Last Updated on September 21, 2023
A social security number is a nine-digit number used to track your identity. The number has been entirely randomized since 2011 and is usually applied for at the time of your birth. If you commence new employment or apply for government-funded benefits, you will require your social security number to verify your identity.
What can someone do with your social security number?
There are several ways that criminals look to steal people’s social security numbers. For example, thieves have found them by simply searching through trash to find personal documentation. Your social security number could also be at risk in the online sphere, with cybercriminals able to exploit data breaches and then either use your details themselves or sell them on the dark web.
How Do I Tell if Someone Has Stolen My Social Security Number?
Unfortunately, this type of crime can often be challenging to discover. People who steal a person’s social security number can use their identity for long periods without being found out. However, there are ways that you can check whether your social security number has been compromised.
5 Common Things Someone Can Do With Your Social Security Number
Once your personal details have been discovered, thieves can either sell your identity to others or take advantage of services in your name. They can access medical care, file fraudulent tax returns, steal benefits, commit crimes, and open accounts in your name, all with your social security number.
Access to medical care
False information on your health records could lead to disastrous consequences. For example, if you needed a blood transfusion and the wrong blood type was given, it could be life-threatening. It can also impact your ability to access your medical insurance when you need it.
File fraudulent tax returns
A thief may be able to use your social security number to obtain a fraudulent tax refund in your name. Not only can this prevent any rightful tax rebates from going to you, but it can also taint your tax record.
Steal your benefits
A criminal can also claim social security benefits using your social security number. They could file for unemployment and other social services benefits, leaving you unable to access services should you need them at another time.
Commit crimes in your name
One of the most dangerous consequences of social security number theft is having crimes committed using your identifiers. If someone is arrested and submits your information to law enforcement, you become entangled in their criminal activity. This could have a significant impact on your ability to get a job, a loan, or even rent an apartment.
Open accounts in your name
Although you may be able to detect a social security number breach using your credit report, it won’t instantly wipe these transactions from your record. Even if you have been a victim of identity fraud, the damage done by the thief can take months or even years to recover from.
Can Someone Access My Bank Account Using My Social Security Number?
Although a criminal may be able to steal your social security number and use it to access medical care, and benefits and take out new accounts in your name, it is more complex when accessing your existing accounts.
Luckily, identity thieves may find it quite challenging to access your bank accounts with your social security number. Most banks have requirements for additional pieces of identifying information to access your accounts, such as a passport utility bill. Most banks have added layers of security measures to prevent thieves from accessing your accounts, such as security questions and one-time passwords.
However, unfortunately, hackers can find identifying information and personal data to get into your accounts if you do not have the right kinds of protections in place on your computer or mobile device.
Read More: Full Review of Identity Guard