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Beware Of Social Security Identity Theft


Over the last decade, counterfeit Social Security cards have become a hot commodity and are bought with more and more regularity.  Every year, the Social Security Administration receives, on average, 8.5 million earnings reports where the name fails to match the Social Security Number (SSN).  At identification mills throughout the country, SSN imposters can purchase fake, yet reasonably authentic-looking, Social Security cards with a random nine-digit number that usually already belongs to someone.  Also, because employers are not required by law to verify SSNs, once the perpetrators use the card, acquire jobs, and start working, the theft often goes unnoticed. 


In 2000, it was estimated that nearly 130,000 Social Security numbers were being used by more than one person in Utah alone, which indicates that this is by no means a rare crime. 


The financial damages to SSN victims can be devastating.  Listed below are a few ways to prevent Social Security identity fraud from happening:

·      Use a credit monitoring service which, at an affordable price, notifies one within 24 hours if there is any unusual activity.

·      Destroy any credit card solicitations and financial documents that come in the mail before tossing them out.

·      Do not give out your Social Security Number freely.

·      Do not carry your Social Security card with you.

·      Do not have your Social Security Number printed on checks.

·      Never answer unsolicited phone or E-mail messages about your accounts, even if they look or sound legitimate.


For more information, visit www.annualcreditreport. com or call (877) 322-8228.


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