How to Protect Your Social Security Number From Identity Theft(SSN): Recently, Identity Theft is thriving in the United States, and this is because Americans are asked on a daily to provide details of their social security number in different types of interactions
However, usually social security numbers were never, intended to be used as the primary source of ID. bt in other many ways, this is what exactly has happened. Although there are ways and fail-safes in place for people to better protect their SSNs from identity theft and scams.
When You Should Provide Your Social Security Number
Sometimes, there are days you should provide your social security number as not everyone that makes a request for it actually needs it. Usually, if an entity reports information in regards to you in the internal revenue services(IRS), then you will need to submit your SSN and this includes your bank/lenders employer, the US treasury for savings bonds, state unemployment insurance, and lastly, your worker’s compensation offices
Though many other organizations and institutions alike have the legal right to ask for your SSN, they usually do not require it or even need it. While you on the other hand are not legally obliged to provide it.
Steps to Protect Your Social Security Number
Below are some of the 10 things that you can do to safeguard your SSN:
- When asked for your SSN, always provide an alternative form of ID
- Also, leave your card at home when necessary
- Never use your SSN as a password
- You should not send your SSN through an electronic device
- You should consider an identity protection service
- Never use your SSN through an electronic device
- Never give your SSN out to any strangers
- Always monitor your bank and credit card accounts
Steps to Take if You Think You Have Been Scammed
The social security administration publishes a booklet which is titled theft and your social security number. The book has the basic protection tips, and also has the information on what to do in the event that your identity and SSN have been compromised or even stolen. However, below are some steps that you can do if you think that you have been scammed
Contact the Social Security Administration
The fastest way and easiest way to contact social security is online. SSA has a national toll-free phone number.
Contact Medicare If Your MBI Has Been Stolen
Though Medicare has stopped using SSNs and has replaced them with a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier. Which is also subject to theft and can be used to commit Medicare fraud.
Request a Review of Your Social Security Earnings
More than one person might use the same SSN accidentally through a typo or misremembering when filling out some form or paperwork. This can also occur on purpose if somebody uses your number o get a job. Just contact Security to request an earnings review
Visit Identity Theft.gov to Get a Recovery Plan
You can go ahead and visit IdentityTheft.gov to report identity theft and very important set up a recovery plan.
Check Employer Verifications at My E-Verify
You can also check for the names of employers who have verified your eligibility to work in the U.S. if they want through the Department of Homeland Security E-verify system. To do that, go to the my-Verify webpage. If you see an employer whose name you do not recognize, someone else might be using your number to work in the U.S.
Other Steps to Take if You Think You Have Been Scammed
Contact the Internal Revenue Service(IRS)
You might also want to contact the Internal Revenue Service if you suspect an identity thief has filed a tax return in your own name to get a refund. The IRS should also be on your list of contacts if you suspect somebody is using your number for work purposes. Use the IRS Identity Theft Central website or call the number
Appy for a New SSN as a Last Resort
If you are sure and you believe you have done everything you can and somebody is still using your SSN. You will need to request a new number from the SSA. So if you decide to apply for a new one, you will need to prove your identity, age, and U.S. citizenship or immigration status. After you have received a new one, do not use your old number again. Make sure your new number is reported to all agencies that will need it. And also those agencies know you no longer use the old number.