Even if you’re not the victim of identity theft just yet, it’s good to be aware of some of the red flags that indicate your social security number has been compromised. This can be very worrying because your social security number is one of the most identifying numbers in the United States of America. This string of nine digits is attached to almost everything you do, so the last thing you want is for it to be compromised.
But what are some of the signs your social security number is compromised? Here’s a guide outlining ways you can find out if someone has stolen your social security number.
- Unfamiliar Credit Card Charges
If you see strange or unexpected activity on your bank statements related to your Social Security number, it may be a sign that your private information has been stolen. Your SSN is used to verify your identity when you apply for credit, so if someone has your number, they might try to open an account in your name. If they’ve succeeded, you’ll probably see things like payments going out of the account to random people and the money not being there when you check your balance.
Therefore, finding and protecting your SSN is vital to ensure that someone else doesn’t get hold of your social security number and uses it to open up fraudulent accounts in your name. If your bank or credit card company calls you asking about credit card charges about the account that you haven’t done, know that your social security number is compromised. You need to contact the Social Security Administration immediately, and the sooner you do this, the better something can be done about it and better off.
- Calls from Debt Collectors
Calls from debt collectors asking about the unpaid debt you don’t know about is another sign your social security number has been compromised. The first step to responding in a way that protects your identity and credit score is to ask the collector for information on the company they say you owe money. They should have either a name, address, phone number, or account number.
Inspect your credit report occasionally for unfamiliar charges or accounts to see whether there are indications of identity theft. When this happens, you should reach out to major credit reporting agencies. In addition, contact a service provider or merchant to find out where the fake account was created and close it right away.
- Unusual taxes filed in your name
The IRS rarely contacts individuals about any tax issue. When they contact you, this is a clear sign someone has filed deceitful tax returns using your social security number. Therefore, finding out someone has filed taxes in your name is a clear sign something fishy is going on. This can be a pain, especially if you get audited by the IRS, because you may pay additional taxes owed.
However, it’s easy not to know when someone uses your social security to file your taxes until when you’re about to do so. Luckily, you can avoid this from happening by filing your income taxes in advance before the season. Doing this ensures criminals don’t file taxes using your social security number. And if your social security number has been used, make sure to reach out to the Federal Trade Commission right away.
- Emails that don’t look quite right
Have you ever received an email asking you to verify your personal information, such as your name, address, and social security number? If yes, and this doesn’t quite look right, you should know this is another sign that your social security number has been compromised. If you receive a call from someone who claims to be from the Social Security Administration and asks you to validate your information over the phone, that’s also suspicious. An actual Social Security Administration will never ask for this information over the phone.
If you receive an email from someone asking for personal information, this is another red flag that your social security number has been stolen. The scammer may say that they need to confirm your information because it’ll help them resolve some issues. This can be very convincing and make you feel like you have to give your information.
Other things you should check out in the email are whether it has poor grammar, incorrect capitalization, or a suspicious attachment. If you see any of these, it’s best to delete the email and not click on links or attachments.
- You’ve Received A Warrant For Arrest
Receiving a warrant for your arrest is a sign that something is wrong. If this happens, chances are either you’ve committed a crime or someone has stolen your identity. Either way, it means you’re dealing with legal problems. And the warrant for your arrest is a form of legal communication that indicates that the authorities are after you.
Today, such incidences are quite common with devious individuals using your personal social security number when arrested, a crime referred to as criminal identity theft. When this happens, you’ll get a warrant of arrest, and you need to reach out to the relevant authorities to clear your name quickly.
- Bounced Checks
After writing a check and it later bounces, you need to make sure your bank account gets reviewed right away. This is because bounced checks many a time are a sign that criminals might have found their way into your account and stolen your hard-earned money. Make sure to inform your bank immediately when this happens, as this is a sign of bank fraud. You might need to close your bank account or change your online banking password.
You must have heard of horror stories about identity theft, and this is something that criminals do today as they look to take advantage of you. If you were wondering about some of the signs that show your social security number is compromised or stolen, this blog post has outlined crucial details you need to know. With this in mind, you’ll be in a position to quickly identify when your social security number has been stolen.