Should I be worried if someone has my Social Security number?

Asked by: Gabriella Kris  |  Last update: March 14, 2023
Score: 4.2/5 (68 votes)

No matter how or why it happened, if you give your SSN to someone you suspect might be a scammer—or think that your SSN has been stolen for any other reason—take action quickly. You could become a victim of identity theft. First, check your credit reports to ensure nothing is amiss right now with your accounts.

What do I do if someone has my Social Security number?

If you believe someone is using your Social Security number to work, get your tax refund, or other abuses involving taxes, contact the IRS online or call 1-800-908-4490.

Can someone access my bank account with my Social Security number?

They can use your SSN to open a bank account in your name.

That means that anyone with your SSN can easily open a bank account in your name, especially if the identity thief already obtained a driver's license in your name.

What should I do if I gave my Social Security number to a scammer?

You may reach the FTC's identity theft hotline toll free at 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338) or visit their website at
Additional Resources:
  1. Protecting Your Social Security Number from Identity Theft.
  2. IRS Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft.
  3. FTC's Consumer Alerts.

What's the worst thing someone can do with your Social Security number?

Someone with your Social Security number could undergo medical treatment, effectively tainting your medical records. Inaccurate medical records could have deadly consequences, if you receive treatment based on a false history. This is the big concern right now, because we're in the thick of tax season.

STOLEN Social Security Number? | This is What REALLY Happens

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Can I change my SSN?

You can't change your Social Security number simply because your card has been lost or stolen, or to avoid bankruptcy or legitimate debts. The only other reasons Social Security will consider assigning a new number are: Sequential numbers assigned to members of your family are causing confusion.

Can you put a freeze on your Social Security number?

Freezing Your Social Security Number

First, you'll need to create an account on E-Verify, which is managed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Once you do, follow the prompts to freeze your SSN. Then, file a police report. Immediately after freezing, contact the authorities.

Can someone steal your identity with the last four of your social?

As long as a hacker or scammer has access to other personal information such as your name and address, they can use the last four digits of your SSN (in most cases) to open accounts in your name, steal your money and government benefits, or even get healthcare and tax refunds in your name.

How do I know if my Social Security number has been stolen?

Telltale signs that your social security number has been hacked
  1. #1: Unexplainable changes in your credit score. ...
  2. #2: Inaccurate banking information. ...
  3. #3: Changes in your email/snail mail. ...
  4. #4: False employment records. ...
  5. #5: Correspondence from the IRS. ...
  6. #6: Messages from credit agencies. ...
  7. #7: A fraudulent tax return.

How do you tell if your identity has been stolen?

9 warning signs your identity has been stolen
  1. You're alerted to a credit card charge you didn't make. ...
  2. Your loan or credit card application was denied. ...
  3. There's a change to your credit score. ...
  4. There's a new account you didn't open under your name. ...
  5. Your information was part of a data breach.

What happens if your SSN is leaked?

A dishonest person who has your Social Security number can use it to get other personal information about you. Identity thieves can use your number and your good credit to apply for more credit in your name. Then, when they use the credit cards and don't pay the bills, it damages your credit.

What should I do if my Social Security card was stolen?

If your wallet or purse containing your Social Security card is stolen, contact your local police department as soon as possible to file a theft report. Also, contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to request a replacement Social Security card.

Can two people have the same Social Security number?

"Social Security numbers can be associated with multiple individuals, and that individuals can have multiple SSNs associated with them.

What if my SSN is on the dark web?

Place a Freeze on Your Credit Report

If your Social Security number is on the dark web, this means that unscrupulous people can use it to open new credit cards and other financial accounts in your name. One way to prevent this from happening is to put a freeze on your credit report.

How much is it to change your Social Security number?

There is no charge for a Social Security card. This service is free. Please read our Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page to learn about changes to Social Security number card requests during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How do you check if my identity is being used?

What you can do to detect identity theft
  1. Track what bills you owe and when they're due. If you stop getting a bill, that could be a sign that someone changed your billing address.
  2. Review your bills. ...
  3. Check your bank account statement. ...
  4. Get and review your credit reports.

What are 3 things you should do to help keep your identity safe?

The Top 10 Ways to Protect Your Identity
  • Keep your mail safe. ...
  • Read your account statements. ...
  • Check your credit reports. ...
  • Shred! ...
  • Store personal documents at home. ...
  • Be wary of unknown phone calls and emails. ...
  • Create difficult logins and passwords. ...
  • Use one credit card for online shopping.

Can someone take a loan out in my name?

If someone does manage to steal your identity they could open bank accounts, obtain credit cards or loans, take out mobile phone contracts or buy things in your name. They could even apply for passports or driving licences, potentially doing even more damage to your finances and your credit rating.

Will my bank refund me if I get scammed?

If you paid by bank transfer or Direct Debit

Contact your bank immediately to let them know what's happened and ask if you can get a refund. Most banks should reimburse you if you've transferred money to someone because of a scam.

How do I stop someone from opening credit in my name?

Here are five steps you can take if someone opens a credit card in your name, so you can close the account and prevent further fraud.
  1. Contact the Credit Card Issuer's Fraud Department. ...
  2. Report the Identity Theft. ...
  3. Consider a Fraud Alert or Credit Freeze. ...
  4. Review Your Credit Reports.

Why would someone open a bank account in my name?

This person may be the actual fraudster or someone the criminal has manipulated into acting as a front for the fraud. The accounts are then used to either launder money or commit future fraud. Criminals use stolen credentials and personal data to open accounts in the names of individuals without their knowledge.

What type of accounts are most susceptible to identity theft?

Credit card accounts: New and existing credit card accounts are cited in nearly 30 percent of ID theft reports, with the number of incidents reported rising 48 percent.

What actions should you take to fix a stolen identity?

Sign up for credit monitoring.
  1. Notify the company or agency that issued your stolen credentials. ...
  2. Put a freeze or fraud alert on your credit. ...
  3. Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission. ...
  4. File a report with your local law enforcement agency. ...
  5. Obtain copies of documents used to open accounts or make fraudulent transactions.

How can someone steal your identity?

There are a number of ways identity thieves may obtain your personal information. Fraudsters may dig through mail or trash in search of credit card or bank statements. Unsecured web sites or public Wi-Fi may allow identity thieves to access your information electronically.

How does Social Security identity theft happen?

This can happen if your Social Security number is stolen in a data breach, through phishing emails or by simply being written down somewhere where it can be easily accessed by others. There are a few common tactics that are used in Social Security identity theft.