What can I do to find out if someone is using my Social Security Number?
When an identity thief has a victim's Social Security number, he or she has a passport to commit Social Security fraud, identity theft, and many other crimes. This is one of the many reasons why people should never carry their Social Security cards in their wallets or purses. From the time of issuance when we're children, Social Security cards should be stored in a safe location at home, away from credit cards, drivers' licenses, and other personal information.If you suspect that a criminal has your Social Security number, the Social Security Administration can help point you in the right direction, but it can't fix your credit. You're the only one who can do that. To that end, here are some things to do if someone is using your Social Security number to commit identity theft and Social Security fraud:1. Stay cool and focused.While identity theft is stressful, you're the only person who can help with this problem, and you can't solve it in a week or a month. It will take time. Stay as calm and focused as possible, and methodically address the problem.2. Contact the credit reporting agencies.Contact TransUnion, Equifax, or Experian to place a fraud alert on your credit report. Each agency is required to alert the other two when you place an alert. The alert will prevent a thief from opening any new accounts in your name.• Equifax: 1-800-525-6285, www.equifax.com• TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289, www.transunion.com• Experian: 1-888-397-3742, www.experian.com3. Get a copy of your credit report.The law requires each credit agency to provide you with a free copy of your credit report when you place a fraud alert. Examine each report carefully, and look for accounts in your name that you did not open.4. Contact each creditor.Make a list of the creditors, and contact them by phone and again by mail. Write down the names of the people with whom you speak at each creditor and when. Also, keep a list of all correspondence with each creditor. Remember that you're building your own case and rebuilding your credibility and creditworthiness from scratch. Keeping accurate records is one of your best tools for recovering from identity theft.5. Contact the Federal Trade Commission.The FTC has an Identity Theft Hotline at 1-877-438-4338 and an online identity theft complaint form at https://www.ftccomplaintassistan....6. Contact the Social Security Administration.Fill out the SSA's online complaint form or call them at 1-800-269-0271 to report the activity.If a thief has your Social Security number, it will take a while to recover from identity theftbut you should know that you're not alone in your struggle. Millions of people are victims of Social Security fraud every year, and there are resources out there to help you if you're willing to go out and get them.
Were you ever a victim of fraud or a scam? If so, what happened?
My husband, along with his mother, scammed me and my family. I say 'husband' because I'm still in the process of getting divorced from him.It was an arranged marriage. Mutual friends of mutual friends verified his background story. I resigned from my job and moved to the country where he was staying. The plan was to look for a job there as soon as I'd want to. I was promised my expenses would be taken care of nevertheless.For the wedding preparations, he was trusted with a collective amount which included the venue payment along with other general expenses. He didn't deposit the amount at the venue, despite being given repeated reminders from my side.Two days before the event, he messaged to say he wouldn't be able to because his cheque book had finished. Since it was the weekend, he wouldn't be able to get a new one.This was not taken well by my side of family. We were beyond furious. Giving him benefit of the doubt, I went ahead with this marriage.It was all downhill from there:His mother asked for more money to pay for the next wedding event. I said no. My family said no.Three days into the marriage his mother sat me down to say he had lost one of his two businesses. Never really giving a reason why. The second business was real estate. He couldn't get one deal through for a year and a half. However, he managed to get a number of high profile investors to give money promising unrealistic returns. I came across a list on a paper once, it had a number of people in it with six figure amounts next to them. He claimed they were previous investors.Him and his mother tried to convince me to put all of my personal savings in a joint account with him. I said no. There was a lot of cajoling-bullying involved. I stuck to my guns.Jewellery gifted to me by my parents, was stolen by these two. He said he put it in his locker for me. When I asked for it back, him and his Mom turned ugly. I persisted but everytime I was shot down with a logic-defying excuse and string of words meant to demean me. And it worked, I kept quiet. When I finally managed to get somewhat of a real answer, I was completely broken.But my brokenness didn't just come from these five incidents. They expected money every month, for car rental, for house rental, for paying off internet, electricity bills, for paying off creditors that threatened to put them in jail. A 'no' was never taken kindly. Always with a lot of emotional abuse.When the threat of jail came to from one of the investors. I was turned to for money. I couldn't come through for a number of reasons. They were merciless in their bullying. I ended up lying on the floor for two days, too petrified to do anything. I had a complete breakdown. I came through with a lot of emotional support from my siblings and parents.I had them move to my parents house for about a month and half, because they got evicted for not paying house rent for two years. His mother once bullied me to the point where I said I would take my life. That didn't stop her. And I was appropriately horrified at my own response and started looking for therapists.A couple of months later, he was arrested. I travelled back to the country where I was working. I underwent therapy. Meanwhile, his mother got arrested as well.She was released a month ago. I don't know when he will be released.But I do know that I won't go back there again.
How are you protecting yourself from identity theft?
Identity theft is a very serious offense that can ruin your finances and credit scores. The effects of identity theft are so devastating that it is difficult to compensate for the loss.Here are some steps that help you prevent identity theft:Create strong passwords – Create strong passwords using random combinations of letters, numbers, symbols or special characters. Make sure you create different passwords for different accounts. If needed, you can change them also from time to time.Shred your sensitive documents – Never toss your sensitive information like your bank details or receipts in the trash. Always dispose it properly using a cross-cut shredder or shredding service.Always check and monitor your credit reports – Ensure that your check your credit reports occasionally. You can request one free credit report every four months and review it to scan for any incorrect information.Protect your Social Security number – Do not share your personal login credentials with any one at any cost. Never keep your social security numbers in purse or wallets.Be cautious when using social media – Be smart when updating your personal information like your birthdays, addresses or contact details. Make sure you strengthen your privacy settings. Also, be careful when accepting friend requests or connectionsKeep your phones safe – Make sure you secure your phone by keeping screen locks or put passwords, disable Bluetooth when not using it and be careful while downloading any free software version.Learn how to detect phishing frauds – Do not open any unsolicited email attachments, embedded links, SMS or answer any phone call asking to reveal your personal information.Review and monitor your financial statements – If you find any suspicious activity in your bank or credit card accounts, report it to your respective bank immediately.Secure your mails – Swipe off unknown mails to prevent identity theft. Using a locked mailbox or P.O. Box is a good idea
How is Facebook combating the practice of account cloning?
I came across account cloning when a college senior spotlighted her clone profile via Facebook status update, someone was asking money from her friends on her behalf, and I was amazed by the criminal psyche of people...Well, here is the gist as per my understanding and expetise as a Social Media Marketeer.What is Facebook profile cloning It is an identity theft, someone creates an imitation of your profile, takes your picture and about us information, and then adds your friends to their list. This entire thing is done with great precision, like in my senior's case, the impostor even blocked her before adding her friends (my senior had to put a public message stating someone is faking her profile). The user was manipulating her friends, in other cases people may even ask for money, so beware. So basically, a clone can do anything as you, and create a hell mess... just imagine, what if people start blocking you considering that hour’s is a fake profile. Scary! Who does it and what is the intention: Cyber criminals does it to steal information, theft, spread malicious messages or for crime. What you can do, if you are the victim: Report fake account to Facebook, if you are unable to see impostor account, report the account via email address, If you have a friend who's able to view the impostor account then they can block that account by following the steps given in the end of this answer.Facebook is amazingly responsive now a days to any sort of malpractices, here is what Facebook does: Facebook wants people to feel safe when using Facebook. Having said that, Facebook has developed a set of community standards, any user not following the community standards is questioned by Facebook in the form of one of the three security alerts:Normal Security Alert: Sends verification to Facebook registered mobile number and asks user to verify the number.Medium Security Alert: Creates a security check gateway, asks to recognize your friends, friend's images are shown to the user for friends name verification, this is done to verify that you are a real person.High Security Alert: In worst case scenario Facebook asks for Government Id card, licence, bus card, or similar cards with Age, picture and name etc. mentioned in it.How to report a cloned facebook account: How do I report a fake account that's pretending to be someone I know?Fake profiles and Pages created to imitate real people (impostor accounts) are not allowed on Facebook.If someone created an account pretending to be one of your friends, please ask them to report it to us. You can also send your friend a message that will let them know about the impostor profile. To send a message:Go to the impostor profileClick and select the option to reportFollow the instructions for an account that's pretending to be someone you knowIf your friend doesn't have a Facebook account, they'll need to fill out this form. Please keep in mind that we can only act on reports from the person who's being impersonated.What you can do to safeguard yourself: Set your friends list to "me only" view, your account will no longer be desirable to cyber criminals.Happy and safe face-booking!
How do I get the taxes done in a social security that was used by someone else, but was under my name?
There are a number of steps to take, and I will give you a link below.Certainly for tax purposes, you need to contact the IRS. There is a form to fill out if someone else is using your SSN. Complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit. Use a fillable form at An official website of the United States government, print, then mail or fax according to instructions.You also should call your local social security office.Here are other steps to follow:Identity Theft Information for Taxpayers and Victims
What are the signs indicating victim of identity theft?
[Answer for the USA] The tools for discovering identity theft are: get a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting companies and get a copy of your social security earnings statement from the SSA.If you see a change of address on your credit report or a new account being opened that isn’t yours, immediately place a fraud alert on your credit report and contact whoever holds the account and notify them that it is fraudulent. If you see wages reported to the SSA that aren’t yours, contact SSA and notify them.If you find you are the victim of identity theft, visit the FTC website identity theft page and follow the steps there.Identity Theft Recovery Steps