A criminal who has your Social Security number can use it to get other personal information about you. Someone illegally using your Social Security number and assuming your identity can cause you a great deal of distress and problems.

Your Social Security Number Is Confidential

The Social Security Administration always keeps your Social Security number protected and your records confidential.

Identity thieves get your personal information by:

Stealing your wallet or purse, and hacking your mail unsecured and unknown site online.

Visit http://www.identitytheft.gov/ to report any identity theft and get a recovery plan.

Rummaging through your trash, the trash of businesses for personal data; Buying personal information from “inside” sources.

Be Careful with Your Social Security Number

Provide your Social Security number to the financial institution(s) you have accounts with for tax reporting purposes.

What If Someone Is Using Your Number?

If you suspect someone is using your number for work purposes, you should contact the Social Security Administration to report the problem. To get your statement, you can go to www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

If you do not have an account, you can create one on the site. You should monitor your credit report periodically. You can get free credit reports online at www.annualcreditreport.com or other services like Credit Karma.

Read more: Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number: What You Need to Know

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