Social security number is allotted to you only once in your life. Even if it is stolen or misused, you cannot change it. People are very careful about their credit cards or debit cards. They take many precautions for protecting their card details. However they are not that vigilant about their social security number. Theft of the social security number can lead to far more serious consequences which can even destroy your entire life. card for social security benefits
Social security number is one of the primary form of identification in US. It is asked for even now and then and people tend to submit it freely. This weakness is realized by identity thieves who steal your number and use it for malicious purposes.
The thieves will use your social security number in two ways. Either they will use both your name and the number together for fraudulent purposes or they can use your number with their own name. Both these things lead to evil consequences. Let us see how they do it.
- Opening new lines of credit – Your name is used for opening a new line of credit, a mortgage or a credit card, quoting your number with your personal details. The thieves will siphon all the money and will never pay the dues. Finally the dues go into collections and you get a shock on receiving notices from the collection agencies.
- Gaining illegal employment – Illegal immigrants may buy or steal a social security number for getting employment. They will always keep their withholding at a very low level and will finally end up in huge tax liabilities. As the office of social security never vouches for the name and corresponding number of an individual, the employer will not be able to know the real details of the employee. Finally, the person in whose name the social security number really stands will get unexpected tax liabilities.
- Obtaining other documents like a driving license – The thieves may apply for a driving license quoting your number. The license may be used for criminal purposes. The crimes will naturally go in you name. You may be arrested or even fired from your job due to a criminal history which you have never created.
- Misusing medical facilities – Quoting your social security number, someone can get costly medical care in your name, and then without payment of bills he/she can disappear leaving behind a huge debt for you. Even worse, your medical record may be spoiled because of such incidence. Your blood group, your allergies and other precautions required for you may be entered on your medical record which are not in fact yours and this can create serious complications when you get admitted for any reason.
As it is not possible for you to change your social security number, you should take extreme care while handing it over to anyone. If you think submitting it is not necessary, you should question the institution or person about the purpose of asking for it. You should also check regularly your credit report in order to find out suspicious entries. If anyone has used your name and your number to get some benefit, you may come to know about it sooner. However if your number is used with another name, you may not find such fraud for years.
There are some professional monitoring agencies in the market who can guard your identity on the Internet. They will apply some special software in order to find out whether there is any misuse of your social security number, your credit or debit card or any other personal information on the Internet or in public records. You can subscribe to one of these services and get some peace of mind. After all, your life must not be destroyed by these thieves for a small neglect on your part.
You get restless and annoyed when you suspect that someone has accessed and misused your personal details. The financial pain which comes thereafter is unbearable. Your social security number may be stolen from many places. Are you aware of that? How serious is it? How to increase your protection? Chintamani Abhyankar suggests some strategies which will help you to protect your money, your health and your life.