Are You the Victim of Identity Theft?

If you have been a victim of identity theft and your Social Security is being used to make fraudulent transactions on your behalf, you may have no other recourse than to request a new Social Security number (SSN). The problem is that applying for a new SSN is not as easy as it sounds. Social Security will not assist you in resolving the problems you are currently facing and applying for a new number should only be considered as a last resort. However, there are several things you should do to minimize the harm being done to you at the moment.

First and foremost, Social Security recommends that you report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by visiting http://www.idtheft.gov/ or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338). The IDtheft.gov website provides you with information and the resources necessary to defend yourself against identity theft.

Occasionally, tax returns may be filed fraudulently on your behalf with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If someone has filed fraudulent tax returns using your SSN, you should contact the IRS as soon as possible. Moreover, you should explain to the IRS about the tax issues concerning your identity theft and fill out an Identity Theft Affidavit (Form 14039). By completing the Identity Theft Affidavit your account will be flagged and the IRS will be able to identify any questionable activity. Additional information is available at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Identity-Protection or by calling 1-800-908-4490.

If you continue to be harmed by the misuse of your social security number, than you may consider applying for a new number. Social Security Administration (SSA) does not generally recommend that you change your social security number because getting a new number creates new problems that are not so obvious at the beginning.

For example, your original SSN remains assigned to your account and linked to your new number throughout the SSA computer systems. In other words, obtaining a new number does not void, delete, or cancel your old SSN with the SSA. Also, when the SSA assigns you a new number as a result of identity theft, a “special indicator” is placed on your prior SSN record. The new and old number are tracked and cross-referenced together.

If you successfully change your SSN, you should ask the SSA for a letter explaining the issuance of the new number and you should discontinue the use of your old number immediately. The lack of credit history under the new SSN may make it challenging to get credit among other things.

To apply for a new number, you must carefully complete an application for a Social Security card (Form SS-5). Also, you would need to show documents proving U.S. citizenship (or immigration status and work eligibility) and identity. Lastly, you would need to evidence to support your need for a new SSN. For more information visit the SSA website http://www.ssa.gov/.

If you are the victim of identity theft in Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe, Collier or Lee County Florida, schedule a consultation with the experienced attorneys at EPGDLaw today, located in beautiful Coral Gables. Call us at (786) 837-6787 or e-mail us to schedule a consultation.

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Categories: Civil Litigation