Protecting yourself and yours from identity theft is a very important topic and one you shouldn’t shy away from.
With that being said, in this post on How to protect your social security number from identity theft, I will be making a list of some of the best methods and ways to protect your social security number.
How to Protect Your Social Security Number from Identity Theft
Identity theft is thriving in the United States recently. And part of this is because Americans are asked on a regular to provide details of their social security number in various types of interactions.
Normally, social security numbers were never intended to be used as a primary source of ID, but in many ways, this is exactly what has happened. Fortunately for people, there are ways and fail-safes in place for individuals to better protect their SSNs from identity theft and scams.
When you Should Provide your Social Security Number
There are times that you should provide your social security number as not everyone that makes a request for it actually needs it. normally if an entity reports information in regards to you to the internal revenue services (IRS), then you probably have to submit your SSN and this includes your bank/lenders, employer, the US treasury for savings bonds, state unemployment insurance, and lastly, your worker’s compensation offices.
And although many other organizations and institutions alike have the legal right to ask for your SSN, they often do not need or require it. And you on the other hand are not legally obliged to provide it. With that being said, let’s jump into the best ways to better protect your social security number from scams and identity theft
Steps to Protect your Social Security Number
Below are some of the 10 things that you can actually do to safeguard your SSN;
- When asked for your SSN, always offer an alternative form of ID.
- You should always ask for the reason why your SSN is needed and how it will be handled. Some of the questions you should ask include;
- Why is having my SSN necessary?
- To whom are you sharing my number in the event that I provide it?
- Will you cover my losses or liability if my number is compromised or stolen?
- Lastly, how will my number be stored?
- Always leave your card at home when necessary.
- You should always shred documents and emails with personal details.
- Never use your SSN as a password.
- You should not send your SSN through an electronic device.
- Don’t give your SSN out to strangers.
- Always monitor your bank and credit card accounts.
- Do not forget to protect the SSN of your child.
- You should consider an identity protection service.
These are some of the ways you can protect your social security number from scams and identity theft.
What to Do In The Event That You Are Scammed or You Think You Are Scammed
The social security administration publishes a booklet titled identity theft and your social security number. The book provides basic protection tips and in addition to this, it also provides information on what to do in the event that your identity and SSN have been compromised or stolen. Below are some of the steps that you can actually take if you think that you have been scammed;
- Contact the social security administration immediately.
- If your MBI has been stolen, you should contact Medicare immediately
- Request for a review of your social security earnings.
- Next, check employer verifications at my E-verify.
- Visit or go to identitytheft.gov to get a recovery plan.
- You should immediately contact the internal revenue services (IRS)
- File an online complaint with the FBI internet crime complaint center (IC3) immediately.
- As a last option, you should apply for a new SSN.
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