How To Protect Your Social Security Number After It's Stolen – Synthetic identity theft is the use of legitimate and falsified information to create a false identity, which is often used for fraud. In this guide, we’ll explain how synthetic identity theft works, how you can spot it, and how identity theft protection services like Standard can help you keep a close eye on your identity and alert you to any fraudulent use of your personal information.

Synthetic identity theft is a type of identity theft in which the identity thief mixes real and fake information to create a false identity.

How To Protect Your Social Security Number After It's Stolen

How To Protect Your Social Security Number After It's Stolen

For example, a thief can steal a legitimate Social Security Number (SSN) and combine it with forged personally identifiable information such as a fake name, date of birth, and address to create an entirely new identity.

Application For Social Security Card

Unlike standard identity theft, synthetic identity theft is difficult to detect. This is because identity thieves tend to target vulnerable people such as children, the elderly, the incarcerated, and the nonresident population when they perform synthetic identity theft, as these groups are less likely to use credit or check their credit reports regularly.

How an identity criminal obtains a legitimate SSN varies. In some cases, the fraudster may find a lost wallet, while others buy legitimate SSNs on the dark web.

Once an identity thief creates a synthetic identity, they typically use it to commit financial fraud, such as applying for credit cards, loans, and unemployment benefits. A synthetic identity can also be used to launder money or commit other crimes.

It’s important to note that synthetic identity fraud usually doesn’t happen overnight. Some identity thieves can spend years slowly building a synthetic identity, building a long credit history and strong credit to make their fake identity more believable.

Financial Concept Meaning Protect Your Social Security Number With Inscription On The Page Stock Image

Synthetic identity theft is one of the most difficult types of identity theft to detect, as many financial institutions do not always have the right filters to identify fake identities.

Additionally, an identity thief can establish a long history of responsible use of a fake identity before using it to commit identity fraud. That way, when a criminal decides to use a synthetic identity for nefarious purposes, it appears as if a real person is suddenly having financial problems, rather than an identity thief spoofing their identity for fraud.

With that in mind, there are still steps you can take to increase your chances of catching synthetic identity theft, including checking for warning signs in the following places:

How To Protect Your Social Security Number After It's Stolen

Additionally, identity theft protection services like Standard can help keep a close eye on your identity. From patrolling the dark web to alerting you to fraudulent use of your SSN or other personally identifiable information for your personal information, it can give you peace of mind.

You Need To Be Checking Your Social Security Benefits

If you know how synthetic identity theft works and how to spot it, you may be wondering how you can help prevent identity theft. Follow these protection tips to reduce your risk of synthetic identity fraud.

While you can never completely prevent synthetic identity abuse, following the tips above can help reduce your chances of being affected by synthetic and other forms of identity theft. If it does happen to you, remember that reporting identity theft can help minimize the damage.

When it comes to protecting your identity, let it do the heavy lifting for you. With Standard, you can have peace of mind knowing that the system carefully monitors your credit, SSN and personal information for fraudulent use. It also personally handles your case if your identity is compromised and puts you in touch with experts who can help you recover.

Synthetic identity theft occurs when a criminal creates an identity instead of stealing an existing one. In the scam, real Social Security numbers or fake numbers are mixed with other information—names, addresses, and dates of birth—to create an entirely new identity, often using partially fake identities.

Ways To Spot A Fake Social Security Card

In contrast, regular identity theft involves using a single victim’s actual name, social security number, and other personal information.

An example of synthetic identity theft is when an identity thief buys your SSN from the dark web. From there, the identity thief uses a fake name, date of birth, and address to create a fictitious identity. Once this identity is created, the fraudster can use it to apply for credit cards and commit financial fraud.

Editor’s note: Our articles provide educational information for you. Norton offers may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to raise awareness about cyber security. Please review the full terms during registration or setup. Remember that no one person can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and it doesn’t monitor all transactions for all businesses.

How To Protect Your Social Security Number After It's Stolen

Dropbox says its servers have not been breached. “Your stuff is safe. Usernames and passwords were stolen from… unrelated services, not Dropbox.

Social Security Scams And How To Avoid Them

Stay up-to-date on the latest identity theft news and stories about what law enforcement and elected officials are doing to protect consumers from becoming victims.

Most credit card companies allow the victim 90 days to report an unauthorized transaction, while banks typically require a two-day notice period for unauthorized debit card purchases.

Copyright © 2023 Gen Digital Inc. All rights reserved. All trademarks, service marks and trade names (collectively, the “Marks”) are trademarks or registered trademarks of Gen Digital Inc. or its affiliates (“Gen”) or other respective owners that have granted Gen the right to use such marks. You can find at The Social Security Number (SSN) is one of the most important forms of personal identification in the United States. It is used to collect Social Security benefits, file taxes, access government services, verify identity, issue loans, and more.

Unfortunately, Social Security fraud is on the rise. In 2020, reports of government assistance fraud (including Social Security fraud) increased by 2,920% and became the number one type of identity theft reported by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).¹

Important Reasons Not To Keep Your Social Security Card In Your Wallet

Becoming a victim of Social Security theft can have a significant impact on your finances, credit score, and even your criminal record. Fortunately, there are practical steps you can take to protect your SSN from thieves.

There are special circumstances, such as tax returns, where the SSN must be used when filling out forms. However, you may find yourself in situations where you are asked to share your SSN even though it is not required.

Social Security fraud is on the rise, and scammers have developed sophisticated tactics, including giving out the real Social Security office phone number on caller ID.

How To Protect Your Social Security Number After It's Stolen

So how do you know if you’re talking to a real Social Security agent or a scammer trying to commit Social Security fraud? Whether they try to contact you via phone call, email, online ad or text message, there are telltale signs of Social Security fraud.²

Discover The Best Social Security Number Protection 2022

If you think you have been contacted by a scammer, do not contact them. Hang up the phone and don’t click on links in emails or text messages. Report suspicious activity to the Office of the Inspector General.

By tracking your identity, you can receive timely information about whether your SSN has been compromised and help you quickly respond to suspicious activity.

Check your credit report and bank statements regularly for suspicious activity and consider signing up for an identity monitoring service. With the Identity Champion Protect and Complete plans, you will receive a warning if our monitoring service detects:

Your social security number is extremely sensitive personal information. Subscribe to Identity Champion Protect or Complete to see what our SSN Monitoring and other identity monitoring features reveal—and have hands-on identity recovery agents on hand if you find anything suspicious.

How To Protect Your Social Security Number After A Hack

The content provided in the post is for informational purposes only. A3 Labs LLC makes no representations regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information contained herein or in any posting on the Identity Champion website. Losing a Social Security card is not a tragedy. After all, you rarely need to show your card anywhere. The bottom line is that you know your social security number.

But what happens if you lose your Social Security card? If your lost card falls into the hands of fraudsters or cybercriminals, they can access your Social Security number and cause significant damage.

Armed with your Social Security number, criminals can take out loans or open credit card accounts in your name. They may be able to access your online bank or credit card accounts and use your funds to buy electronics, expensive restaurant meals, hotel stays, and anything else.

How To Protect Your Social Security Number After It's Stolen

Some may even use your social security number to file an income tax return on your behalf and receive the tax refund due. Others may sell your social security number to bidders on the dark web.

How To Protect Your Social Security Number From Hackers: Simple Ways To Be More Secure

The most important thing is to protect yourself from identity theft. Yes, you can order a replacement card, but your priority should be preventing criminals from using your social security number to cause problems in your financial life.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent it

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