social Security card whenever you take your computer with you on a trip or to a coffee shop.

When the government introduced the Social Security program with its numbers in 1936, it was never meant to be used so widely to identify and track people. Today, this number is used for everything from its original purpose—to track your lifetime earnings and calculate your Social Security benefits, to open a checking account or to fill out a new patient form at a hospital doctor’s office.

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Many businesses will ask for your social security number because it’s a convenient way to identify customers. Unfortunately, criminals can use your Social Security number to commit identity theft, so you should protect your SSN carefully and only distribute it when absolutely necessary.

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