How to Report a Stolen SSN | Bill Clanton

How to Report a Stolen SSN

Identity thieves selling credit reports to enable TransUnion identity theft
Image showing a SSN being stolen.

What do Do When Someone Takes Your SSN

When faced with the unsettling situation of having your Social Security number stolen, immediate and strategic action is essential to mitigate potential damages. The theft of such sensitive information can lead to various forms of identity theft, including financial fraud and misuse of personal data. In this guide, we will outline crucial steps and best practices to follow when your Social Security number falls into the wrong hands. From reporting the theft to relevant authorities to implementing protective measures, navigating this challenging situation requires a proactive and informed approach to safeguard your financial well-being and personal information.

Key takeaways

  • Physical theft, online data breaches (or exposure), trash rummaging, and insider purchases are all ways that thieves can obtain your social security number.
  • Steps to take once you’ve identified this causing you issues includes reporting the issue on, contacting the IRS, and filing an IC3 complaint.

How would someone steal a SSN?

Methods employed by identity thieves to obtain your personal information include:

  • Physical Theft: Theft of wallets, purses, and mail, including bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, new checks, and tax information.
  • Online Exposure: Acquiring personal information provided on unsecured websites, business or personnel records at work, and personal details within your home.
  • Trash Rummaging: Scouring through your trash, as well as the trash of businesses and public dumps, in search of discarded personal data.
  • Insider Purchases: Purchasing personal information from sources within organizations. For instance, an identity thief may compensate an employee for details found on applications for goods, services, or credit.
  • Impersonation: Assuming a false identity through phone or email communication, posing as a legitimate entity in need of information about you, such as employers.

What to do if identity theft is causing credit reporting problems

If you find that an identity thief is causing credit problems for you, Social Security, unfortunately, cannot directly resolve these issues. However, there are steps you can take to address the situation:

  • Report to Visit to report identity theft and receive a recovery plan. This comprehensive resource, managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), guides you through each step of the recovery process. You can also contact them at 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY 1-866-653-4261.
  • Contact the IRS: If your Social Security number is misused for tax-related issues, contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). An identity thief may file a tax return using your Social Security number to receive your refund. Visit or call 1-800-908-4490 to address potential tax problems.
  • File a Complaint with IC3: File an online complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at IC3 provides a reporting mechanism for cybercrime victims, alerting authorities to suspected criminal or civil violations. They collaborate with various law enforcement and regulatory agencies.
  • Monitor Your Credit Report: Regularly monitor your credit report for any suspicious activity. Obtain free credit reports online at This helps you stay informed about changes in your credit history and identify any unauthorized transactions.

Taking these proactive steps can aid in mitigating the impact of identity theft on your credit and financial well-being.

How to contact the social security administration

For seamless interaction with the SSA from any location and on any device, we recommend visiting The online platform provides a range of services, including the ability to apply for benefits, access valuable information, find publications, and obtain answers to frequently asked questions.

Alternatively, you can reach the SSA toll-free by phone at 1-800-772-1213 or at 1-800-325-0778 (TTY) for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. The dedicated SSA team is available to answer your calls from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. Additionally, you can utilize their automated services via telephone, 24 hours a day.

About The Author

Bill Clanton

Over the years my office has helped thousands of consumers who were cheated, ripped-off, and mistreated by debt collectors, credit reporting agencies, banks, credit unions, and car dealers. If you have a problem with a business being dishonest with you give me a call. I’d love to set them straight.