How do I check if someone is using my Social Security Number? You asked. Check out the answer in this article.
Having an Identity Number is a common thing in nations around the world, especially the developed ones. The names given to this ID number systems do differ from nation to nation. In the US, it’s called Social Security Number.
An SSN (Social Security Number) is a nine digit number that is issued by the United States Social Security Administration to US permanent residents, citizens, and temporary working residents.
It is established under Social Security Act section 205(c)(2), codified as 42 U.S.C. § 405(c)(2). The Social Security Administration is an independent United States government agency.
Tracking of individuals was the original propose for the Social Security Number, however, it has become the defacto number for taxation, national identification and other purposes.
Social Security Number History
The Social Security Number was innovated in 1936. It was created to merely of the earnings history of US workers for Social Security entitlement and computation of benefits. 25 million SSN were issued within the first three months of its inception.
Over 1000 post offices were designated as “typing centers” on the 24th of November 1936. They were mandated with the task of typing up Social Security Numbers and sending them over to Washington DC.
John David Sweeney Junior from New York is the first person assigned a Social Security Number in history.
However, since the SSNs are not chronologically ordered, David Sweeney didn’t get the lowest figure 001-01-0001 as SSN. The lowest figure went to a woman from New Hampshire named Grace D. Owen.
Social Security Numbers are not issued to those below 14 years of age before the year 1986. The reason is because since SSNs are for income tracking purposes, kids of that age are not really expected to have substantial income as at then. However, from 1986, kids above the age of 5 are expected to be listed on SSN by their parents.
Presently Social Security Numbers are assigned to children at birth. With the Social Security Number, government can identify and individuals businesses, records and track their financial information.
How Social Security Number Is Determined
The structure of the Social Security number has metamorphosed overtime time as the format we have today is not the way it’s always been from the start to now.
For example, around 1935, an identifier which composed of 5 numeric characters and 3 alphabetic characters which represent geographical location was adopted by the Social Security Board.
This was done without consulting the Census bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics or the United States Employment Service who all kept at using numeric symbols void of alphabetic characters.
In November of the same year, all interested agencies were invited to a meeting by the Social Security Board to iron out the numeration discrepancies. There alternatives were proposed, and they are:
- A 7 character SSN version that will contain 4 numbers and 3 alphabetical characters.
- A 9 digit SSN that will consist of a 4 digit serial number, 2 digit year of birth and another 3 digit for geographical location of the registration.
- An 8 digit number SSN which will consist of a 5 digit serial number and a 3 digit for geographical location identification.
These are the three alternatives suggested, and after good deliberations, the 9 digit SSN option was adopted on the 17th of December 1935.
However, reactions came from some quarters that the structure of the SSN gives room for age falsification, and this puts it under review again. But on the 2nd of June 1936, the board finally gave approval for the 9 digit SSN structure, which is in three parts.
The first set of 3 digits are the Area Number, and the next 2 digits are the group number, while the last 4 digits is the Serial Number.
About Social Security Number Fraud
Social Security related fraud is a big issue in the US. About $7.9 billion improper payments is reported by the Social Security Administration to have been made in just 2019 alone. According to credible statistics, identity thefts affect 5% of America’s population each year.
The financial and personal implications carried by someone using your Social Security Number is enormous, a therefore, it’s not a matter to be treated with kid gloves.
The longer the theft continue the more the potential damage done and the more difficult it may be to undo the damages. Fake driver’s license, account opening, social security card and so on can be created if someone gets your SSN, names, birthday, and address. Accounts can even be opened under your credit report. They can drain your bank accounts, damage your credit report, and so on.
So How Do I Check If Someone Is Using My Social Security Number?
Well the best way to do this is to consider checking your credit report. You can get your credit report by calling the Annual Credit Report phone number to request for your credit report, or you can access your credit report on annualcreditreport.com the only authorized website for free credit reports.
Once you have your credit report, do critically review it to see if anything seems off. If there’s something out of the ordinary.
Another way to detect if your SSN is being used by someone else is to view your Social Security Statement. If someone has started withdrawing against your Social Security Earnings, then your SSN is being used by someone else
There are the two ways to know if someone else is using your Social Security Number.
What Steps To Take If Someone Else Is Using My SSN?
Steps that you can take if you detect fraud with your SSN is to;
- Report to the SSA, File an FTC report at IdentityTheft.org also report to the (IRS) Internal Revenue Service.
- Contact local police as a precaution to cover you in case there’s been illegal activities done with your SSN by the identity thief.
- Initiate a credit freeze and a fraud alert on your credit file.
- Finally, you can sign up for credit monitoring. These service may be offered by your credit bureau or one of your credit card companies. Alternatively, you can purchase these service.
These are steps to take in case you are a victim of SSN fraud.
Final Words On How To Know If Someone Is Using Your SSN
I hope the information in this guide answers your question on How Do I Check If Someone Else Is Using My Social Security Number?
Please share to help others. You may just be saving someone. Also read other similar articles recommended for you below.
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