If you have lost your social security card or see signs that your identity might have been stolen, you need to know how to check who is using your social security number. There are a number of ways that you can do this and checking more than one way can confirm that your social security number has been compromised. Of course, you should also know what the warning signs are which alert you to the potential theft of your social security number.
Signs That Someone Is Using Your Social Security Number
The most common sign that someone else is using your social security number will be strange phone calls and letters. These letters and calls will generally be about debts that you might owe or someone chasing a late payment. If the calls and letters come from a credit card company, this is a clear sign that someone has used your social security number.
Another sign that someone is using your social security number is when you have problems filing your taxes. The problem will generally come when you want to file your tax return and you get an error stating that someone has already filed taxes in your name. You may also hey a notice from the IRS regarding unreported income even when you have reported everything.
The last sign that you should look out for is when you have a lower than expected credit score. If you know that you have good credit, but are rejected for a loan or credit card someone could be using your social security number. This rejection occurs when someone has used credit in your name and not repaid it leading to a lowering of your credit score.
Get A Credit Report
One of the most common reasons behind social security number theft will be to open lines of credit. With this being the case, the best way to check if someone is using your social security number will be to get a credit report. Your credit report will be available to you from one of the credit agencies.
Once you have your credit report, you need to carefully look at all of the new accounts which have been opened. If there are any accounts that you do not recognize, someone is probably using your social security number. It is recommended that you monitor your credit report for 6 months because this is how long it can take some credit accounts to show.
If you find that there are accounts that you have not opened, you need to alert the authorities to the theft of your social security number. You should also consider placing a free fraud alert on your credit report. This can be done with any of the credit agencies and they will have to tell the other 2 agencies. The alert will last for 90 days and you can renew this.
Check For False Employment Records
There are times when your social security number is used so people can get a job and pass the background check. This is something that you need to look for because any income they earn will be reported to the federal government under your name. When this happens, you could face notices from the IRS about unreported income.
To check this, you will need to open an account at the social security website. Once you have an account, you will be able to check all of the income which has been posted to your social security number. If you find any incorrect earnings or additional income, you will need to contact the social security administration regarding this.
Check For False Tax Reports
You will generally be alerted to the fact that a false tax return has been filed with the IRS when you try and file your own. You might also get a refund from the IRS which is less than you expected because it has been offset. If this happens, you need to call the number that is listed on the IRS notice and talk to an agent about this.
When you contact the IRS regarding this, you will generally be asked to complete form 14039. This is the form used to verify that your identity has been stolen and that the information which has been provided to the IRS is incorrect. If you have been a victim of identity fraud through the IRS, you will be provided with an Identity Protection Pin. This is an additional layer of security which is placed on your account that will stop a second fraud attempt.
What To Do If Your Social Security Number Had Been Used
If you find that your social security number has been used by someone else, there are a few things that you should do. The first is to alert either the police or the FTC. While the FTC will not be able to resolve individual consumer problems, the complaint that you make could lead to action by law enforcement. If the use of your social security card has impacted your taxes, you will also need to alert the IRS
As you recover from the fraudulent use of your social security number, you need to keep a record of your communication. This means that you should make a note of the date of any phone calls as well as who you spoke to. All the letters that you send should be done with certified post and you need to keep copies.
You should also contact the credit reporting agencies and alert them to the issue. You can place a fraud alert on your credit files which will stop anyone from opening new accounts with your social security number. You only need to contact one of the agencies as they legally have to contact the other two and have the alert placed on your account with them.
There are a number of ways that you can check if your social security number is being used by someone else. It is important that you do this if any of the warning signs appear.