My social security number was stolen what do i do

Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft

With respect to taxes and tax fraud, identity thieves may use your Social Security number to obtain employment or file a fraudulent income tax return to obtain a refund. Tax Identity Theft occurs when a taxpayer’s Social Security number is used by another individual to get a job. Wages are then reported under the stolen Social Security number and the taxpayer receives a bill from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR). The affected taxpayer often never lived or worked in Massachusetts. Thieves may also try to use your Social Security number to file a fraudulent income tax return with the DOR to obtain a refund. 

What do I do if I think I am a victim of Tax Identity Theft?

If you believe you are a victim of Identity Theft the DOR will need all of the following information from you in order to assist you.  Please provide a copy of the following five (5) documents:

  • A copy of your incometax return for the year(s) in question filed in your place of residence or IRS (Federal) return if your state does not require you to file a state income tax return.
  • A copy of your social security card.
  • A copy of a police report filed at your local police department.
  • A copy of your birth certificate.
  • A copy of a valid identification- Driver’s license, state issued identification or a passport.

If you have already completed an Identity Theft Affidavit, Form 14039, for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), please include a copy of that form.

Please also provide a daytime telephone number where a DOR identity theft examiner will be able to contact you to further discuss this matter. 

The above information should be faxed to (617) 887-508&.  Your fax machine should provide you with a receipt indicating the documents were successfully transmitted to the above number.  If you have questions, please e-mail those questions to [email protected] or call (617) 887-6350 (Please leave an unblocked number our telephones do not allow unblocking.)   .

Please note that if you do not provide the above requested information, your case will be closed and collection activity will begin immediately and continue until the above requested information has been submitted. 

What should I expect next from DOR?

Once DOR has received all of the above information your case will be assigned to an identity theft examiner who will contact you at the telephone number that you have provided within 5 days of receiving your information. 

The examiner assigned to your case may ask for additional information such as if you ever lived or worked in Massachusetts, where you worked, etc.  The examiner will also put your case on hold so that you do not receive any additional bills or enforcement activity while your case is being reviewed.

Important - If your bank account has been levied, please contact DOR at (617) 887-6350 (Please leave an unblocked number our telephones do not allow unblocking.) and we will assist with removing the bank levy.  Please have your account number available when you contact us. 

In most cases, you will not be required to file an Amended Return and DOR will be able to resolve your Identity Theft case within 45 calendar days from the date we receive the above required information.  If for some reason DOR is unable to resolve your case within 45 days, the examiner assigned to your case will contact you to discuss the next steps in your case. 

Why does the Department of Revenue need my social security number?

Under Massachusetts law, the Department of Revenue has the right to require an individual to furnish his or her Social Security number on a state tax return. This information is mandatory as DOR uses these numbers for taxpayer identification and forms processing. Taxpayer identification numbers are also required to process tax refunds. Although tax return information generally is confidential, DOR may legally disclose return information to other taxing authorities and to those authorized by law.

For more information about the confidentiality of tax information, visit the following website:

How can Identity Theft affect my tax account?

Most people think of identity theft as stolen bank account or credit card information. However, identity thieves can also use your personal information to file a tax return in order to obtain a refund or to get a job.

For instance, if someone stole your Social Security number to obtain a job, the employer would report any income earned to the IRS and the Department of Revenue under that Social Security number, making it appear that you did not report all of your income on your tax return.

An identity thief might also use your Social Security number to file a tax return in order to receive a refund. If the thief files the tax return before you do, it will appear to DOR that you already filed and received your refund.

If you receive a notice from DOR that leads you to believe someone may have used your Social Security number fraudulently, contact DOR's Taxpayer Service Division immediately either by phone or in writing as directed in the notice. A DOR examiner will address your concerns.

You should be alerted to possible identity theft if the DOR notice states that:

  • More than one tax return for you was filed, or
  • DOR records indicate you received wages from an employer that you have never worked for.

Be careful when choosing someone to prepare your income tax returns as tax preparers have access to your personal records. Always choose a professional. DOR cannot recommend a preparer, however the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Massachusetts Society of Enrolled Agents, or the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Tax Practitioners may provide guidance when choosing a paid preparer. The IRS states that taxpayers should always avoid any preparers who claim they can obtain larger refunds than other preparers, or who guarantee results or base fees on a percentage of the amount of the refund.

If you are the sole proprietor of a business, you may want to consider using an Employer Identification number (as opposed to your Social Security number) for business purposes. Visit the IRS website for more information or to apply for an Employer Identification number.

What can I do to protect my personal information from identity thieves?

Identity thieves have many avenues available to them for obtaining your personal information. However, there are a number of precautions you can take to minimize your risk. Here are a few:

  • Order a copy of your credit report and check it closely for accuracy. Massachusetts residents are entitled to a free copy of their credit report from each of the three consumer reporting companies once during any 12-month period.
  • Keep important personal information, such as Social Security cards and birth certificates, in a secure place in your home. Do not carry them with you in your purse or wallet.
  • Review all credit card and bank statements carefully each month to discover any unusual activity or unauthorized charges.
  • Do not give out personal information over the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you have initiated the interaction or know for certain whom you are dealing with.
  • Change your driver's license number from you Social Security number to a randomly assigned number.

What other resources are available to me?

While DOR can only assist you with identity theft matters involving your Massachusetts tax returns, below are links to other state, federal and private organizations that may be able to assist you:


What To Do If Your Social Security Number is Stolen

My social security number was stolen what do i do My social security number was stolen what do i do

If you lost your social security number or if has been stolen to file taxes in your name you need to take these immediate steps to protect your identity. , Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach tells you what to do right away. Read more on this topic on her blog http://askthemoneycoach.com/2011/04/lost-social-security-card-do/

darren williams: SOCIAL SECURITY IS THEFT! STOP IMPOSING TYRANNY ON THOSE WHO WANT TO BE FREE. STOP ALLOWING THUGS FROM STEALING YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY AND DISTRIBUTING IT TO OTHERS WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT! END COLLECTIVISIM!

TheQueen Your royal highness: is life lock worth it?

piruja loca: I know this video is old but it's really helpful to me hopefully you can answer my question I have a kid 7 years old me and his mom with separate now she doesn't want him so she give me costume of him can I get a Social Security number for him he was boring here I asked his mom for the Social Security and she doesn't want to give it to me can I request my child number Social Security number??

snowtyger11: Thank you for this information.

Armando Soto: I need to email u and ask u something about this. Please you could b saving my life

PeYo BlaZeR: lets say if someone stole my social number and they own a lot of money to banks and stuff like that would the real owner have to pay the money they own ??

lona west: I just had my wallet stolen and I had mine in there! stupid I know but I had been planning to go looking for a job after I left the place it had been stolen at. ill be contackting ASAP as you sead ty!

Lenora Brown: Thank you. this was excellent information. I wish I had this some years ago. It would have saved me so much aggravation. Thanks again

SixVermin Gavin: My social secuirity number is 123-45-6789

Carson Cooper: moneypak asked for ssn, are they safe?

What to do When Your Identity is Stolen? 3 Immediate Steps

My social security number was stolen what do i do

This video explains what to do when you have been a victim of identity theft and three easy steps to start moving forward. Identity Theft Affidavit: .

What to do if someone filed taxes with your SSN

My social security number was stolen what do i do

Call IRS Fraud & make sure someone really did it 18009084490 Call and report identity theft to : FTC 18774384338 SSA 8007721213 CALL 1 OF 3 CREDIT .

How Can You Tell If Someone Is Using Your Social Security Number?

My social security number was stolen what do i do

Know how and when to check your child's credit report. If i think someone is using my social security. Note that we can only resolve social security number what .

Identity Theft Expert on Your Social Security Number

My social security number was stolen what do i do

Identity theft expert John Sileo wants you to know how incredibly easy it is to guess your Social Security Number with very little information.

Stolen Social security numbers used for new fraud

My social security number was stolen what do i do

There's a new scam involving Social Security numbers and bogus unemployment claims. The I-Team found a trail of victims from Pinellas to Polk counties.

Child Social Security Number Theft - How Thieves Steal Prior To Birth, Destructive Implications

My social security number was stolen what do i do

Most interesting portion of the report is the ability of ID thieves to 'guess' birth date. It also demonstrates a case (and how it occurs) of a child born into a .

Did Someone Steal Your Social Security Number to File Taxes? Here's What to Do

My social security number was stolen what do i do

The IRS says that millions of people have become victims of con artists that have used the victim's social security numbers to file taxes. Once the scammers file .

Steps you should take if your social security number’s stolen

My social security number was stolen what do i do

If your social security number is stolen, do you know what to do? 22News explains the steps to take if you suspect someone stole your identity.

What To Do If Your Social Security Number is Stolen

My social security number was stolen what do i do

If you lost your social security number or if has been stolen to file taxes in your name you need to take these immediate steps to protect your identity. , Lynnette .


What You Need to Know About Social Security Numbers

My social security number was stolen what do i do

If you are a J-1 who will be paid a stipend or otherwise compensated financially by the U.S. host organization during the time you are in the U.S. as an intern or trainee, you will most likely need to apply for a Social Security Number and Social Security Card.

The Social Security Number, which is recorded on the corresponding Social Security Card, is your Tax Identification Number. It is also one of the main forms of identification for people living in the U.S.

Your Social Security Number/Card (SSN) can be used for a variety of purposes, but one of the most important things you will use it for is to check your employment eligibility status through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) E-Verify system. Checking your employment eligibility status is required when your host organization’s human resources department enrolls you in their payroll system (more info on that process here). The Social Security Number/Card may also be needed if you plan to open a bank account, apply for a U.S. driver’s license, and sometimes when you rent an apartment or make a large purchase, like buying a car.

Do I Need a Social Security Number?

As mentioned above, if you will be paid by the U.S. host organization, you will likely need a SSN because you need to pay taxes on all U.S. income you earn while you are a J-1 Trainee or Intern (for more info on Taxes, check our website FAQ page on Tax Assistance for J-1 Participants). This publication from the Social Security Administration (SSA.gov) discusses Social Security Numbers for Noncitizens and provides contact information in case you have specific questions.

When Should I Apply for My Social Security Number/Card?

If you need a Social Security Number/Card, is very important that you understand when and how to apply for the number. Before applying for the Social Security Number/Card, you must make sure that you have completed your “Post Arrival Follow Up Information” by logging in to your online case file. You must log in to the website and complete the task labeled “Post Arrival Follow Up Information,” which will ask for your contact info and for you to scan and upload some of your immigration documents.

After you complete the “Post Arrival Follow Up Information,” you will receive an email confirmation from us stating that your visa has been activated in SEVIS. Once your visa has been activated, you should wait an additional three business days before applying for the SSN. Waiting three days will allow the government databases to update with your immigration information. If you attempt to apply for the SSN before you have been active in SEVIS for at least three days, your application will likely be rejected, or you will be placed into a lengthy verification queue (meaning, you will have to wait a really long time to get your number). If you have questions about whether or not your J-1 visa status is active in SEVIS, you should contact your visa sponsor at [email protected] or 1-202-507-7500 to verify before you visit the Social Security Office.

How Do I Apply For My Social Security Number/Card?

The Social Security Administration provides great instructions on their website detailing how to apply for the SSN. Basically, you need to complete and print the Social Security Application form, and gather your DS-2019 form, passport with J-1 visa (non-Canadians), DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility, and the Active Status Letter we sent you with your original DS-2019 (The letter begins with, “This letter is meant to confirm that…”). Then, take all of those documents to the local Social Security Office and apply in person for the SSN.

Where Do I Go To Apply For My Social Security Number/Card?

You must visit a local Social Security Office in person in order to apply for the SSN. Again, please make sure that your visa is active in SEVIS before visiting the Social Security Office to apply in person. You can find the nearest Social Security Office using the Social Security Office Locator.

What If I Applied For My Social Security Number/Card Before I Was Activated In SEVIS?

If you missed all of our warnings and applied for your Social Security Number/Card before your visa status is activated, then you will have to visit the Social Security Office again to cancel the original application and reapply for the SSN.

In order to activate your visa status, you must log in and complete your “Post-Arrival Follow Up Information.” (Note: You must first complete the “Arrival and Program Dates” form in order to access the “Post-Arrival Follow Up Information” form). If you have doubts, you should contact your visa sponsor to make sure that your visa is active. Once you have been active in SEVIS for three days, then visit the Social Security Office and ask to cancel your initial application for the SSN. Once the initial application is canceled, you will be able to begin your application again and hopefully receive the SSN within the normal processing time.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Social Security Number/Card?

We cannot comment on exactly how long each Social Security Office’s processing times are, but on average our J-1 Trainee and Intern participants report that it takes an average of 7-10 days to obtain the Social Security Number. If the process takes much longer, there is a chance you submitted the application before your visa status was activated in SEVIS. Please see the question above if you think that is what happened.

I Received An Email Stating That My Visa Status Was Active In SEVIS, But When I Went to the Social Security Office They Told Me to Contact My Sponsor. What Should I Do Now?

If you believe your visa status is active in SEVIS, but the Social Security Office cannot access your information, call your visa sponsor immediately at 1-202-507-7500 or email us at [email protected] We will make sure to activate your visa status as soon as possible, so that you can apply for the SSN within a reasonable timeframe.

What Type Of Social Security Number/Card Should I Apply For?

There are three types of Social Security Cards. You should receive type number 2 on the list, which states, “VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH DHS AUTHORIZATION” which is for “people lawfully admitted to the U.S. on a temporary basis who have DHS authorization to work.” Normally, this is determined at the Social Security Office, but if you believe you receive the incorrect type of Social Security Card, then contact your visa sponsor and visit the Social Security Office to have the error corrected.

Human Resources at My Host Organization is Telling Me I Need to Submit Payroll Or Tax Forms, But I Am Still Waiting for My Social Security Number/Card. Help!

Tell your Human Resources contact to read point number 3 on this website, titled, “What if the worker doesn’t have a Social Security number when wage reports (Forms W-2) are due to Social Security?” They can file your W-2 wage reports, and then correct the information at a later date when you receive the SSN.

I Have the Social Security Number/Card and I Need To Enroll in Payroll/Benefits at My Host Organization, But My Information Cannot Be Found in E-Verify. What Do I Do Now?

Sometimes E-Verify has problems locating J-1 Trainees and Interns, and they receive what is referred to as a “false negative” when attempting to verify their eligibility for employment. We do not know exactly why this happens. If you do receive a false negative, it is important that you maintain several documents in your personnel file at the host organization in order to demonstrate your eligibility for employment:

  • A photocopy of your DS-2019 form
  • A copy of your I-94 status
  • A copy of your J-1 visa
  • A copy of your training plan
  • A copy of the “Active Status” letter from the American Immigration Council. This is the letter sent with your DS-2019 form that begins, “To whom it may concern.”

If there are any questions, please ask your Human Resources department to contact your visa sponsor at 1-202-507-7500 or email us at [email protected]

I Already Obtained A Social Security Number on a Past Visit To The U.S. – Do I Need a New Social Security Number?

No. You have one SSN and you keep it for life. You do, however, need to make sure your visa status is active in SEVIS before you attempt to use the SSN for the first time as a J-1 Trainee or Intern.


Can I Give Away the Last Four Numbers of My Social Security Number?

The Social Security Administration warns against carrying your card in your wallet.

Social Security numbers were never intended to serve as general-purpose national ID numbers. If they were, they'd probably be a lot different from what we have now: nine digits, two hyphens and an invitation to identity thieves. Giving away the last four digits of your Social Security number may not seem like a risk -- there's still five left, right? But if you're worried about someone misusing your number, perhaps you'd best keep all nine digits to yourself.

Social Security's numbering scheme dates to 1936. The numbers were designed only for internal use at the Social Security Administration to track people's earnings and benefits. Security wasn't much of a priority, so numbers were assigned according to a simple formula. In the decades that followed, the numbers took on more significance. Because the U.S. lacks a national ID system, Social Security numbers, which just about everybody had to have, became a convenient substitute. Today, your number is the key to a vast trove of information about you and your finances.

Social Security numbers take the format XXX-XX-XXXX. The first three digits are the "area number." These are assigned by geographic region. At one point, the area number you got depended on the state where you lived. Since 1972, it's been assigned based on the ZIP code of the mailing address on your application. The second set of digits -- the two digits between the hyphens -- is a "group number." Within each area number, Social Security gives people numbers in "batches,9quot; and the group number identifies which batch your number comes out of. The last four digits are the serial number. It's assigned sequentially within each group number -- 0001 is first, then 0002 and so on up to 9999.

Criminals have long used the identities of dead people to commit fraud. To help combat this, the Social Security Administration makes the numbers of dead people available in a public database, along with information about when and where they were born and died. Credit card companies, banks, employers and others can check the database to see whether a number submitted by someone actually belongs to a "ghost.9quot; However, the database itself may help crooks steal the identities of the living. In 2009, researchers reported they had used database information to create a computer algorithm to predict the first five digits of a person's Social Security number. Alessandro Acquisti and Ralph Gross of Carnegie Mellon University reported they were able to identify the first five digits 44 percent of the time for people born after 1989. All they needed to know was when and where they were born. The database helped them pinpoint the area number and group number people were most likely to have been assigned. The year 1989 is important because that's when it became common for infants to receive Social Security numbers at birth. Further research may lead to accurate predictions for people born before 1989.

If an identity-stealing cybercriminal with a nasty algorithm can crack the first five digits of your Social Security number, those last four digits might be all that's standing between you and a heap of hassle. You don't need to make the thief's job easier by serving up those precious digits. The Social Security Administration recommends providing your number only when you know exactly who's asking, why they need it and what they plan to do with it.

Cam Merritt is a writer and editor specializing in business, personal finance and home design. He has contributed to USA Today, The Des Moines Register and Better Homes and Gardens"publications. Merritt has a journalism degree from Drake University and is pursuing an MBA from the University of Iowa.


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