My SS Number was Compromised; What are my Options?

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There have been many reports in the news lately about personal information being stolen or compromised. This can happen in a number of ways – not just via POS locations in big box stores, which are the stories most often broadcast in the news and across the internet.

Be Aware: How Your Information can be Accessed

Aside from the aforementioned “skimming” that happens when identity thieves use tiny devices that steal your information when you use your credit card at a store or restaurant, there are a number of other ways in which your personal information can become stolen.

  • Pick-pocketing: Perhaps the most old-fashioned form of identity theft, it still happens today! When you are outside of your home and carrying a purse, be sure to choose one with zippers or another secure closure. Keep your bag close to your body at all times. Men (and women) carrying wallets – find a better place to keep it than your back pocket.
  • Mail Tampering: Although it may be hard to believe, there are people out there who will go from mailbox to mailbox, looking for anything that contains your credit card number(s) or other identifying information.
  • Trash pickers: This is the reason we advise our clients to shred all important papers before placing them in the trash or recycling receptacle. Identity thieves make a practice of digging through outdoor trash bins and trash dumps, looking for anything from receipts to your Social Security Number.
  • Information Phishing: Much different from Fresh Water Fishing, this type of phishing involves a fraudulent email message made to look official, prompting you to respond with some very sensitive information.
  • Wireless tapping: Identity thieves are often very technologically savvy, and can easily tap into a wireless internet connection that is not secured. Make it a practice to only use secured wireless networks to keep your information safe.

If your Social Security Number becomes compromised, you have reason to be concerned. Your SSN is essentially your personal identification number, and once stolen, thieves can do a lot of damage to you. This is even truer for business owners who depend on their ability to keep their business running.

Often times, a business owner’s Employer Identification Number will be linked with his/her Social Security Number. Once their SSN has been compromised, the business owner will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles attempting to get loans as are often needed to run a business.

The first step to fixing a compromised Social Security Number is to check with your insurance company about identity theft coverage. This may help you recover any damages that have already been incurred.

Business owners can request that their EIN, LLC and SSN be separated. A new Employer Identification Number can be assigned. You can also talk to Social Security and explain that you’ve been a victim of identity theft. Request that a new Social Security Number be assigned to you and that your old SSN be cancelled.

 

Image credit: Got Credit?
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