Dealing With Criminal Charges In Your Name
You may want to consult with a private attorney for worthless check and traffic court charges. If you face other criminal charges and you cant convince prosecutors to drop them, or if you have to go to court to try to have a guilty verdict or plea set aside, its best to consult with a private attorney. If possible bring a copy of your ID Theft Report when you meet with prosecutors or other court officials.
Worthless Check Charges
- If you have worthless check charges against you because of identity theft. Close the account to prevent future drafts from it, or at a minimum watch for any drafts that arent yours. Send a copy of your police report or your ID Theft Report to each business that received a worthless check in your name.
- Talk with the Assistant District Attorney assigned to your worthless check case. You may have to submit to a signature comparison and go to court and defend the charges.
Traffic Court: Failure to Appear
Traffic Court: Guilty Pleas
- If an identity thief pleads guilty while using your name, discuss your situation with the Assistant District Attorney assigned to traffic court in that county.
- Some courts require that you file a Motion to Set Aside Judgment or Motion for Appropriate Relief where the perpetrator has pleaded guilty.
- You may be required to go to court to prove that you were not the person charged.
Other Criminal Charges
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Report Identity Theft To Other Organizations
You can also report the theft to other organizations, such as:
Credit Reporting Agencies – Contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert or freeze on your credit report. Also get copies of your credit reports, to be sure that no one has already tried to get unauthorized credit accounts with your personal information. Confirm that the credit reporting agency will alert the other two credit reporting agencies.
National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center – Report cases of identity theft due to a stay in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
Financial Institutions – Contact the fraud department at your bank, credit card issuers and any other places where you have accounts.
Retailers and Other Companies – Report the crime to companies where the identity thief opened credit accounts or even applied for jobs.
State Attorney General Offices – Check with your state’s attorney general office for tips, checklists, or an advocate to help you recover from identity theft.
You may need to get new personal records or identification cards if you’re the victim of ID theft. Learn how to replace your vital identification documents after identity theft.
What Do I Do If My Social Security Card Or Number Is Stolen Or Lost
If your Social Security card or number is lost or stolen, you should immediately contact your local police department and the Social Security Administration to let them know about the incident. Once youve done that, there are a few other things that you can do to help mitigate the risks involved with losing your Social Security card.
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Contact The Social Security Fraud Hotline
The federal government, particularly the Social Security Administration , has zero tolerance for fraud. The SSA works alongside the Office of the Inspector General to investigate fraud allegations.
The OIG then refers cases to U.S. attorneys with the Department of Justice for prosecution. Together, the SSA and OIG operate the Social Security Fraud Hotline to report instances of fraud.
What does this mean?
If you suspect your SSN or Social Security card was stolen, the SSA wants to know. A stolen Social Security card is akin to someone committing fraud, waste, or abuse against the SSA â just as much as it is a personal violation and financial threat to you.
Hereâs how you do it:
To contact the Social Security Fraud Hotline and alert the OIG of potential fraud, dial 1-800-269-0271. If youâd prefer, you can submit a report online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report/.
You will be asked to include as much detail about the case as possible, including a description of the fraud, when it took place, and how it was committed.
Who Has Eyes On Your Social Security Number
Everyone wants your Social Security number â financial institutions, Medicare, the IRS, and even scammers. As long as SSNs are used as unique identifiers, bad actors will go to great lengths to nab them.
The massive SSNDOB Marketplace scheme was yet another unsettling reminder of this. In June 2022, the federal government seized and dismantled a series of websites that sold stolen SSNs on the Dark Web. These websites generated over $19 million in revenue by peddling the information of over 24 million Americans.
Illicit marketplaces aside, your Social Security card may get lost in a move or stolen from your wallet. In this guide, weâll share how to protect your Social Security card and what to do in the event of an SSN theft or data breach.
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Are There Any State Laws About Identity Theft
Massachusetts identity theft law requires businesses and others that own or license personal information of residents of Massachusetts to notify the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation and the Office of Attorney General when they know or have reason to know of a breach of security. The law also requires that the breached entity notify consumers of any breach of their personal information that creates a substantial risk of identity theft or fraud as soon as practicable and without unreasonable delay after a breach occurs, except when a law enforcement agency determines that notice may impede a criminal investigation.
How To Replace A Lost Social Security Card Getting A New Social Security Card
You can typically choose to order a social security card, which is often a quick and painless process. However, you might have to request a new social security card, which is a much longer and more tedious process. Before learning how to get a new social security card, learn how to replace your card.
You might be able to apply for a social security card online. You need to:
- Be 18 or older.
DISCLAIMER: VITAL RECORDS ONLINE is an independent private preparer that is not affiliated with any government agency. We provide application preparation assistance services that will help you save time in any vital record application process. Our fees charged are for the preparation of your documents and do not include the fees for obtaining these vital record documents, which you will need to pay separately to the Health Department. The documents and forms that we will fill out on your behalf can be obtained as blank forms free of charge directly from the Health Department, or possibly, elsewhere online. Thanks to our online services, you can save a trip to the Health Department and you will be able to easily fill out your application. We guarantee 100% success in the delivery of your official vital record application materials to your home address.
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Request Additional Free Credit Reports
California identity theft victims with a police report of identity theft are entitled to receive up to 12 free credit reports, one per month for the 12 months following the date of the police report. The procedure for requesting free monthly reports is different for each of the credit bureaus.2
Experian: Make a single request to receive all of your free monthly reports. Mail your request for 12 free monthly reports to Experian at P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013. Enclose a copy of the police report of identity theft, a copy of a government-issued identification card , and a copy of proof of current mailing address . Also provide your full name including middle initial , previous addresses for the past two years, Social Security number and date of birth.
TransUnion LLC: Write or call in your request each month. Mail to TransUnion LLC, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016. Or call the toll-free number printed on your most recent TransUnion LLC credit report. Provide your full name including middle initial , Social Security number, date of birth, and proof of residence .
Equifax: Write or call in your request each month. Mail to Equifax Fraud Department, P.O. Box 740250, Atlanta, GA 30374. Or call the toll-free number printed on your most recent Equifax credit report.
What Are The Dangers Of Losing My Social Security Card
Scammers can use your SSN to apply for credit cards or loans in your name, or commit account takeover fraud and steal or access additional personal information. One of the fastest-growing COVID-19-related identity theft crimes is tax fraud and identity theft, whereby thieves file a phony tax return in your name, hoping to snag a refund before you catch on. If your Social Security card is stolen, be sure to report the loss to the Internal Revenue Service. Another recent COVID-19 scam that cruelly exploits job losses involves filing phony unemployment claims using your SSN, birth date, name, or address.
Even if your Social Security card is not stolen or lost, you need to remain vigilant for scammers who call you claiming theres a problem with your SSN or account and try to get you to divulge personal information. If theres a legitimate problem with your number or account, the Social Security Administration will mail you a letter with your Social Security number. To learn how to respond to unsolicited robocalls or calls using caller ID spoofing, visit this SSA webpage.
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Place A Fraud Alert On Your Credit Reports
- Trans Union : 680-7289
Request that your credit report be flagged with a fraud alert and add to your report a statement that you are a victim of fraud and that all creditors should contact you at a phone number you provide to verify all future applications. Each of the major credit bureaus may have different procedures, so ask each one how long the fraud alert will remain on your report and the circumstances under which that period may be extended. You should also request a written copy of your report to review and verify that each piece of credit information is valid.
Placing a fraud alert may not necessarily prevent the fraud from resuming. Some creditors may not see these alerts if they do not obtain your full consumer report, but rather rely on a credit score or another automated credit application system.
Can I Replace My Social Security Card The Same Day
Unfortunately, you cannot replace your Social Security card the same day. You can, however, visit your local Social Security office and obtain a receipt serving as proof that you have submitted your application for a new card. This receipt can be used as evidence of a temporary card in some situations. It will take anywhere from 10-14 to process your application for a new card, but the quickest way to get the replacement is through your Social Security account online.
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What If Someone Has Stolen My Social Security Card
If youve lost your Social Security card or someone has stolen your SSN, youre at great risk for ID theft. There are a number of ways a thief can cause damage if theyve gotten a hold of your SSN, especially if they also have access to other identifying information such as your address, personal information, and credit card number. These include:
Financial fraud: If someone has gotten hold of your SSN, they can apply for loans and credit cards. Aside from the financial damage this may cause, it will also negatively affect your credit score when loans and payments are not met.
Medical fraud: With your stolen SSN, a thief can actually receive medical care. This can negatively affect your health insurance and corrupt your medical records with false or inaccurate information, which could have disastrous consequences down the road.
Tax fraud: Your stolen SSN can help an identity thief get an unlawful tax refund, a growing problem in the US. This will delay your own refund and can cause further tax problems down the road.
Identity Theft And Financial Fraud
First, thereâs the risk of the information falling into the wrong hands, which could lead to identity theft and financial fraud. This could potentially impact your credit score and finances for years to come.
It could prevent you from being able to borrow for major purchases, such as qualifying for a mortgage for a home or getting a car loan. Or damage to your credit history could mean you have to pay higher interest on loans.
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Request A Replacement Card Online
After having your original Social Security card stolen, you may want to replace it with a new physical card. Fortunately, if youâve already claimed your my Social Security account, itâs relatively simple to request a new card through the mail.
What does this mean?
If you are over the age of 18 and have a proper mailing address, your my Social Security account is the easiest way to apply for a replacement card.
However, you must also have a driverâs license or a state-issued identification card to prove your identity. So long as you meet these minimum requirements, requesting a replacement card is completely free.
Hereâs how you do it:
Log into your my Social Security account and select âReplace your Social Security Card.â You will be asked a few screening questions, such as your age, to confirm eligibility.
Next, enter your personal information, including your SSN, date of birth, and current address to receive your replacement card in the mail.
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When Should You Get A New Social Security Number
If your card has simply been lost, then you probably wont need a new number.
You should still follow all of the steps above just to be safe, but chances are that theres not someone out to steal your identity. You may have simply misplaced it or forget to return it to a safe place. On the other hand, if your card has been stolen and youre going through the nightmare that is identity theft, then you will need to register for a new number.
You will have to wait a few years to see if the individual who is stealing your identity gets caught or just gives up. But in the meantime, there is certainly some actionable steps to take.
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Report Theft To The Irs
This one is important. Reporting your stolen Social Security card to the IRS prevents fraudulent tax returns from being filed. If you dont report the theft immediately, you may be responsible for any fraudulent filings using your original documents. Make sure you cover yourself.
Here is the contact information to help you take this step.
Phone: 1-800-908-4490IRS Website: www.irs.gov/uac/Identity-Protection
Review Your Social Security Statement
Your Social Security Statement is a summary of your earnings and Social Security and Medicare taxes. Criminals who assume your identity with your SSN can indirectly alter your Social Security Statement, especially if they commit tax fraud.
What does this mean?
Your Social Security Statement explains what you can anticipate in Social Security benefits when you reach full retirement age. Itâs based on your earnings, which are reported by you and your employers.
Your earnings are recorded by the SSA throughout your lifetime and are updated each time you or your employers re-report them.
However, your Social Security Statement is only as accurate as your earnings. A criminal who steals your SSN and creates fraudulent identification records or commits tax fraud will drastically alter your earnings. Itâs important to review your statement to flag any unfamiliar activity.
Hereâs how you do it:
To review your Social Security Statement along with the earnings that could signal fraudulent activity, first log into your personal my Social Security account. To access your statement, visit the designated tab: www.ssa.gov/myaccount/statement.html. Report any inconsistencies to the SSA immediately.
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You Can Request Your Card Online Today
Sign in or create an account to submit your request
You can replace your card online and receive it in 14 days. You can also use your account to check the status of your request and manage other benefits you receive from us.
Trouble signing in?
Start the application online and visit your local SSA office for additional guidance for completing your application.
Prefer to talk to someone?
Contact your local SSA office.
You can start your Social Security number card application online. Once you’ve submitted your request, visit your local SSA office for additional guidance for completing your application. You will need to give us some of the information you provided again.
How To Get A New Social Security Number
Many stolen Social Security numbers are used simply to gain employment, with no detrimental effect to the legitimate holders of the SSN. But others are used to defraud banks, retailers, the IRS and other government agencies, which could trash your credit.
If several years pass after the theft of your Social Security number, and the problems arising from the theft have not gotten any better, then you may want to apply for a new SSN. But before you take that step, there are several things to consider.
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Getting A Social Security Card After A Legal Name Change
This is the final reason you would need a new card or number. There are many reasons someone would go through a legal name change in the United States: marriage, divorce, court order or any number of personal reasons.
Heres the catch: If youre doing that, you need to put in a Social Security card application to let the government know. There is no charge for this service, but it is required of all citizens who change their names.