Identity theft: How to keep your social security number safe from fraud

Your Social Security number (SSN) is one of the most important pieces of personal information you have. Not only does your unique nine-digit number enable you to receive benefits from the Social Security Agency (SSA), but it’s also required when applying for jobs or signing up for programs run by the federal government.

Unfortunately, Social Security numbers are also the key to identity theft — and there are all sorts of ways for a thief to use your SSN for criminal purposes. Besides trying to defraud the SSA itself, an identity thief can apply for a job posing as you, potentially drain your bank accounts or open an account in your name, sign up for fraudulent credit cards, make purchases, commit tax fraud and more.

Due to its importance, protecting your Social Security number is essential. Here are some ways you can protect yourself from SSN fraud or identity theft.

 

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