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What Can You Do With Social Security Number

They Can Use Your Ssn To Drain Your Existing Bank Accounts

Steps you should take if your social security numbers stolen

Identity hackers also can use your stolen SSN to dip into any of your existing bank accounts. Armed with that knowledge, they simply can transfer money.

If they hacked your SSN, they might have obtained your passwords and the answers to secret security questions, too, such as your mothers maiden name. The drain on your accounts might be gradual or you might wake up to find your entire savings gone. Hackers also have begun to use apps such as Zelle to transfer money illegally.

Pro tip: Its important to protect yourself from hackers and scammers. Monitor your bank account on a daily basis to identify the slightest unfamiliar withdrawal or other changes to the account. The earlier you catch the fraud, the easier it will be to deal with it.

Why Does At & T Need My Social Security Number

No not even close. So I click on Why do we need this? right after the empty SS# box which I will not fill in. It says Your Social Security Number is required by AT. By providing your Social Security Number, you give credit check consent and reporting authorization as follows:

When do I need to give my Social Security number?

If you use credit to pay for the activity, the organization may need your Social Security number. If you pay for it upfront or with a direct debit to your bank account or credit card, they dont. Period.

Ways Criminals Use A Stolen Ssn

If someone with bad intentions obtains your SSN, they can cause a lot of havoc. They could build up debt in your name or even land you in trouble with the law.

If they steal your SSN in conjunction with other information, such as your date of birth, theres even more a criminal can achieve. They could use that data to dig up more identifying information, such as your credit history or vehicle ownership. Every piece of personal data they get makes it easier to open accounts and apply for loans as if they were you.

Its even possible to steal someones identity using only the last four digits of their SSN. Expert criminals sometimes use complex computer algorithms to guess the rest of the number.

Next, well go into more detail about what someone can do with your SSN and the potential repercussions for you. Well also offer some tips on how to deal with each situation.

Also Check: Social Security Administration Wichita Kansas

What Does Your Social Security Number Say About You

For the average American, the Social Security Number holds special significance. It follows you from birth to death and can act as a key to a variety of sensitive information bank accounts, tax returns, drivers license information, residences, etc. However, even though you likely know your social by heart, you probably dont know what those nine digits actually reveal. Todays blog explores the history and significance of the social security number and how the SSN is used in the background screening industry.

Replacement Card For A Noncitizen Child

Social Security number

You can replace your child’s Social Security card for free if it is lost or stolen. You are limited to three replacement cards in a year and 10 during a lifetime. Legal name changes and other exceptions do not count toward these limits. For example, changes in immigration status that require card updates may not count toward these limits. Also, you may not be affected by these limits if you can prove you need the card to prevent a significant hardship.

In general, only noncitizens who have permission to work from the Department of Homeland Security can apply for a Social Security number. If your child does not have permission to work but needs a Social Security number for other purposes, see “If your child does not have permission to work” for further information.


You must present original documents or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies. All documents must be current . We cannot accept a receipt showing you applied for the document.

Also Check: What Percent Is Social Security Tax

Social Security Numbers Arent Secure: What Should We Use Instead

The answer is not as simple as replacing each nine-digit number with a longer one

Telecommunications company T-Mobile confirmed last month that hackers gained access to 54 million users personal data, including names, addresses, dates of birth andperhaps worst of allsocial security numbers. The latter are a big score for identity thieves because they can be used to unlock financial services, government benefits and private medical information.

This is only the latest major data breach to expose such identifying information on a massive scale, rendering hundreds of millions of Americans more vulnerable to identity theft. To stem the problem, some experts are calling for an end to social security numbers, suggesting we should replace them with some otherand less inherently vulnerableway of proving ones identity. But security experts think the government does not need to entirely do away with them. Instead the organizations that use social security numbers as proof of identity must start requiring more than a single form of ID.

Things Identity Thieves Could Use Your Ssn For

Commit Crimes Using Your Name

Dont have a criminal history? Well, you could end up with one if a real criminal gives your social security number to the police. If they have your SSN, they could falsely assume your identity so the police dont find out about their past crimes. Having a crime appear on your background check could impact your chances at getting a job and purchasing a home.

Get Loans and Credit Cards In Your Name

Having someone get loans and credit cards in your name is financial suicide! They can purchase whatever they want without paying for it. Youll end up with the bill, and since you likely cant pay the fraudulent charges off, your credit score will be negatively impacted.

File A Fake Tax Refund/Return

An identity thief with your SSN could assume your identity and claim a pending tax refund you have. These criminals try to beat their victims to the punch by claiming the return early on in tax season. Victims will typically find this out when their tax refund is denied multiple times.

Medical Care and Insurance Theft

If someone has your social security information, they could claim to be you and use your health insurance to receive medical care. However, this is way deadlier than you may think. If there are medical records on file about the criminal , it could lead to a medical mix-up down the road when you need care. And not to mention the expensive medical bills youll be left to pay!

Steal Your Social Security Benefits

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Should You Get A New Ssn If Yours Was Stolen

Your Social Security number is one of the few things that doesnât change during your lifetime. The process for getting a new SSN is not easy, and is only possible in very specific circumstances.

For example, you will have to prove that your current SSN is causing you serious hardships, such as continued identity theft or threats of physical harm.

Plus, getting a new SSN wonât make the old one disappear. Government agencies and private businesses including banks will still have records of you filed under your old number, which can create headaches down the road.

If you do want to apply for a new SSN, youâll first need to complete an SSN application form and provide documentation supporting why you need a new number.

Obtain Credit Cards Or Loans In Your Name

How to Find Someone By Social Security Number

Fraudsters are mostly motivated by financial gain. And a stolen SSN gives them plenty of opportunities to steal your money or destroy your credit. In 2020 alone, there were 363,092 cases of fraud by new credit card accounts .

With just your SSN, name, and address, fraudsters can take out a credit card or loan in your name. Once theyâve opened a new account, theyâll quickly max out your credit and leave you with the bill â which can seriously damage your credit score and affect your ability to apply for credit in the future.

ð¯ Pro tip: Monitor your SSN for signs of fraud.

Read Also: Social Security Disability Overpayment Statute Of Limitations

While You’re On The Irs’s Website Get A Pin

The IRS offers a free, six-digit, identity protection PIN that you can get through their website. When you file your tax return you’ll need to provide that PIN to verify your identity. That makes it a lot harder for somebody else to file a tax return in your name, since even if they have your Social Security number they shouldn’t have your PIN.

To get the PIN just go to . You’ll need to go through a little process to verify your identity, then they’ll issue you the PIN.

It’s not a bad idea to do this proactively just to help limit the damage identity thieves could do later.

How Do Benefits Work And How Can I Qualify

While you work, you pay Social Security taxes. This tax money goes into a trust fund that pays benefits to:

  • Those who are currently retired
  • To people with disabilities
  • To the surviving spouses and children of workers who have died

Each year you work, youll get credits to help you become eligible for benefits when its time for you to retire. Find all the benefits Social Security Administration offers.

There are four main types of benefits that the SSA offers:

  • Learn about earning limits if you plan to work while receiving Social Security benefits

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Get Ssa Benefits While Living Abroad

U.S. citizens can travel to or live in most, but not all, foreign countries and still receive their Social Security benefits. You can find out if you can receive benefits overseas by using the Social Security Administrations payment verification tool. Once you access the tool, pick the country you’re visiting or living in from the drop-down menu options.

Here’s Where To Get More Information On Social Security Numbers

SSN Card Template

Identity Theft: If you think an identity thief is using your SSN to work or to collect benefits, call the Social Security Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271. If you think someone may be using your SSN to work, check your Social Security Personal Earnings and Benefit Statement. You can get a copy by calling 1-800-772-1213, or online at www.ssa.gov/online/ssa-7004.pdf. Also see the Social Security Administration’s booklet “Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number,” at www.ssa.gov/pubs/10064.html.

History of SSNs: For a chronology of the laws relating to SSNs, see www.ssa.gov/history/ssn/ssnchron.html.

What the Numbers Mean: For an explanation of the meaning of the numbers in SSNs and answers to other questions about SSNs, see www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/.

More on Protecting your SSN: “Fact Sheet 10: My Social Security Number: How Secure Is It?” from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, at www.privacyrights.org.

Recommended Practices: For recommendations on how organizations can protect privacy in their handling of SSNs, see Recommended Practices for Protecting the Confidentiality of Social Security Numbers on the Business page at www.privacy.ca.gov.

Recommended Reading: Bergen County Social Security Office

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 persons 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.

The best way to find out if someone is using your identity or has stolen your social security number is by keeping a close eye on your . Your credit report can make you aware of any unusual activity. For example, if you notice any accounts that do not belong to you, this could indicate that you are a victim of identity theft using your social security number.

How To Stop Social Security Check Payments

The SSA can not pay benefits for the month of a recipients death. That means if the person died in July, the check received in August must be returned. Find out how to return a check to the SSA.

If the payment is by direct deposit, notify the financial institution as soon as possible so it can return any payments received after death. For more about the requirement to return benefits for the month of a beneficiarys death, see the top of page 11 of this SSA publication.

Family members may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits when a person getting benefits dies. Visit the SSA’s Survivors Benefits page to learn more.

Read Also: National Committee To Preserve Social Security And Medicare

They Can Use Your Ssn To Pay For Their Utilities

For a customer to use their services, its pretty standard for utility companies to ask for your Social Security number as a way to check your credit history, according to the FTC. But this just means theres another opportunity for a hacker to get your personal information and unfairly wreak havoc on your finances. Once your SSN lands in the hands of hackers, they can freely open utility services under your name for their personal use. You might not see any signs of this until you receive a notice for a past due payment.

Pro tip: Before you mindlessly give out your SSN, take a moment to ask about the companys security policies and what measures are in place to protect you and your SSN.

Replacement Card For A Us Born Adult

What is Social Security Number | How to find SSN

You can replace your Social Security card for free if it is lost or stolen. However, you may not need to get a replacement card. Knowing your Social Security number is what is important. You are limited to three replacement cards in a year and 10 during your lifetime. Legal name changes and other exceptions do not count toward these limits. For example, changes in immigration status that require card updates may not count toward these limits. Also, you may not be affected by these limits if you can prove you need the card to prevent a significant hardship.


You must present original documents or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies. All documents must be current . We cannot accept a receipt showing you applied for the document.

You may be able to request your replacement Social Security card online. Our online service is a fast and secure way to get a replacement. If you are age 18 or older with a U.S. mailing address and have amySocial Security account, you can apply for a replacement card online. For more information about creating my Social Security account and getting a replacement card online, visit our Social Security Number and Card website.

Read Also: Social Security Office In Brooklyn

What Information Does The Number Not Provide

Most significantly, and perhaps surprisingly, criminal records are not tied to SSNs. An individuals criminal charge may or may not include their SSN, so a clean criminal record check using SSN alone is not particularly meaningful. Its a start, but its by no means the whole story. However, using information gleaned from an SSN check that includes names and aliases as well as former addresses, skilled background screeners can search criminal records databases to find evidence of an individuals criminal history. So, while your SSN by itself will not reveal a criminal history, its nonetheless very difficult to run a thorough criminal background check without the additional information provided by a thorough SSN trace.

S For Obtaining A Social Security Number

If you want to receive an SSN while studying in the United States, follow these steps:

1. Talk with your DSO about working and training in the United States.

Your DSO will share important information regarding the regulations and requirements for F and M students, and confirm whether you are eligible to apply for an SSN.

2. Verify you are in Active status in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System .

Your SEVIS record must be in Active status for at least two days before applying for an SSN. If you have a record in any other status, you will not be successful in applying for an SSN.

3. Wait 10 days after arriving in the United States before applying for an SSN to allow enough time for your arrival information to update in all government systems.

SSA uses the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements program to verify your nonimmigrant student status and determine if you are eligible for an SSN. You can use the SAVE Case Check to follow the progress of your SAVE verification check online visit our Checking Your SAVE Case Status for more information.

4. Visit your local SSA office.

You can file your application for an SSN card in person at any SSA office. Be prepared to provide your original documents to prove your age, identity and work-authorized immigration status. All evidence of immigration status and work authorization must be unexpired.

For more information on the types of documents you need to apply for an SSN, refer to the SSA website.

Also Check: How Do Social Security Numbers Work

Lost Your Social Security Card Here’s How To Request A New One

Your Social Security card is an important piece of identification. You’ll need to replace it if you’ve lost it or recently changed your name.

Katie Teague


Katie is a writer covering all things how-to at CNET, with a focus on Social Security and notable events. When she’s not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.

You need your Social Security number for a slew of things to confirm your identity, such as when you apply for a new credit card, file your taxes or if you need to verify your identity online. You need your physical Social Security card much less frequently, usually for situations like starting a new job — or if you don’t yet have your number memorized. So if you don’t have it when you need it, you could be in trouble.

If you’ve misplaced your Social Security card or have recently changed your name, you can get a new one. But how you do it depends on whether you need a new one with updated information or a replacement without any changes.

We’ll tell you what you need to get a new Social Security card for either situation. For more, here’s when it’s OK to give out your Social Security number. While you’re here, check out these identity theft protection and monitoring services.

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