Social Security is committed to securing today and tomorrow for you and your employees. Protecting your identity and information is important to us. Security is part of our name and we take that seriously.
Identity theft is when someone steals your personally identifiable information (PII) and pretends to be you. It happens to millions of Americans every year. Once identity thieves have your personal information they can open bank or credit card accounts, file taxes, or make new purchases in your name. You can help prevent identity theft by:
- Securing your Social Security card and not carrying it in your wallet;
- Not responding to unsolicited requests for personal information (your name, birthdate, social security number, or bank account number) by phone, mail, or online;
- Shredding mail containing PII instead of throwing it in the trash; and
- Reviewing your receipts. Promptly compare receipts with account statements. Watch for unauthorized transactions.
It is important that your employees take the necessary steps to protect their Social Security number. Usually, just knowing the number is enough, so it is important not to carry your Social Security card or other documents unless they are needed for a specific purpose. If someone asks for your employees’ number, they should ask why, how it will be used, and what will happen if they refuse. When hired, your employees should provide you with the correct Social Security number to ensure their records and tax information are accurate.
If your employees suspect someone else is using their Social Security number, they should visit IdentityTheft.gov to report identity theft and get a recovery plan. IdentityTheft.gov guides them through every step of the recovery process. It’s a one-stop resource managed by the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency. You can also call 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY 1-866-653-4261.
Your employee should also contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and file an online complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.
Don’t let your employees fall victim to identity theft. Advise them to read our publication Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number or read our Frequently Asked Questions for more information. If you or an employee suspects that they’re a victim of identity theft, don’t wait, report it right away!