How To Report A Stolen Social Security Number
Learning how to report a stolen Social Security number will help bring ease to a stressful situation. Having a Social Security number stolen means someone has access to personal information, and can apply for credit in your name. Educate yourself on the steps to take when a Social Security number is stolen, because you never know if you, or someone you know, can fall victim to identity theft.
To report a stolen social security number you will need:
- Internet access
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC) information
- Credit Report
- Place fraud alert on credit reports. To place a fraud alert on your credit report, call one of three consumer reporting companies. There is no need to call all three, because once one has been alerted, all three will know you are experiencing fraudulent activity. The three consumer reporting companies you can file a report with over the phone are: TransUnion 1(800) 680-7289, Equifax 1(800) 525-6285 and Experian 1(888) 397-3742.
- Monitor credit reports. Once a fraud alert has been placed, you can order one free copy of your credit report from all three consumer reporting companies. Once you receive the reports, go over them thoroughly and look for inquiries from companies you haven't contacted, accounts you didn't open and debts on your accounts that you can't explain. You will need to keep updated regularly on your credit report for the first year after your Social Security number has been stolen to ensure no new fraudulent activity has occurred.
- File a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint. File a complaint with the FTC using the online complaint form; or call the FTC's Identity Theft Hotline, toll-free: 1(877) ID-THEFT (438-4338). You can also write a letter to the Identity Theft Clearinghouse informing them that your Social Security number has been stolen. Send it to this address: Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580. Call the hotline to update your complaint if you have any additional information or problems.
- Close fraudulent accounts. Close all accounts that you know or think have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Call and speak with someone in the security or fraud department of each company. Follow up in writing, and include supporting documents. Never send originals, only copies. Always send letters to bank or credit card companies via certified mail, with a return receipt requested to ensure you know when each company received your letter.
- Check Social Security records. If your Social Security number was stolen, you should check your Social Security records to ensure your income is calculated correctly, and no one else has been working under the same number. Call this number, 1(800) 772-1213, Monday through Friday, all day except between the hours of two to three a.m. Within two to four weeks, you will receive a statement in the mail which will include a record of your earnings history and an estimate of how much you and your employer paid in Social Security taxes.
The Social Security department does not take reports or actions against a stolen Social Security number, it only re-issues cards. You are only allowed three replacement cards a year, and 10 during your lifetime. If you receive a new Social Security number, you will not be able use the old number anymore, and using a new number will not guarantee you a fresh start. Always remember to keep your Social Security card in a safe place, and avoid carrying it in a purse or wallet. This will cut down the chances of your Social Security number being stolen.