Identity theft. We often read about it in the news. Whenever you do, it’s likely that you might think to yourself that will never happen to me’, but the reality is that it could happen to anybody.
Although having a social security number can be vital, it can also be very dangerous. If it gets into the wrong hands, the consequences could get you into serious trouble.
Identity theft is when your social security number gets stolen and used for somebody else’s benefit. This could mean that they get a tax return which is yours, or one which they should not get but because the SSN is yours, they avoid the consequences.
It’s entirely possible that you’re already a victim of identity theft but you just don’t yet know it.
If you’re looking through your tax returns and you find 2 or more tax returns on your social security number, it might be worth looking into it.
It’s also wise to report any income you’ve received for work that you haven’t done. Although at first, this extra money could seem nice, it’s a criminal offense to keep it.
Finally, if you seem to owe more tax than you ought to, be suspicious and report it!
If you do suspect yourself to be a victim of ID theft, it can be a very scary and unpleasant event. However, combating it is easier than you might think.You can file a complaint at identitytheft.gov. On this website you can contact an expert to tell them about what’s happened. They will then send you a recovery plan. From there, just create an account and they will walk you through each step to make sure everything is sorted.
You can also file a ‘fraud alert’ at the top 3 credit bureau’s. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Alternatively, you can contact your financial institution.
The only thing better than no longer being a victim of identity theft is to never be one in the first place!
Despite the fact it could happen to anyone, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk.
Firstly, make sure all the software and websites you use money with is secure. Your computer’s firewall could help with this.
Secondly, be wary of any emails, or texts from unknown sources which ask your bank or social security details. If anyone makes any threats, report it to the police immediately.
Thirdly, make sure that you keep all of your tax records, print them off and put them in a secure location.
Identity theft, the scary process of somebody stealing your social security number for your own benefit. It can make you loose money, or get into serious trouble with the law.
However, you look out for the warning signs, and make sure to report anything even remotely suspicious, identity theft should not have a big impact on your life.
Better yet, make sure to always be careful with who you give your bank information or social security number to, particularly in this digital age.