Scammers can use the last four digits of your SSN and DOB to steal your identity in a variety of ways. With this information, fraudsters can steal your money, open credit card accounts, deprive you of your hard-earned benefits, and use your identity in illicit operations. It is important to understand that even if you have not been hit by identity theft directly, it may still be happening to you.
Identity thieves often use databases that include information about people who have not given their consent to have their details used this way. These are called "data breaches" and anyone who has your data in such a breach can use it. Often times these breaches are done by companies who store sensitive information such as social security numbers on their servers without adequately protecting it. As a result, criminals can access these files to obtain personal information such as names, addresses, dates of birth, and SSNs.
In order to prevent your ID being stolen by hackers, only provide your SSN when asked for your identity verification during online transactions. Also, do not give out any information regarding your date of birth or other personal details requested during registration processes. If you receive an email claiming it contains information about a breach at another company, it is likely a scam. Companies will never contact you about such issues via email.
A thief with your Social Security number might use it to obtain additional sensitive information about you. Identity thieves can use your social security number and good credit to apply for further credit in your name. Someone illegally using your Social Security number and impersonating you can cause a slew of issues. For example, they may be charged with fraud if they are not signed into any online accounts in your name.
Thieves also use the information from your social security record to commit tax crimes. If you have filed your taxes electronically, someone could file their own return claiming false information or no information at all. They would then receive any refund checks sent out in your name. The IRS considers these acts to be federal income tax violations because the intent is to defraud the government by receiving a benefit you are not entitled to.
If you have ever been a victim of identity theft, we recommend that you do not give out your social security number even under threat of death. An identity thief could use this information to steal your money or get other people's loans paid off. They could also use it to open fraudulent accounts in your name. There have been cases where people have been killed by criminals who used their social security numbers.
The best way to protect yourself against identity theft is by using caution when giving out personal information. Keep your phone number and address private and don't give out your social security number to anyone who doesn't need it.
The Social Security Administration safeguards your social security number and maintains the confidentiality of your records. However, because it is possible for your number to be used before it is issued or stolen, the SSA cannot guarantee that a person who has your number is not using it fraudulently.
In addition to credit reports, which include information about all types of accounts such as mortgages, loans, and credit cards, social security numbers are also used to file tax returns. If your social security number is used against you and insufficient evidence is found to prove otherwise, then IRS policy is to assume that you committed the crime of filing a false return. This could lead to criminal charges if sufficient evidence exists to prove that case. However, even if you have not been accused of filing a false return, an imposter could still file taxes on your behalf without your knowledge. When this happens, the IRS will send you a notice telling you that a return has been filed in your name with incorrect information and asking that you sign and return the Form 1040-ES. If you fail to do so, legal action may be taken against you.
Finally, a criminal could use your social security number to commit insurance fraud.
The widespread use of Social Security numbers has resulted in identity theft concerns. Unauthorized use of another person's Social Security number has been used to obtain credit, open bank accounts, and gain access to private information, among other things.
Those who use or possess a SSN should do so with caution and only after seeking legal counsel. Those who commit identity theft may be subject to criminal charges, as well as civil actions from the affected parties.
Criminals often use others' personal information for fraudulent purposes. They may use it to get jobs or even marry someone else to get benefits. This type of crime is called "employment identity theft." It can happen when a criminal uses your social security number to get a job at a company where you have done no more than glance at an application. That person may then be hired instead of you even though you are already employed.
"Bank account" identity theft occurs when criminals use your SSN to take out loans or make purchases with your name on them. They may even try to pass themselves off as you for an insurance claim or when trying to rent apartments. This type of crime can happen whether you have given permission for your number to be used or not. If this ever happens to you, call your bank immediately and ask that your account information not be released until you notify them that this has occurred.