How To Respond If Your Social Security Number Gets Stolen
(WatchDogReport.org) – Roughly, 1 in 15 people will become the victims of identity theft. In 2018, victims in the US lost more than $1 billion to this destructive criminal activity. Many of these crimes are the result of criminals stealing Social Security numbers from their victims; here’s what to do if that happens to you.
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Your Social Security number can be stolen in a number of different ways. Hackers can obtain the information through cyberattacks; individuals with ill intent might find the number if it’s written down somewhere, like on an application or something of that nature; thieves can also get hold of it if they steal a wallet or purse that contains your Social Security card.
The best way to protect yourself from identity theft is to stop it from happening in the first place.
- Don’t give your Social Security number to anyone over the phone.
- Don’t write your number down on applications.
- Shred all mail with personal information.
- Don’t click on links from unknown people either through text or email.
- Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or purse.
If your number was stolen, there are steps you can take to mitigate the damage. First, report the identity theft to all of the major credit bureaus so they can put a freeze on your credit to protect you. Second, be sure to monitor the credit bureaus for unusual activity. Finally, visit IndentityTheft.gov to create a recovery plan and report the theft.
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