Stolen Social Security Number – What To Do
Identity theft is a broad crime. A hacker can do several things if they gain access to your personally identifiable information. The social security number is connected with several aspects of an American citizen’s life. If a hacker has access to it, the consequences can be disastrous for the person whose identity was compromised.
Your social security card plays a very important role in your life. You should keep it updated by changing name on social security card whenever there is an identity change. You have to prove your identity and citizenship or immigration status for changing name on social security card.
Here are a few things that identity thieves can do with a stolen social security card or number.
- Apply for a loan or credit card
With a stolen social security number, a hacker can open a bank account in the victim’s name. The social security number is perhaps the most important information that a lender requires when processing a loan application. A thief who has access to that number and the name on the card can apply for a loan or get credit cards. When it is time to repay the loan, they won’t. This will damage your credit score because the missed payments will be linked to your number.
On the bright side, by simply analyzing your credit reports and credit scores, you can easily spot fraud and stop it. However, your credit will not recover immediately.
- Get medical treatment
Someone who has access to your social security number can receive treatment under your name. This will taint your medical records. And if you receive medical care based on an incorrect medical history, you will have to deal with deadly consequences.
- Get tax refunds
Last year, hackers stole 5.2 billion USD from the IRS in false tax refunds. Recurring data breaches have made this crime a growing concern. Perhaps the best way to avoid this situation is to file your taxes as soon as possible. Your tax return will be rejected if a thief has already filed it in your name. This way, you can figure out if your card has been compromised. You can then explore ways to resolve the fraud and take steps to ensure that you receive the refund.
- Steal Your Benefits
The identity thief can also file for unemployment benefits using your social security number. This will deplete the assistance you might need later.
- Commit Crimes
The hacker who stole your social security number may have committed several other crimes as well. If he gets caught for his involvement in another crime and gives your number to the police, you will become entrapped in his criminal history.
Thieves can use your identity for several years without getting noticed. Many of the crimes that they commit cannot be detected easily. Checking your credit reports regularly is a good way to detect unauthorized accounts. If you find anything suspicious, you should act immediately.
Many people change their name after getting married or divorced. Changing name on social security card is one of the first things you need to do after marriage or divorce. If you change your name, you need to update the card by changing name on social security card as well.
If you would like assistance with your social security card processing you can get started here.