Due to the high increase in identity theft cases today, everyone should practice all the security measures possible to avoid such issues. Anyone can be a victim of identity theft issues; thus, you should immediately take action in case you suspect someone is trying to use your identity or your social security number. Also, one should be very alert to notice when their personal details have been accessed. That is, they should constantly go through their mailbox, tax reports, credit reports, as well as bank statements. Once someone can access your social security number, they can cause a lot of damage to your life, such as ruin your credit, reputation or interrupt your day to day peaceful life. Also, someone with access to your credit card can use your identity to commit fraudulent activities such as buying items online or getting loans with your name. You must keep checking for signs that indicate someone is using your social security number. That said, here are some of the things that you should look out for to know if someone is using your social security number.
1. Check If Your Tax Reports Are Fabricated
You must double-check your tax reports for you to detect any false information. In case you identify any false information on your tax reports, that may be a sign that someone is using your social security number or has access to your social security card. However, in most cases, people realize that someone has been using their social security number to file returns when they get a notice from the IRS indicating that they have filed their tax returns twice. Also, it’s important to check for notices telling you that you can’t get your refund amount or that your refund has been offset. When any of these or similar issues arise, you are supposed to contact the IRS and inform them about the notices as they will help you identify if you are a victim of identity theft. The IRS will also help you get a protection pin that will protect you from fraud activities.
2. Getting Strange Calls And Emails
Receiving calls, texts, or emails from strange numbers is one of the signs that there is an authorized person who has access to your social security number. For instance, if you start getting calls from debt collection institutions or creditors complaining about late payments or unpaid debts that you are not aware of, you should immediately act accordingly. Start by reporting the case to a government office because such calls or errors when running your financial transactions is evident enough that your social security card or your credit card is stolen.
3. Go through Your Credit Reports
It’s good to ensure that you review your credit reports for you to notice any fraudulent activities or if someone is using your social security number. Luckily with growth in technology, getting a credit report is easy as you can request from credit bureaus online and it will be sent to your email. You will not have to spend any money moving from one credit agency to the other. Also, you can subscribe to a monthly service that allows you to get updated monthly credit reports. In most cases, victims of identity theft tend to suffer from low credit scores and debts from creditors. This is why one should look out for the opened credit accounts, and any credit enquiries made without your authorization. Apart from reviewing your credit reports, one should add a fraud alert on their credit reports as it makes it easy for someone to identify unauthorized access to their credit cards or social security number. A fraud alert is important as it protects your credit reports for 90 days, after which, you can also renew. Also, take time and consult credit agencies around you as they can tell if someone is trying to acquire credit using your social security number.
4. Look Out for False Employment Records
Today cases of fake employment records are all over the news and are mostly as a result of increased identity theft. Fake employment records are one of the best ways to identify that you are a victim of identity theft through your social security number. In most cases, people steal social security numbers for them to get through a background check or even to get a job. However, checking for fabricated employment records is easy because every income goes through the federal government. When it comes to employment, you must clear your name before it’s too late by the help of IRS, the local police, and the federal trade commission. With modern technology, you can also create a personal account online via the social security website to help you monitor all the income transactions on your records. The social security website account is very helpful as it does not only help you identify identity theft but also allows you to report any incorrect earnings to the social security administration.
5. Getting Bills for Items, You Did Not Order or Purchase
Today once someone has access to your social security number, they can use your identity/mail to purchase services and goods. Once these purchases are made using your name, the bills come directly to your mail or are deducted from your credit card. Therefore, you need to keep a record of outgoing and incoming bills as well as your bank statements to avoid paying unnecessary bills. Also, when you don’t get your bills, you should immediately look into it as it could mean that someone has accessed your social security number as well as your mailbox. Once you handle the situation, go for a social security card replacement to avoid further damage. Besides, not getting your usual monthly bills like electricity bills, water bills, among others is a very sensitive matter — take immediate action before it is too late.
6. When You Suspect Theft Cases
When you feel that your identity or social security number is at risk, you should report to the police station near your area. For instance, if you identify a fraudulent activity that has been committed using your name as the opening of a false credit card, you should contact your bank and report the case to the police. By reporting suspicions, you can easily stop the fraud activity or reverse any transaction made without your knowledge. Reporting does not only help to stop the identity theft problem but also gives you peace of mind as you can walk around knowing that your social security number or your identity is protected. Also, with the advanced technology in today’s digital world, you can use an identity monitoring service that is available online. The monitoring service is very helpful as it alerts you every time someone tries to use your social security number for any unauthorized activity.
What happens when you notice indeed someone used your social security number?
If someone got access to your social security number, you should act quickly to prevent more damage to your life. Identity theft is expensive, especially when its discovered late thus why you should keep a record of every financial transaction as run your day to day activities. You should make all the necessary reports to the police, federal trade commission, social security administration as well the credit agencies. Also, to prevent identity theft, you should immediately report any theft cases of any of your important cards like the social security card, credit cards, or your wallet. The good thing is that social security card replacement is not a complicated process, and you follow up with the relevant authorities. Despite the increases in cases of identity theft, there are emerging institutions that have specialized in handling identity theft issues, using modern technology. Make use of them too.