Table of Contents (Find Your Tip!)
- How Can Someone Get A Hold Of Your Social Security Number?
- – Find Your Lost Social Security Card
- – Steal Your Mail, Purse, or Wallet
- – Online Scams
- – Data Breaches
- – Dark Web
- 5 Things Identity Thieves Could Use Your SSN For
- – Commit Crimes Using Your Name
- – Get Loans and Credit Cards In Your Name
- – File A Fake Tax Refund/Return
- – Medical Care and Insurance Theft
- – Steal Your Social Security Benefits
Every United States citizen has a unique, identifying social security number. It’s a person’s worst nightmare when they lose their social security card, or find out someone else is using their SSN without their permission. If in the wrong hands, the repercussions can negatively impact both the victim and their loved ones. But, how could someone get a hold of their SSN in the first place? And what can someone do with your social security number? We discuss these questions and more below.
How Can Someone Get A Hold Of Your Social Security Number?
– Find Your Lost Social Security Card
Losing your SSN card is a BIG deal, and it could end up in anyone’s hands. You hope it’s going to be a good Samaritan, but more often than not, it’s someone with bad intentions. If you ever need to carry your card with you, make sure it’s in a safe place where it won’t fall out or get misplaced.
– Steal Your Mail, Purse, or Wallet
Someone could get a hold of your SSN card if they steal your mail, wallet, or purse. Mail often contains private personal information that an identity thief can use to find out your social security number.
– Online Scams
You would be surprised by the number of online scammers that are looking to get your personal information. They will say and do anything to manipulate you into providing your bank and credit card information, along with your SSN number. For example, they may pose as a legit business in your area who has an exclusive deal for you.
– Data Breaches
Any website, business, or information database is open to being hacked. When data breaches occur, hackers often look to steal peoples’ personal information to sell or exploit. This includes someone’s social security number. Once the information is stolen, there is no way to get it back. All that can be done by the entity that was hacked is notify you about the situation.
– Dark Web
On the dark web, all sorts of items and information are sold and exchanged for illegal purposes. Stolen social security numbers are often sought out by identity thieves looking to steal and exploit another person’s identity.
5 Things Identity Thieves Could Use Your SSN For
– Commit Crimes Using Your Name
Don’t have a criminal history? Well, you could end up with one if a real criminal gives your social security number to the police. If they have your SSN, they could falsely assume your identity so the police don’t find out about their past crimes. Having a crime appear on your background check could impact your chances at getting a job and purchasing a home.
– Get Loans and Credit Cards In Your Name
Having someone get loans and credit cards in your name is financial suicide! They can purchase whatever they want without paying for it. You’ll end up with the bill, and since you likely can’t pay the fraudulent charges off, your credit score will be negatively impacted.
– File A Fake Tax Refund/Return
An identity thief with your SSN could assume your identity and claim a pending tax refund you have. These criminals try to beat their victims to the punch by claiming the return early on in tax season. Victims will typically find this out when their tax refund is denied multiple times.
– Medical Care and Insurance Theft
If someone has your social security information, they could claim to be you and use your health insurance to receive medical care. However, this is way deadlier than you may think. If there are medical records on file about the criminal (as you), it could lead to a medical mix-up down the road when you need care. And not to mention the expensive medical bills you’ll be left to pay!
– Steal Your Social Security Benefits
If you receive social security benefits of any kind, such as for unemployment or disability, an identity thief with your SSN could steal it from you. This would be a shame to happen to anyone, especially if they live off of the government benefits they receive.