Many Americans become a victim of identity theft every year. This can cause financial hardship, put future economic health in jeopardy, and ruin a person’s credit. Often, identity theft begins with a stolen Social Security number and escalates from there. For this reason, it’s important to be able to recognize when your SSN is being used fraudulently. Here are some of the top warning signs of a stolen SSN.
3 Indications Your Social Security Number Has Been Compromised
1. Unwarranted Debt Collection Calls
A Social Security number is typically required to create new credit accounts and other types of financial services. If you start receiving calls about accounts you know you didn’t open yourself, it’s likely someone else is racking up debt under your name. After not receiving payment, creditors and debt collectors will begin contacting you looking to collect what they’re owed. You will want to review your credit report immediately to see what’s going on.
2. Mysterious Bank & Credit Card Transactions
If someone has used your Social Security number to gain access to your bank account and credit cards, they can make withdrawals and purchases without your knowledge. Go over your statements regularly and look for any unfamiliar transactions. Make note of these charges, no matter how small they are, as this is a common sign of identity theft.
3. Unexplainable Tax Filings
After stealing your Social Security number, identity thieves can use it to apply for employment. In turn, you will receive notice from the IRS about taxes associated with wages reported by businesses you never worked at. It’s also possible for them to use your SSN to file a tax return in your name so they can generate a refund. This is likely what happened if you file your taxes and get a notice back claiming a filing has already been made.
If you think you’re a victim of you’re SSN being stolen, take action immediately. This is especially true if you have recently applied for or are currently collecting Social Security disability benefits. Attorney Ronald Fitzpatrick can help you straighten out your claim so your money isn’t delayed or sent to the wrong person. He has been advocating on behalf of La Crosse, WI, residents for 35 years and remains committed to protecting every client’s interests. Call (608) 785-3900 to schedule a consultation or visit him online for more information on his background in Social Security law.