You probably already know that identity thieves often have the intention of opening credit cards and running up debt in your name, but did you know that criminals may be using your Social Security number to commit employment fraud and other crimes?
Whether a criminal is using your number to pretend to be you or is using the number as if it was their own, find out how the damaging effects of Social Security number theft can turn your world upside down.
Applying for BenefitsWith your stolen Social Security number in hand, criminals may apply for medical care or government benefits under your personal identification number. Unpaid medical bills incurred falsely can leave you stranded when you’re looking for your own medical coverage. And, Social Security Disability (SSDI) Insurance or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are limited, so fraudulent collection of these funds can slowly draining your own benefits when the time comes to use it.
Fraud for Tax PurposesIdentity theft can occur when a criminal applies for employment by using his or her own name or your name in combination with your Social Security number. Under your number, thieves can earn wages without ever paying taxes, often leaving you liable come tax season. In addition, when an identity thief uses your Social Security number at work, you may find yourself liable for court-ordered alimony or child support which is supposed to be garnished from the crook’s wages, but follows your Social Security number instead.
Committing CrimesFrom opening loans and utilities, an identity thief can cause havoc, leaving you holding the bag. Criminals often use your Social Security number to obtain an identification card or driver’s license, which gives them a free pass to commit crimes and give the police your name and information when they are caught red-handed. They also use this false ID to run up debt that is eventually sent to collections and tarnishes your good name.
The damaging effects of Social Security number theft not only reach your pocket book, but also your personal life, from illegal employment to false criminal or medical records. Recovering from identity theft, whether your social security number or credit card number is compromised, may be difficult but it’s not impossible.
Should you find that you have become a victim of Social Security number fraud, be sure to contact the police, notify the Social Security office and review your credit report and Social Security earnings statement for other signs of possible identity theft.
This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.
Published by permission from ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. © 2013 ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. All rights reserved.