Having your identity stolen is a pain. It is also much more prevalent. This article from the Social Security Administration provides a couple of tips to help protect your identity. The article also provides a few key steps of what to do when you discover that someone else is using your social security number. Read the full article here
Every year, millions of Americans become victims of identity theft. Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personally identifiable information and pretends to be you. They can use this information to open bank or credit card accounts, file taxes, or make new purchases in your name.
It is important that you take steps to protect your Social Security number from theft. If someone obtains your Social Security number, they can use it to get other personal information about you, including your bank or credit information.
Someone can steal your Social Security number by:
- Stealing your wallet, purse, or mail
- Obtaining personal information you provide to an unsecured site on the Internet
- Rummaging through your trash
- Posing by phone or email as someone who needs information about you
If someone asks for your number, you should ask why, how it will be used, and what will happen if you refuse. Make sure you give your employer and your financial institution(s) your correct Social Security number, so your records and tax information are accurate.
To minimize the risk of identity theft, keep your Social Security card and any other documents that show your Social Security number in a safe place. Do not carry your Social Security card or other documents with you that display your number unless you need them.
Safeguarding your identity and Social Security is of the utmost importance. If you think you’re a victim of identity theft, please act now. For more information, read the full publication Identity Theft And Your Social Security Number or visit the Social Security Administration website.
David Strege, CFP®, AEP®, CAP®
Partner, Senior Financial Planner