What Do I Do If I Find That My Social Security Number Has Be Stolen?

One of the drawbacks of our modern “information economy” is that there is so much consumer personal data in the hands of companies that sometimes do not do a good job of safeguarding it.   

When you make a purchase, such as with a retailer’s own credit card, you hand over a lot of personal information, such as your full name, Social Security number, address, income, and other private information.  All of this information is used to determine your creditworthiness but can also be used by thieves to steal your identity and cost you money.

If you are the victim of a data security breach there are potentially legal options you may have to protect your data from being used maliciously by a hacker or thief and to hold responsible the company that negligently released your data.

Federal Guidance

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) oversees consumer protection across the country.  It provides guidance to consumers on their rights in the event of a data breach by a company.  For instance, the FTC notes that you, as a consumer, have the right to place a fraud alert on your credit report, obtain a free copy of your credit report, dispute fraudulent charges, and stop creditors from reporting fraudulent accounts.   

The FTC also recommends that you fill out an affidavit and a police report regarding the information theft which can be used to block negative reporting that resulted from identity theft, so that the fraudulent purchases that may have followed a data breach do not harm you as much.

Additionally, if the identity thief is prosecuted in federal court, you have the right to be kept in the loop about the case and to be protected from the accused identity thief.

If you believe that someone is using your Social Security number, you can either go to the Social Security Administration’s website or a local office to review your file and report issues with it.  You can also apply online to obtain a new card if your card is lost or stolen.

State Rules 

Each state has its own data breach laws and regulations.  Each state has a threshold at which a company must publicly state that there has been a data breach and/or take some sort of remedial measure such as offering credit monitoring for the affected customers.

Contact a Skilled and Experienced Attorney For Help Now 

If you have questions about legal rights about identity theft and your rights under Federal or state law, you should contact an attorney right away to make sure your rights are upheld.

Contact the Keogh law firm to get knowledgeable legal advice from experienced attorneys in consumer protection in the area of identity theft.


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