Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes inAmerica. A dishonest person who has your Social Security number can use it to get other personal information about you. Identity thieves can use your number and your good credit to apply for more credit in your name. Then, they use the credit cards and do not pay the bills. You may not find out that someone is using your number until you are turned down for credit or you begin to get calls from unknown creditors demanding payment for items you never bought. Someone illegally using your Social Security number and assuming your identity can cause a lot of problems.
When you start a job, make sure your employer has your correct Social Security number so your records are correct. Provide your Social Security number to your financial institution(s) for tax reporting purposes. Do not become a victim of identity theft or misuse. Protect yourself by keeping your card and any other document that shows your Social Security number in a safe place. DO NOT routinely carry your card or other documents that display your number.
Sometimes more than one person uses the same Social Security number, either on purpose or by accident. If you suspect someone is using your number for work purposes, you should contact SSA to report the problem. SSA will review your earnings with you to ensure that the records are correct.
In the meantime, there are several things you should do if you suspect someone is using your number.
- You should go to www.idtheft.gov and report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission. Or, you can call 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338). That website is a one-stop national resource to learn about the crime of identity theft. It provides detailed information to help you deter, detect and defend against identity theft.
- You also may want to contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If you think you may have tax issues because someone has stolen your identity, go to http://www.irs.gov/uac/IdentityProtection or call 1-800-908-4490.
- Also, you should file an online complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov. The IC3 gives victims of cybercrime a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations. IC3 sends every complaint to one or more law enforcement or regulatory agencies with jurisdiction.