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Published On: Wed, Dec 26th, 2018

Steps To Take Right Away If Your Social Security Number Is Stolen

Nowadays, data breaches are becoming increasingly frequent. As hackers become more sophisticated and as more information is readily stored on online servers, you can only expect the trend to continue. In this article, we will discuss some of the top steps that you are going to want to begin taking immediately if your social security number is stolen.

Image/mohamed_hassan via pixabay

  1. Report It

The first thing that you should be doing is reporting the theft to the various responsible Government agencies. This is the very first thing that you want to do because it is going to start the record of you reporting the theft which is going to make recovering from the theft much easier due to the timetable provided. Along with this, you are going to want to take even more steps to report it by filing an official police report with your local agency. This should allow you to properly document the fraud and it can make recovery much easier.

  1. Freeze Your Credit With All Three Credit Bureaus

Another important step that you are going to want to take is to make sure that you are freezing your credit with all three of the major credit card bureaus. By doing this, you are going to be able to prohibit anyone from being able to open up any more credit accounts using your social security number and name. While it won’t do anything about the accounts that were already opened fraudulently, it can help prevent further damage from occurring. This is not going to negatively impact your credit score or cause you any issues with using your current credit cards. Instead, it simply stops the opening of new accounts. Therefore, it can be a good option for those that want to halt the potential damage and those that might just want to take extra precaution as it is going to cost you nothing but convenience nowadays. Now, it is free to freeze your credit. Therefore, you want to be sure to implement this to better protect yourself.

Whenever you want to unfreeze your credit, you can request a temporary unfreeze which you can even specify who you are unfreezing it for. This can make it so that it is very difficult for anyone to fraudulently open accounts in your name or using your number.

  1. Place A Fraud Alert

Another major thing that you are going to want to do to further protect yourself from further damage would be to place a fraud alert on your account. You will want to do this in order to tell the credit card bureaus that they should be on the lookout for your social security number and you will be able to consistently renew it until you are comfortable dropping it. This is going to add a further extra layer of protection on your accounts and make your accounts even safer than they were previously.

  1. Monitor Your Credit Reports

One of the best things that you are going to be able to do when you get your social security number stolen would be to request and monitor your credit reports. You want to consistently look at your credit reports to identify any new accounts that might have been opened that you didn’t open yourself. This will allow you to

  1. Invest In Credit Monitoring Service

In order to truly make sure that your social security number is as safe as possible, you are going to want to take proactive steps. By investing in a credit monitoring service, you will be able to get notified if anyone opens up an account in your name that you didn’t open yourself. This is a great way to stay on top of things and to get the information that you might need in order to act swiftly on fraud. This is a great way to really minimize the chances of becoming a victim of identity theft because you are going to be up to date on all of the credit openings and loans that are taken out using your identifications and social security number no matter where they are occurring whether in person or online.

Can You Get A New Social Security Number?

Unfortunately, it is not as easy as it might sound. Getting a new social security number is something that is very hard to do. In fact, you pretty much have to have been a victim of social security fraud and you have to be able to prove that it happened. Even if you do get a brand new social security number, your old number is not going to be completely wiped. It is still going to remain valid and you will have to continue monitoring it constantly for future fraud attempts. Along with this, if you do happen to get a new number, you are going to be starting from scratch. Your credit will be completely bare which means that getting approved for anything is going to be difficult unless you completely link it with your old number.

Overall, there is a lot that you are going to want to be aware of when you have your social security card is stolen. If you believe that your number has been compromised, you will want to be diligent and on the lookout for signs of fraud. By being careful and monitoring everything, you will be able to effectively minimize the chances that you become a victim. By freezing your credit reports and really monitoring and keeping an eye on all of your accounts, you should be able to spot any signs of potential fraud and get them resolved as quickly as possible. While getting a new social security number might seem like a viable option if you have yours stolen, it is much more difficult to get then you might assume as discussed above. Because of this, you are likely going to be better off monitoring your accounts and doing everything you can to secure them as best possible.

Author: Brenda Vollman

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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