Our social security numbers are something we are told to keep hidden and safe our entire lives. It’s a nine-digit number that if in the hands of the wrong person, can be used for the wrong purposes. Why is keeping your social security card number safe so important?
Social security numbers are our identities. Like many criminals, identity thieves look at this as the goldmine of possibilities if they get ahold of it.
Here are some ways your social security number can be misused.
- Pretending to be you
The information that your social security number provides can leave people obtaining a lot of personal information about you. These individuals can pull loans out in your name and even spend lots of money on credit. Since these individuals use your name, the end goal is that you take credit for any of the repercussions.
- Hurt your credit
As said previously, social security cards are taken for loans. Also, since providing a social security number, thieves can essentially prove they are you and destroy your credit score.
Having said that, once these individuals have access to your accounts, they can look at your work history, credit scores, payment history, and ultimately having a good reputation, which is why signing up for loans and spending your credit is so accessible.
- Steal your assets
When we sign up for new things that are often tied to our identity and are meaningful, these accounts are correlated with our social security numbers. Thinking about the bank account, stock certificates, brokerage accounts, anything that is tied with your social security they can manipulate
- Assume your legal identity
If you are someone who collects money from the government, this could be seen as a gain to criminals. Taking your identity, along with your checks, is only beneficial to them. They could even try and claim your tax refund. Only using nine digits thieves can ruin you.
- Health Care
Have a social security number means that you could have healthcare. These criminals can rack up your medical bills by using your insurance plan.
- Commit Crimes in Your Name
Say if someone commits a crime, and they have an officer filling out a field investigation card. On that card, it asks for your social security number. The next time you get pulled over you could have a criminal charge against you that’s not even you!
Scams related to social security
Given that tax season is in the midst, it is important to educate yourselves on tax-related scams. Scammers often use the same forms to contact people, and usually, it is through a phone call that is a spoof. They will mention that taxes are overdue and will threaten to cancel your social security.
When you file taxes, you will never say sensitive information over the phone. The only reason you would is if you can 100% say this person is creditable and you know them. The IRS and other companies will never call you to demand payment, nor would they ask for a specific payment like these scams do. If you get these scams, please report them and make a note of it.
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