The original Social Security numbers were issued in 1936 and were designed to be the safe keeping account for the retirement benefits of American workers. Everything that the employers sent into the SS administration was kept track of under that number for that worker. At the time, that was its only use, the number wasn’t secret, and it wasn’t a big deal if anyone else saw it. After that, lots of other government agencies started using it as a unique identifier and so did many schools and universities as well. Soon, credit reporting agencies and loan companies caught on and the SS number became the credit identifier for millions of people across the United States. Then, of course, criminals discovered that they could easily steal a person’s number, apply for credit, run up a big bill and then disappear without getting caught. Here’s who you should call if someone is using your Social Security number.
There Are Several Reasons Why People Steal Social Security Numbers
Some people are using stolen numbers in order to get jobs. There are several types of people that can’t get Social Security numbers, including people working illegally in the US from other countries. All they need is a valid number from someone else and they can get a job in some places. While it may seem like they’re not doing any harm and paying taxes on your stolen number, there are other problems that can arise.
The first is, in many occupations like contractors, the employers don’t take taxes and other deductions out of their employees checks on payday. In that case, your SS number could end up owing lots of back taxes on money received by others. They could also change the address and figure out a way to collect SS benefits against your account causing all kinds of problems.
The most serious problems with someone using your Social Security number, however, is when they use it to apply for credit. Once they get a credit card, they can run it up to the max in a couple of days and disappear, leaving you to pay the bill. This is the most serious form of identity theft and is now quite common.
Who You Should Call If Someone Is Using Your Social Security Number
You should take advantage of the free credit checks that are now offered with no strings attached each year to see what’s on it. Then, if you see some discrepancies, take immediate action to find out what they are, and who is using your number. Credit checks are hard to read, so take your time and figure it out.
If someone is using your number, call the credit agencies first and ask them to put a hold on all new credit issued to your number. Explain in detail what the problem is and they’ll give you some advice on who else to call
You should also call the local police and report the SS number theft, they may have a special team dedicated to just that form of crime. And finally, you should call the Social Security office and report the usage as well. They can sometimes send a letter to an employer demanding the employer recheck an employee’s card to see if it was copied wrong. If not, they may be able to catch the thief and call the police.
Taking care of your Social Security number is now an important part of life. You shouldn’t give it out randomly or easily. If you’re applying for a job or rental apartment, write “ASK” in the blank and only show your number upon hire. You don’t want your number sitting in 100 file cabinets all over just waiting for the next identity thief to come along. Get to know more at HTTPS://LOSTSSCARD.COM