Stolen Social Security Numbers: How Safe Are Yours?

Stolen social security numbers are on the increase.

This crime is becoming more and more prevalent.

One of the fastest growing crimes in America is identity theft and with the economic crisis our country is struggling through, this crime has greatly escalated this crime.

A criminal who steals your social security number then has complete access to all other kinds of your personal information.

Your number, in an identity thief’s hand, gives them the ability to open new credit card accounts in your name, run up the account, and then not pay the bill.

Go to social security facts to learn how social security works.

As happens so many times, you may not find out your stolen social security numbers has been used until you are turned down for credit or a creditor calls to find out why you are late making payments on an account you didn't open.

Stolen Social Security Numbers
Other Ways Your Number Is Stolen

  • Wow! Do you believe dumpster-diving is a common way to have your identity stolen?

This type of theft happens in residential, business and public trash dumps.

The thief rummages around for any personal information that will make stealing your identity easier, or gives the thief more information to access your bigger assets.

My sister works in the administration field for a large health care company.

Her company uses an outside business that specializes in shredding confidential papers to keep all the personal information safe from outsider’s eyes.

Many companies just “toss” documents containing personal information in the trash.

This puts everyone at risk, as absolutely anyone then has access to the information.

Personal documents that have personal information on them are now required by law, in many states, to make that information unreadable prior to disposal.

  • A stolen wallet, purse and your mail, (bank statements, blank checks, tax information and pre-approved credit offers put you at risk to have your identity stolen.
  • Your e-mail, and cell phone are vulnerable to anyone posing as a person who needs legitimate personal information about you such as, employers, banks, landlords.
  • Criminals also have quite a scam going where they buy personal information from “inside” sources.

The thief may pay an employee from a store, such as a restaurant, for information about you that appears on your credit card or application for credit or services.

For more knowledge to protect yourself from becoming a victim, go to social security identity theft to learn more.

  • A huge scam is stealing your personal information from an internet site you provide your information to that is an unsecured site.
  • This also includes personal information in your home, and personal and business records at work.

Years ago, I worked at a casino as an auditor. We all had time cards we punched every day.

At the time, thank goodness, identity theft was not a problem, as our full name, and social security number where posted in plain sight on those cards were everyone and his brother could see them.

Your risk factor increases greatly anytime an employer places your social security number on reports, documents, receipts, or ID badges.

I have had many high level positions where ID badges where used and have been fortunate that my social security number was never used as an identifier number.

  • Many states have now passed laws to prohibit using a person's Social Security Number as a personal identifier.

When asked for your Social Security number, it is extremely important to find out why it’s needed.

The last four digits of your Social Security number should always be kept secret.

If you feel uncomfortable with the answer, find an alternative means of ID, or try another company.

Legally, you’re only required to give your Social Security number for governmental purposes, an employer, or when applying for new financial accounts.

Your name and address combined with the last four digits could be used by a criminal to obtain a huge amount of information.

  • If you think someone has stolen your social security numbers from you, double check your Social Security Statement (Form SSA-7005.

This statement is mailed automatically each year to workers age 25 and older. You may request this online or call your social security office 1-800-772-1213.

If your social security number has been stolen and has been used by someone else and has created credit or other problems for you, these problems cannot be resolved by Social Security.

Stolen Social Security Numbers:
Tips To Keep Yours Safe

Here are a few tips to keep your social security number safe:

  • Always shred anything with your personal information on it.
  • Stop carrying your Social Security Card in your purse or pocket.
  • Make sure your Social Security Number is never displayed somewhere such as school, time cards, work, badges, receipts.
  • Always make sure you never leave your mail in your mailbox for long periods of time.

Make sure your mailbox is able to lock and is secure.

There have been many instances where mailboxes in apartments and residential areas are broken into specifically for personal information.

  • Never leave outgoing mail in your mailbox over night.
  • If you have to post outgoing mail, put it in your box the next morning or, preferably, drop it off at the post office.
  • Do not respond to scams on the internet.
  • When in a store or supermarket, make sure you keep your hand over the keypad when entering your PIN number at the time you're paying for your purchase.

Do the same thing when at the bank ATM.

  • Always use current anti virus software and firewall for any connections to the internet.

Stolen Social Security Numbers can cause you a world of hurt in many different ways so, please become knowledgeable in avoiding identity theft. Knowledge is definitely power.

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