Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. A dishonest person who has your Social Security number can use it to get other personal information about you. Identity thieves can use your number and your good credit to apply for more credit in your name. You may not find out that someone is using your number until you are turned down for credit or you begin to get calls from unknown creditors demanding payment for items you never bought. Identity theft experts agree; divulging personal data, including your social security number, can lead to data breaches and identity theft resulting in possible financial ruin. It is important for you to control the release of your personal information.
If someone has misused your Social Security number or other personal information to create credit or other problems for you, Social Security cannot resolve these problems. However, there are several things you should do.
You should go to www.idtheft.gov and report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission. Or, you can call 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY 1-866-653-4261. That website is a one-stop national resource to learn about the crime of identity theft. It provides detailed information to help you deter, detect and defend against identity theft.
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