4 Major Reasons to Protect Your Social Security Number

Filed under: Financial tips

portrait of a senior manIt often seems that we spend a good portion of our time just filling out endless forms, doesn’t it? It seems that everywhere we go, we’re asked for our names, birth dates, addresses, phone numbers… and Social Security numbers. Now, in most cases, requests for that information are based on legitimate need. But since giving out your Social Security number can land you in some serious trouble, guard that information as much as possible.

Just check out these four things a criminal could do if they get ahold of your information.

Credit card fraud. It’s a bit too easy to get a credit card in someone else’s name, and the government has yet to find a way to close up this loophole. All you need is someone’s name, address, and Social Security number, and you can get a card in their name. Often victims don’t know this has happened until their credit score tanks, and their report contains unusually high, mysterious credit card bills.

Tax scams. Each year, millions of Americans are due a tax refund. Unfortunately, criminals see this as easy money in exchange for a small amount of online “paperwork”. If the wrong person gets ahold of your Social Security number, they can file a tax return in your name and claim your refund.

Cell phone accounts. In order to operate many of their fraudulent scams, criminals need a phone number. This way their criminal activities can’t be traced to them. And all they need is your name and Social Security number to get a brand-new phone with just about any service provider.

Identity theft. It’s bad enough to think that criminals could obtain credit cards and phones in your name, but in many cases they can steal your entire identity. With your Social Security number, they can obtain a driver’s license in your name, but with their picture on it. Then they can take out loans, get a passport, and more.

Remember to safeguard your Social Security number. Never give it to anyone who doesn’t legitimately need it, and don’t give it out over the phone or email. Monitor your credit report twice per year, and report any discrepancies immediately. And as always, keep an eye on your bank accounts and retirement accounts for signs of suspicious activity. Contact us if you have any questions about sound financial planning.

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This information has been provided by a licensed insurance professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting the insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax, trust and estate, or investment advice. Infinite Wealth Advisors is not an investment advisory firm.  Investment Advisory Services provided by NAMCOA® – Naples Asset Management Company®, LLC, a federally registered investment advisor, website: www.NAMCOA.com .