Identity theft is a serious issue and if you have been a victim of this, you need to address it as soon as possible. If someone else has your social security number, there is a lot of damage that they can do which will take you a while to sort out. The problem is that most people do not know if someone has their social security number until it is too late. It is important that you know what the warning signs are and what you should do when you see them.
Unexpected Calls And Letters
One of the first signs that someone has used your social security number is when you get unexpected calls and letters. These calls will generally be from creditors that you have never had any dealings with. They will generally be trying to collect a debt that has been taken out in your name using your stolen social security number.
This will generally escalate to calls from debt collection agencies who are trying to get payment for debts that you never took out. These calls and letters are a clear sign that someone has been using your social security number to take out credit. This is a major issue as it will impact your credit rating because you are the one seen as having taken out credit that you have not paid.
Problems Filing Taxes
Another sign that someone has your social security number is when you have issues filing your taxes. If you are trying to file your tax return with the IRS and receive an error stating that a tax return has already been filed, you need to be careful. This can be a clear sign that your social security number has been used by someone else.
You might also get a notice of unreported income which might be strange if you have reported every cent you earned. This will generally be a sign that someone else has filed a tax return on your social security number. If this happens, you need to take steps to remedy the identity theft because you do not want issues with the IRS.
Lower Than Expected Credit Score
If you try to take out credit and are declined because of a low credit score, this could be a sign that your social security number has been used by someone else. If this happens, you need to get a copy of your credit score. This will help you see why your score is low and if your social security number has been compromised.
Lower than expected scores can be caused by someone taking out credit in your name. The more credit you take out the lower your score will be. This will be further impacted by the fact that this credit will not be paid at all which is a black mark on your credit score.
Checking For Credit Theft
If you are facing any of these signs, you need to know how to look for credit theft. The first step is to get a copy of your credit score. This will have a listing of all the credit which is taken out using your social security number. You should check the report and look for any credit that you know you did not take out.
If you see any items that you did not authorize, you need to alert the credit reporting agencies. You only have to alert one of these agencies to the fact that your social security number has been compromised because they have to legally tell the other 2. You should also consider setting up a free fraud alert on your credit reports. This will last for 90 days, but you can renew it if you want to.
Look For False Employment Records
There are some people who use other people’s social security numbers to pass a background check for a job. This will leave a trail that you can look for which will tell you that you have been a victim of identity fraud. To look for false employment records, you need to open an account on the social security website.
Once you have an account, you will be able to view all of the income that has been posted to your social security record. If your social security number has been used to get a job, the income will be listed. If you see any additional income on your record, you need to take steps to stop this.
The best solution will be to contact the Social Security Administration office. You will have to tell them that your number has been used fraudulently and that the false employment record is incorrect. If you do not, you will get into trouble with the IRS in the long-term as you will have unreported income listed on your account.
Checking For False Tax Reports
There are a number of ways that you can tell if your social security number has been compromised based on your tax reports. You may see more than one return filed for you when you contact the IRS about your tax return. You may also find that the IRS believes you have unreported income.
Another way that you can tell if your social security number has been used is when the IRS tells you that your tax refund has been offset. This will generally mean that you are not going to get the refund that you know you are due. This will happen when there is unreported income or other fraud on your account which results in you appearing to not have paid enough tax.
If this happens, you will need to call the IRS and tell the agent that your social security number has been stolen. You will then have to complete a form which verifies that your identity was stolen and that the information which has been provided is incorrect. If you are a victim of fraud, you will be able to get an Identity Protection Pin from the IRS to add security to your filing. Click here to apply for a Social Security Card.