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Social Security Identity Theft

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. When a dishonest person has your Social Security number, the thief can use it to get other personal information about you. Most of the time identity thieves use your number and your good credit to apply for more credit in your name. Then, they use the credit cards and do not pay the bills. You do not find out that someone is using your number until you are turned down for credit, or you begin to get calls from unknown creditors demanding payment for items you never bought.

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Someone illegally using your Social Security number and assuming your identity can cause a lot of problems. Your Social Security number and your records are confidential.  You should be careful about sharing your number with anyone who asks for it (even when you are provided with a benefit or service).

Basically it is in your best interests not to make it easy for someone to steal your number. This is hard on senior citizens and veterans who often have to give out their social security numbers in order to receive checks, medical assistance and all kinds of benefits. If you are elderly or have an elderly relative you need to be aware that there are a lot of scam artists out there. 

The best prevention for identity theft is to protect your wallet, purse, mailbox and the contents of your desks or files with a watchful eye, and locks if appropriate. You should also never store your personal information on an unsecured web site. Always shred documents with your personal data on them and never throw out pre-approved credit offers without shredding them or ripping them up first. This way dumpster diving thieves canít get hold of your account numbers and steal your identity!



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