Fact vs. Fiction Archive

Fiction: A social security number will be canceled and changed once it's reported stolen.

Fact: Your social security number is not like a credit card number. The government will not immediately issue you a new one the first time you report your SSN stolen. If your SSN has been compromised, here's what you can do to protect yourself: Notify the Federal Trade Commission and the Social Security Administration, and submit Form 14039, the Identity Theft Affidavit, to the IRS. Also ask the IRS for an Identity Protection PIN, which the agency uses to confirm your identity on tax returns and prevent misuse of your SSN. Notify one of the major credit bureaus (each one is legally required to alert the other two). Finally, strongly consider purchasing credit-monitoring services to keep tabs on your credit report.

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