Who should read this article:
You should study this article if you are a United States citizen and a parent of at least one child under the age of 18.
Stealing a social security number(ssn) and using it for work purposes is nothing new. It is easy for someone to take a dead person’s social and adopt it as their own.
Why bother to take someone else’s ssn? There are at least two good reasons:
1. The person can’t find a job that will pay them cash only.
2. For whatever reason, they cannot use their own social security number, so they must adopt another, preferably one from a deceased person. But sometimes they will go after a very much alive minor child and grab their ssn.
Think about it for a minute. Let’s say a man takes the social of a four year old boy. That boy will not be working for at least another 12-14 years. It’s easy to use his ssn undetected for payroll and credit purposes.
So how can you make sure no one is using YOUR minor child’s social security number? Read on.
Steps you need to take now:
1. There are three major credit bureaus that you need to write to:
Just put those three into any search engine to look up their mailing addresses. You can also call them using their toll free numbers. If you call them, make sure you have enough time to wait in the queue. Ask them for a credit history under your child’s name and ssn.
Each credit bureau will send you a short form to fill out for your youngster. Put in his full name and his social security number. Then send it in and wait a few weeks.
If all goes well, you will receive a report that says something like this: “Unable to locate credit report” or “No credit history found”. This is exactly what you want; it means that no one has tried to buy anything on credit or apply for a credit card using your child’s name and/or his ssn.
2. You also need to write to the Social Security Administration. The SSA has a nice website with loads of information. The SSA handles work histories, so you will find out if anyone has been working at a regular payroll job(non-cash) using your kid’s social security number.
If all is well, you will receive a letter(addressed to your child) saying something like this: “We cannot give you a statement at this time because no earnings have been listed on your Social Security number XXX-XX-XXXX. This is exactly what you want to see. Now you know that no one has used your child’s social for work purposes.
If you see a false work or credit history:
1. Report any phony work history using your kid’s social to the SSA. Call their toll free number first and have your little one’s ssn at hand. They may tell you to visit your local social security office. If so, make sure you bring a copy of the report you received from the Social Security Administration.
2. Report any phony credit history using your youngster’s ssn to ALL THREE major credit bureaus, even if only one of them shows a credit history. Not all credit bureaus will give you the exact same results. Just try it on your own credit history. With one such credit bureau, they somehow got my wife’s job confused with mine. Be sure to call their toll free numbers first. Tell them specifically how someone used your kid’s ssn. Maybe they applied for a credit card or bought a computer. More than likely you will have to send them a formal letter requesting the credit bureau to look into this. Be sure to send them a copy of the false credit history.
You now know how to find out if someone has been using your child’s ssn for work or credit purposes. But you are acting in a reactive and not a proactive way. No use closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. Learn to be proactive.