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What Is Social Security Identity Theft

Utah Man Charged With 4 Felony Counts Of Forgery

Is your social security number putting you at risk for identity theft?

December 12, 2018: It was initially reported that Francisco Daniel Partida Soto was charged with 30 counts of second-degree felony forgery. However, he has actually been charged with 4 counts of forgery and producing false identification all of which are second-degree felonies.

The Utah Attorney Generals SECURE Strike Force arrested Francisco Daniel Partida Soto for manufacturing and distributing fraudulent identification documents.

An undercover investigation reported the purchase of forged Social Security cards and a Green Card through the mail. Agents were able to make an additional transaction in person, receiving 30 Green Cards and Social Security cards, at which point Soto was arrested.

Francisco Daniel Partida Soto has been charged with 30 counts of second-degree felony forgery.

For the full story, check out the coverage below.

St. George News: Strike force arrests man in St. George for selling fake Social Security, green cards

The Utah Attorney Generals Office administers and coordinates the SECURE Strike Force partnership with the Utah Department of Public Safety and county, federal, and city law enforcement agencies to combat violent and other major felony crimes associated with illegal immigration and human trafficking.

Ways An Identity Thief Can Use Your Social Security Number

Having your Social Security number or card stolen isnt quite like getting your bank account information taken though granted, both are stressful experiences. The major difference is that you can get a new bank account number, while the Social Security Administration very rarely issues new Social Security numbers.

Who Has The Right To Ask For Your Number

While any business can ask for your social security number, there are very few entities that can actually demand it motor vehicle departments, tax departments and welfare departments, for example. Also, social security numbers are required for transactions involving taxes, so that means banks, brokerages, employers, and the like also have a legitimate need for your social security number.

Most other businesses have no legal right to demand your number. There is no law prohibiting a business from asking for your social security number, but asking for it does not mean you have to give it. Ask if the business will accept an alternative piece of identification. Since some businesses use your social security number to check your credit worthiness, there is a possibility they will refuse to use a different identifier and may refuse to provide whatever product or service you are seeking. But a business may accept your refusal and complete the transaction. If they do not, you might want to consider choosing not to do business with them.

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Report The Theft To Ftc And Get A Police Report

The first action you should take is to report the Social Security identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission website IdentityTheft.gov or call the FTC hotline at 1-877-438-4338. You can report fraud related to your SSN such as someone filing the tax return in your name, your personal data being exposed in a data breach, someone claiming benefits in your name, etc. After reporting the theft to FTC, you should file a police report in your jurisdiction.

Signs That You May Be A Victim Of Social Security Identity Theft

Padlock and Social Security Card

Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to check if you’re a victim of social security number identity theft. A hacker can abuse your SSN for months without you realizing it. Most people only become aware that someone else is using their SSN when they are turned down for credit or receive calls from unknown creditors for payment for items they never bought.

Here are some common indicators that you may be a victim of social security identity theft:

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In Conclusion: So Should You Keep Your Ssn In A Safe

No, you shouldnt. Instead, you should keep all your personally identifiable information as safe as possible.

In todays world, our personal information is mostly digital. Online security, cyber hygiene, and browsing habits are more important than ever. Take some time to educate yourself on how to be safe online, and you wont have to worry about losing your personal data or resources!

Apply For A New Social Security Card

Now that you’ve learned how to report identity theft to social security and stop scammers from abusing your personal information, it’s time to get a new social security card.

This can be a frustrating process, especially if you’d prefer to not leave your home due to COVID-19.

Here’s the good news: through NotYourSocialSecurity , you can get a social security card remotely, without having to get off the couch. Even better, our GovPlus tool takes the stress out of replacing your social security card.

Our experts help you to skip the long lines at the social security office. Discover just how easy social security card replacement can be – try our GovPlus tool today.

Federal Communications Commission. Protect Yourself from social security Number Spoofing Scams.

Federal Trade Commission: Consumer Information. How to Recognize and Avoid Phishing Scams.

Federal Trade Commission: Consumer Information. What to Do Right Away.

Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint Center. Frequently Asked Questions.

Internal Revenue Service. Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft.

social security Administration. Identity Theft and Your social security Number.

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Request Information On Fraudulent Accounts

When you file your police report of identity theft, the officer may give you forms to use to request account information from credit grantors, utilities or cell phone service companies. If the officer does not do this, you can use the form in our Consumer Information Sheet 3A: Requesting Information on Fraudulent Accounts. When you write to creditors where the thief opened or applied for accounts, send copies of the forms, along with copies of the police report. Give the information you receive from creditors to the officer investigating your case.

Social Security Numbers Are Fraud Gold

Social Security scam calls lead to identity theft

Social Security numbers are often used to commit identity theft, which defrauded 51,600 victims out of $278 million during 2021, according to the FBIs Internet Crime Complaint Center.

For too many of us, our SSNs are already in the hands of miscreants, along with our other intimate details. For the price of a cup of coffee and a bagelsets of personal records go for as little as $5 each on the dark weba scammer can use your identity for personal gain.

The most common scams involving Social Security numbers include:

  • Establishing credit and taking out a fraudulent loan
  • Getting a mortgage under false pretenses
  • Opening a bogus bank account
  • Improperly accessing health care or other benefits
  • Filing taxes to collect phony refunds
  • Working illegally and/or committing immigration fraud
  • Evading law enforcement

Fraudsters can establish and destroy your credit with the right information. Sometimes this means carrying out synthetic identity fraud using your SSN with a falsified name and address.

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Contact Companies Where Your Ssn Was Used

If the stolen SSN has been used to create fraudulent bank accounts, credit accounts, or other types of accounts in your name, you should contact each company involved. Explain to these companies that you are a victim of identity theft, and they will close the accounts to prevent further fraudulent activities.

How Does Social Security Identity Theft Happen

There are several ways an SSN can end up with a thief. Some involve physical theft, and others can take the digital route. To what extent are SSNs at risk? Notably, there was the Equifax breach of 2017, which exposed some 147 million SSNs. Yet just because an SSN has been potentially exposed does not mean that an identity crime has been committed with it.

So, lets start with the basics: how do SSNs get stolen or exposed?

Thats quite the list. Broadly speaking, the examples above give good reasons for keeping your SSN as private and secure as possible. With that, its helpful to know that there are only a handful of situations where your SSN is required for legitimate purposes, which can help you can make decisions about how and when to give it out. The list of required cases is relatively short, such as:

  • When applying for credit or a loan.
  • Transactions that require IRS notification, like working with investment firms, real estate purchases, auto purchases, etc.
  • Registering with a business as a full-time or contract employee .

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Keep Your Identity Safe

If you use an online application to do your taxes, you can now log in with your username, password and a third personal item like a phone number. Using all 3 will keep your identity and data safer.

Tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen personal information, including your Social Security number, to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund.

If you suspect you are a victim of identity theft, continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return, even if you must file a paper return.

Contact The Ssa To Block Electronic Access

Padlock And Social Security Card
  • Do this by calling the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 , or the Teletypewriter number at 1-800-325-0778.
  • Once you request a block, nobody can access your Social Security record â not even you. It will be impossible for anybody to view or edit any information on the record until you contact the SSA to remove the block.

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What Happens When I Get My Recovery Plan

You will want to call one of the credit bureaus. Ask the credit bureau for an initial fraud alert. It is free and lasts for 90 days. The fraud alert makes it harder for thieves to open accounts in your name. That credit bureau has to tell the other two.

Then you can ask all three credit bureaus for a credit report. If someone stole your identity, your credit report is free. Look at your credit report for things you do not recognize.

How To Protect Your Social Security Number With Identity Monitoring

Worried that your personal information has been compromised? Looking for ways to level up your identity theft protection and keep your Social Security number and other valuable data safe?

Identity monitoring may be the answer.

IDShield works by scanning and monitoring your personal identifying information and sending you a fraud alert when there is any unusual activity. To protect your Social Security number and other PII, IDShield monitors:

  • Purposes for your Social Security number
  • Change of address requests
  • Orders for new utility, cable, or wireless services
  • Payday loan applications
  • Websites that identity thieves use to trade stolen information

Dont let cyber criminals get the jump on you. IDShield is here to keep you and your information safe.

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Can I Change My Social Security Number

Yes. Sort of. The Social Security Administration can assign a new SSN in a limited number of cases. However, per the SSA, When we assign a different Social Security number, we do not destroy the original number. We cross-refer the new number with the original number to make sure the person receives credit for all earnings under both numbers.

In other words, your SSN is effectively forever, which means if its stolen, youre still faced with clearing up any of the malicious activity associated with the theft potentially for quite some time. Thats yet another reason why the protection of your SSN deserves particular attention.

What Comes First In My Recovery Plan

Identity theft now targeting children’s social security numbers

The first step of your recovery plan is to call the credit bureaus. Ask the credit bureau for an initial fraud alert. It is free and lasts for 90 days. The fraud alert makes it harder for thieves to open accounts in your name.

The next step is to ask all three credit bureaus for a credit report. If someone stole your identity, your credit report is free. Look at your credit report for things you do not recognize.

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How Will I Know If My Identity Was Stolen

Here are ways you can tell that someone is using your information:

  • You see withdrawals from your bank account that you cannot explain.
  • You find credit card charges that you didnt make.
  • The Internal Revenue Service says someone used your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job.
  • You do not get your bills or other mail.
  • You get bills for utilities or medical services you did not use.
  • Debt collectors call you about debts that are not yours.
  • You find strange accounts or charges on your credit report.

How Can You Protect Your Social Security Number

Protecting your information is vital to safeguarding your identity from those who would destroy your life for their profit. First and foremost, if anyone contacts you claiming to be from the government, they probably arent. Dont answer the phone. If you do and someone claims theyre from the government, hang up immediately. By all means, never give personal information to anyone you dont know or trust.

If you want to know if a phone call, email, or mailed piece is legitimate, you can visit the Social Security website for more information or get a phone number to call them directly. If you need to report a Social Security scam, contact your local police department or the Social Security fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271.

If youre a victim of identity theft, visit this website for updated information and how to report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

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Social Security Benefits Fraud

This type of fraud aims at using an SSN to steal someones Social Security benefits or file for unemployment in their name. Just like with financial identity theft, you may not know someone else is profiting from you until you apply for social benefits yourself and get denied.

The recent COVID-19 stimulus frauds, when identity thieves steal others stimulus payments, fall under the social benefits fraud category.

Claim Your My Social Security Profile

Protect Social Security Number, Avoid Identity Theft

my Social Security, via the SSA website, is a secure online portal to manage your Social Security benefits. You can use your my Social Security profile to check and protect your Social Security benefits against fraudsters in real time.

Hereâs how:

  • Go to the my Social Security portal, follow the instructions, and register your account.
  • Log in to your secure profile, and check for changes to your SSA benefits.
  • Report any suspicious activity to the SSA online, or by calling 1-800-772-1213.

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Examples Of Identity Theft

Identity theft can occur in the following ways:

  • Shoulder surfing or watching over someones shoulder to steal personal information or credentials
  • Physically stealing a wallet or purse to obtain personal identity information
  • Dumpster diving to retrieve documents that contain sensitive information
  • Stealing mail to obtain credit cards, checks, or documents with personal information
  • Stealing files or information from a medical office or business
  • Phishing scams often sent through email as bogus attachments or links prompting an individual to log in to a fake website to steal login credentials, gain access to a personal account, and steal sensitive identity information
  • Hacking or breaking into computers, systems, or services to steal personal information
  • Data breaches when business or government accounts are illegally accessed
  • Malware attacks tricking users into uploading malicious software that can take over a computer or network and steal data

What Is An Identity Theft Report

An Identity Theft Report helps you fix your bills and your credit report. Your Identity Theft Report tells your creditors that you should not have to pay for what the identity thief spent.

You get an Identity Theft Report when you report a problem to IdentityTheft.gov. This is your statement about what happened. It lists what accounts are not yours and what charges you did not make.

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Ask The Experts: Tips & Future Outlook

With more and more consumer information readily available via the Internet and criminals engaged in a continuous game of technological one-upmanship with law enforcement, its fair to wonder what the future holds for our financial security. Will sophisticated fraudsters be able to overcome advances in voice and fingerprint recognition once the technology ultimately becomes cost-effective for mainstream use? Will financial institutions continue to eat the losses deriving from unauthorized transactions, or will liability shift more to the consumer at some point?

We asked a number of leading personal finance, law enforcement, and information security experts what the next 5-10 years have in store for us from an identity theft standpoint, and their responses offer interesting insights into the future safety of our wallets.

  • Is our personal information more or less secure now than say, 5 years ago?
  • What does the future hold for the security of our personal information?
  • What are the best ways for people to protect themselves?
  • Request Additional Free Credit Reports

    Identity Theft Expert on Your Social Security Number

    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.

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