Friday, September 25, 2015

IDENTITY THEFT: What to do when your Social Security number is compromised

Cathy A. Robinson, CPA
Senior Manager

When you are a victim of identity theft, the issues can seem endless. Last week, we discussed the steps to take to recover from identity theft. This week, we discuss the issues that come with having your Social Security number compromised.  

If there is a breach and your Social Security number was obtained and used, there are several factors of which you should be aware of:

1.)    The Social Security Administration cannot help you with a resolution

2.)    You need to report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission.

3.)    Victims should contact the IRS.

4.)    File an online complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at

a.       If you haven’t heard of this agency or know what they do, that’s okay. We’re here to help. The IC3 is a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. The mission of this agency is to deal with cybercrime.

5.)    Accept free credit monitoring if it is offered by the company responsible for leaking your information.

6.)    Victims should consider placing a credit freeze.

7.)    Monitor your credit report if you do not freeze your accounts.

8.)    In the end, you may have to apply for a new Social Security number.  If you do, you will need to prove your identity, age, and citizenship status. There is no guarantee, however, that a new number will work.  

Being a victim of identity theft can be messy, and having your Social Security number compromised in the process can be challenging. Be sure you know who you need to contact and what steps to take to prevent any further damage. 

This update is published periodically by HW&Co. as an information service to our clients, business associates and friends. It is general information and professional advice should be obtained before acting on any comments contained in this document.