How to Prevent Social Security Number Identity Theft
Everyone has heard of identity theft. Many folks even know someone it has happened to. Given that over 9 million people are affected by this crime every year, it’s hard not to be aware of it. Most people believe that one’s identity can only be stolen by credit card theft or “phishing” scams, but they’re not entirely correct in that belief. Social Security number identity theft is swiftly becoming an ID thief’s preferred method of committing this felony. The following will delve into how these dishonest individuals obtain someone’s SSN to better their own lives while damaging someone else’s.
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While identity theft usually happens to adults, it is rapidly becoming the most popular crime against children. The most effective way for a thief to get a child’s information is by Social Security number ID theft. Parents are supposed to keep their child’s SSN safely locked up, but they often don’t. They truly believe that no one would even think to steal the child’s identity, but they’re wrong. As depressing as it is to know this fact, the people who most often steal a child’s SSN are his parents. The reason a parent would do this is to get turned‐off utilities
turned on again by creating a new account in the child’s name. This is illegal, but if a parent is desperate enough to get the heat turned on so the family won’t freeze, he’s desperate enough to use his son’s SSN to do it. Others who may inadvertently carry out this crime are trusted friends and family members of the child’s family. Most often, these people use the child’s SSN to open credit card accounts or take out loans for vehicles, etc. The main issue around Social Security number identity theft is the damage t does to both children and adults when they become its victims. Parents don’t generally check their child’s credit report until he approaches college age, and most adults don’t become aware of the theft for months or even years after it happens. To prevent this felony from happening, the most important step is to keep any Social Security number under lock and key. Don’t carry it in a wallet or a pocket; leave it in a hidden home safe unless it is necessary to provide it to professionals such as school officials or physicians. Do not give out the SSN over a cell phone or on the Internet, as it can easily be stolen from them. If one must carry the SSN on one’s person, keep it separate from other documentation. Legal‐yogi.com, an online repository of all things legal, has more information on this topic and is happy to share it with interested parties.