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Social Security Number Fraud: How to Identify and Report?

Social Security numbers are nine-digit numbers given out to every citizen of the United States to benefit from government services and tax purposes.

Being a victim of social security number fraud can compromise your financial details.

The fraudster can commit a cyber crime by exploiting your credit on your behalf by issuing new credit cards or taking loans in your name.

Identity Theft is the most common cybercrime in the united states and staying aware might be of your benefit.

What is a Social Security Number (SSN)?

Each American citizen is given a Social Security number, a nine-digit numerical code, by the government in order to assist them with income and tax benefits.

Previously, these numbers were given out when the individual reached the age of employment; currently, they are given out at the time of birth, and parents are required to complete a form in order to obtain an SSN.


SSNs are used to keep track of a person’s income, offer tax advantages, and track credit reports.

Your SSN is required when applying for a job, obtaining a passport, filing legal documents, opening new credit cards, or opening a bank account.

What happens if your SSN is stolen?

Your SSN can be used to open new credit accounts in your name, modify information on existing accounts, get medical services in your name, and cause trouble with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if it is stolen.

Social Security Number

By opening new credit cards in your name and not making the payments, Cyber criminals can take advantage of your good credit and lower your credit score.

Your SSN can be used to take medical care in your name. Many people are unaware until they see a collection notice for an account they weren’t aware of on their credit report.

How To know if your SSN is being used by someone?

If Your SSN gets stolen, you should immediately make sure it isn’t being misused, below are some steps o know if it’s being used by scammers.

1. Credit Report

If the cybercriminal got hold of your SSN, check your credit report as soon as possible to identify any new credit cards and loans been taken out on your name. Your credit report is the first thing you should check after losing your SSN.

Social Security Number

2. IRS communications

Check any emails from the IRS for any notification about filing a tax return or return has been filed. Your SSN may be used to file fraudulent tax returns. Cybercriminals can also use your SSN to snatch your tax benefits on your behalf of you.

3. Medical Care

If you see a medical or clinic bill detail in your credit report, chances are your SSN was used to take medical care in your name and you were unaware of it. Your SSN can be used to issue new credit cards which can be used to get medical assistance and when it gets defaulted your credit will get spoiled.

4. Inaccurate Bank Statement

If your account has debits for any services you did not opt in for, your SSN might be stolen. Money deduction from your account for services you do not use is a sign of a shared SSN. Your SSN is now not yours it’s being used in a group.


5. Unknown Mails

Getting mail with someone else’s name on your address can be a sign of someone using your SSN for their benefits. Getting emails from banks or IRS with different identities is a bad sign for you.

6. Debt collection calls

Getting debt collection calls even if you have good credit and have paid all your mortgage or credit bills. Someone using credit cards in your name and defaulting on them, now you are getting calls to pay bills because you were careless to keep your SSN secure and check your credit report.


Social Security Number

How to Report Social Security Number Fraud in the United States?

If you find out your Social Security Number is being used by someone you should report it straight away to the responsible authorities.

1. Federal Trade Commission

The first report should be filed at the portal managed by the Federal Trade Commission to cope with identity theft victims. is the one-stop resource for identity theft victims in the federal governments of the united states.

Report your SSN fraud at the portal and take a copy and file a complaint at your local police office too.

If you see any fraudulent transaction or credit being taken out in your name, file a complaint at the FTC portal at

2. Contact Social Security Administration

If you find out someone is misusing your social security number and committing fraud, contact the Dedicated social security Administration at

Visit the portal and file a complaint about the fraud you are a victim of with suitable evidence.

You can also contact the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271.

3. Notify The Internal Revenue Service(IRS)

To avoid fraud tax return filing on your SSN you should inform the IRS about the identity theft so that your account can be marked for fraud activity prior to it.

If you receive a notice or mail from the IRS which confirms someone is using your SSN for fraudulent activities you can contact the IRS immediately by responding to the contact numbers provided by them in the mail or letter you received.

You can contact IRS at the specialized hotline at 800-908-4490, IRS officers will assist you in resolving your tax accounts issues that may have caused due to the identity theft crime.

If your SSN is stolen and you think the scammer might perform fraud activities, you can ask the IRS to mark your account to identify any suspicious activities, you can fill out Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit form, and submit it to the IRS by mail or fax mentioned in the form.

4. Notify Credit Bureaus

When your SSN is compromised, you should contact the Credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file.

When your SSN is stolen, the scammer might try to get a new credit card or loan in your name, but when you place a fraud alert on your credit file, the credit bureaus will contact you before opening any new accounts on your credit.

You can contact any one credit bureau for the fraud alert and they will inform all the credit bureaus to place an alert. you will be notified when the alert is successfully placed.

To place a fraud alert, contact Experian (call 1-888-397-3742 ), TransUnion (call 1-800-680-7289 ), or Equifax (call 1-888-766-0008).


  1. What is social security number fraud?

    When someone steals your social security number and uses it to open credit accounts, file false tax returns, or engage in other criminal activity under your name, this is referred to as social security number fraud.

  2. How can I tell if my social security number has been compromised?

    Unauthorised charges on your credit report, a notice from the IRS that multiple tax returns have been filed using your social security number, or a denial of credit or employment because of bad information on your credit report are some indications that your social security number may have been compromised.

  3. What should I do if my social security number has been compromised?

    You should act right away to safeguard your identity if you believe that your social security number has been compromised. This can entail informing the Social Security Administration, putting a fraud warning or security freeze on your credit report, and submitting a police report.

  4. How can I prevent social security number fraud?

    It’s crucial to exercise caution when handling your personal information to lower the possibility of social security number fraud. This include throwing away documents that hold confidential information, being cautious of phishing schemes and opportunistic phone calls and emails, and routinely checking your credit report for irregularities.

  5. Can I change my social security number if it has been compromised?

    A social security number change is typically not an option. By adding a fraud warning to your credit report and informing the necessary authorities, you may protect your identity and lessen the harm caused by social security number fraud.

  6. How do scammers obtain social security numbers?

    Social security numbers can be obtained by scammers in a number of ways, including phishing attacks, data breaches, and theft of actual documents containing personal data.

  7. Can social security number fraud affect my credit score?

    Yes, if the fraudster starts creating fake accounts or accumulates debt in your name, social security number fraud can have a negative effect on your credit score. It’s crucial to frequently check your credit record and counter any unauthorised activity.

  8. How long does it take to recover from social security number fraud?

    Depending on the severity of the fraud and how soon you act to solve it, the time it takes to recover from social security number fraud can vary. To fully cure the problem and restore your credit report, it can take several months or even years. Even after the fraud has been rectified, it’s critical to keep an eye on your accounts and credit report.


Cyber Bell India

Tech enthusiast, and here to preach about cyber awareness. Share blogs if found helpful.

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