Quick Answer: How Can I Protect My Social Security Number From Identity Theft?

What happens when you lock your Social Security number?

For starters, locking it prevents anyone, including you, from using your SSN for any purpose.

If your number isn’t active, identity thieves can’t use it either.

So if you’re considering locking your SSN for identity protection, it’s important to understand that this will limit how you can use your own data..

What can someone do with the last 4 digits of your SSN?

The last four digits of your Social Security number are especially important. Be sure to protect them well. By obtaining your Social Security number, identity thieves have the easiest path to the greatest damage: stealing your money and government benefits. Getting medical care and other services in your name.

Can I change my SSN?

The Social Security Administration generally does not encourage or allow you to change your Social Security number, except under certain circumstances. You can change your SSN if you can prove that using your existing number will cause you harm, such as in cases of abuse or harassment.

Can someone access my bank account with my Social Security number?

Your Social Security number is the most important piece of personal information a bank needs when extending you credit or opening an account. With that number, a thief can get credit cards or loans, and when it comes time to repay them, they won’t, damaging your credit in the process.

Should I give my SSN over the phone?

You should never provide your SSN to someone you don’t know who calls you on the phone and requests it. This same warning applies to unsolicited emails and any forms you fill out on the internet. In general, don’t give your SSN to anyone unless you are absolutely certain they have a reason and a right to have it.

What do you do when someone steals your identity?

If someone steals your identity, you have the right to:create an FTC Identity Theft Report.place a one-year fraud alert on your credit report.place a seven-year extended fraud alert on your credit report.get free copies of your credit report.get fraudulent information removed (or “blocked”) from your credit report.More items…

Can your identity be stolen from your Social Security number?

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. A dishonest person who has your Social Security number can use it to get other personal information about you. Identity thieves can use your number and your good credit to apply for more credit in your name.

How do I know if my Social Security number has been compromised?

To see if your Social Security number is being used by someone else for employment purposes, review your Social Security Statement at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount to look for suspicious activity. Finally, you’ll want to use additional scrutiny by regularly checking your bank and credit card accounts online.

How do you know if your personal information has been compromised?

Clues That Someone Has Stolen Your InformationYou see withdrawals from your bank account that you can’t explain.You don’t get your bills or other mail.Merchants refuse your checks.Debt collectors call you about debts that aren’t yours.You find unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report.More items…

Can I put a block on my Social Security number?

You can block any automated telephone and electronic access to your Social Security record. No one, including you, will be able to see or change your personal information on the internet or through our automated telephone service.

What do I do if I think someone is using my Social Security number?

If you believe someone is using your Social Security number to work, get your tax refund, or other abuses involving taxes, contact the IRS online or call 1-800-908-4490. You can order free credit reports annually from the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion).

How can I find out if someone is using my identity?

at 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338) or go to: www.identitytheft.gov/ To order a copy of your Social Security Administration earnings and benefits statement, or to check whether someone has used your Social Security number to get a job or to avoid paying taxes, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/statement/.

Does Social Security call you about suspicious activity?

Social Security Administration employees will never threaten you for information or promise benefits in exchange for information. In those cases, the call is fraudulent, and you should just hang up. … Call the Social Security Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271.

Can you buy stuff with your Social Security number?

Once someone has your Social Security number, they can essentially become you. They may be able to collect tax refunds, collect benefits and income, commit crimes, make purchases, set up phone numbers and websites, establish residences, and use health insurance—all in your name.

Is it safe to enter your SSN online?

Some online applications require you to fill in the Social Security box before you continue with the application. If that’s the case, you should feel safe entering your number as long as you see a green “https” or a green company name, a padlock, you’re using an updated browser and you have an up-to-date antivirus.