Identity theft is booming in the United States. Can someone steal my identity with my social security number?
Five malicious ways a thief can use your social security number
- Financial Identity Theft – If a thief uses personal information (PII), such as a social security number, for financial gain, you are a victim of financial identity theft. The scammer can fill out false applications for loans, credit cards or bank accounts on your behalf or withdraw money from his accounts. This may include credit card fraud, bank fraud, computer fraud, bank fraud, mail fraud and employment fraud.
- Government Identity Theft – Fraudsters may use your personal information to interact with government. One example is tax identity theft or tax refund fraud, also known as identity theft fraud (SIRF). A SIRF occurs when a thief uses your social security number and other personal information to file a tax return on your behalf to apply for a tax refund – essentially stealing money from the US treasury.
- Criminal identity theft – someone who has your social security number and is accepted by law enforcement for a crime can also use it as your own “get out of prison” card.
- Medical identity theft – a thief can provide information in case of emergency or for other medical care, potentially negatively affecting the scope of healthcare and endangering your safety if false information about the need for treatment appears in your documentation. If this happens, you may receive different notifications:
- Bills and collections require medical services that you did not receive
- Unknown collection notifications in your credit reports
- Medicare or another health insurance company informs you that you have reached the limit of your plan
- Refusal of insurance due to misinformation
5. Usage scam – You can’t think about services such as telephone, water, gas and cable services when your social security number is stolen, but criminals can use your number and other personal information to open public service contracts or improve services on existing accounts.
When to provide your social security number
Not everyone who asks for your SSN actually needs one. In general, if an entity reports information about you to the Internal Revenue Service, you probably need to provide your social security number. This includes employer, banks / lenders, US Treasury Department Savings Bonds, state or social security departments, state unemployment insurance departments and compensation for employees.
Although other institutions and companies have the right to ask for your number, they do not need it.