Skip to comments.Someone is using my husband's Social Security Number (plz help us, vanity)
Posted on 04/16/2012 6:32:07 AM PDT by getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL
About three weeks ago, my husband received a call from a woman verifying applications for food stamps in Palm Beach County, Florida. The lady on the phone, my husband and I quickly learned that someone in PBC had used my husband's ssn on an application requesting food stamps. My husband informed the lady that we have not lived in south FL since 2004, and that we've since been residing in Texas. She and my husband each thanked the other for the information, and she recommended we contact the Jupiter police department to file a report.
Over the next few weeks, my husband has been on the phone with the Jupiter Police Department, Palm Beach County Sheriff's office, the West Palm P.D. (where the food stamp app was submitted) and our own local p.d. in Texas. NO ONE wants to take my husband's report, either because we don't live in FL anymore, we need to file the report in person and our current city police have said they cannot help. Basically everyone is passing this off to someone else.
So last night, my husband went online to submit our tax forms to the IRS, however, it was denied because someone had already submitted a form using his ssn.
Contact all three credit reporting agencies and file an identity theft. Then call the IRS and let them know what you’ve done so far. After that I’m not sure.
But when we have a “President” using a fake SSN who knows what government will do or if they will even care.
Are good starts
File with the credit reporting agencies asap, they have instructions on their website.
File with all 3 companies.
The first thing I’d do is to do anything and everything to try and get some sort of a police report submitted that I can get a copy of. The next thing would be to search the IRS website for the keyword “fraud”, etc. and do the same thing with SSA...I’d then back this up with a call to the IRS and to the SSA...if you are persistent, you will eventually get a real person.
If you get clear of this, I’d invest in Lifelock for $9/month.
Be prepared, you may end up having to consult a lawyer specializing in identify fraud. Your state bar association should be able to give you referrals.
Good Luck....BTW...I’d get some new W-4s filed on your current income that cuts your tax bite to the bone so you don’t lose what you pay each month when you try to file next year.
post #2 is excellent advice. Would also contact whoever you do your banking with to look for unusual activity. Contact your congressional rep’s office and ask for their advice also. Good Luck with this situation.
Also file a report with the FTC. They have a fraud and identity theft link on their website.
There is already some of the good advice I would offer. But you might also think about this: Why were you called at your number about a food stamp application while you lived in TX?
That first call was the beginning of the scam. They needed information from you to get something they needed. That’s why you got a call about it at all. The first call was a fishing expedition and it seems they got what they wanted.
Nobody from FL would have called a TX phone number to ask questions about a food stamp application. Further, the scammers would not have put your real # on the application if they even knew it.
Sorry. Good Luck and God Bless.
Thanks FRiends. Giving all this to dh.
Much of this advice seems good. You should also copy and MAIL in your IRS forms.
If someone has misused your Social Security number or other personal information to create credit or other problems for you, Social Security cannot resolve these problems. But there are several things you should do.
You should contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Or, you can call 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY 1-866-653-4261. The FTC website is a one-stop national resource to learn about the crime of identity theft. It provides detailed information to help you deter, detect and defend against identity theft.
You also may want to contact the Internal Revenue Service. An identity thief might also use your Social Security number to file a tax return in order to receive a refund. If the thief files the tax return before you do, the IRS will believe you already filed and received your refund if eligible. If your Social Security number is stolen, another individual may use it to get a job. That persons employer would report income earned to the IRS using your Social Security number, making it appear that you did not report all of your income on your tax return. If you think you may have tax issues because someone has stolen your identity, contact the IRS Identity Protection Unit or call 1-800-908-4490.
Also, you should file an online complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov.
The IC3 gives victims of cyber crime a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations. IC3 sends every complaint to one or more law enforcement or regulatory agencies that have jurisdiction over the matter.
Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)
LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)
The whole situation is odd.
Why would they call your husband to verify a food stamp application? Did the person use your phone number (possibly new since you moved), did they use your new address as well?
Place a consumer alert on your credit reports.
I am more concerned someone has your husbands name phone number and Social Security Number (and whatever else you or your husband provided them over the phone).
Don’t bother with the police, it sounds more as if someone was phishing for information over the phone.
The lady seems to check out because she does work for the Dept. of Children & Families (ok, I know that sounds like its own comedy). My husband has called her once or twice since she called us. I’m not sure exactly how she got our current number, though. I’m guessing on the internet using something as easy as google.
Area codes do not mean much anymore. With phone number portability an individual can be anywhere with a Texas area code. Fact is, I have a 214 area code (cellular) and live nowhere close to the D/FW area or even in Texas.
“If someone has misused your Social Security number or other personal information to create credit or other problems for you, Social Security cannot resolve these problems. But there are several things you should do.”
In part this is SS fault. On my now very old SS card, it states the SS# is NOT to be used for identification purposes yet we have allowed our useless government to make ex post facto laws and now everyone except the clerk at the nail salon wants your SS#.
They forced us non-government worker types into this ponzi scheme then continue to change the laws after the fact.
If SS were in charge of other laws you could be arrested for committing a crime 10 years prior to it being a crime which is why the government was prohibited from passing ex post facto laws in the first place but who pays attention to the brilliance of the Founders anymore.
Agree too; on the 'Life Lock' - our family has this. Perhaps; you could sign up now. . .(explain sit) but using your own SSN; they could track what is happening and be of some help; don't know. Might be faster than Gov tracking; but of course; the Gov must be part of solution as well.
Hope no one is yet; taking advantage of your medical benefits; much less your SS check.
I am a second year tax preparer for H&R Block. Our office has had a few returns get rejected this tax season because the taxpayer’s SSN has already been used.
1)Your tax return will have to be mailed in.
2)Contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490.
3) If you receive a notice from IRS, respond immediately. If you believe someone may have used your SSN fraudulently, notify IRS immediately by responding to the name and number printed on the notice or letter. You will need to fill out the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit Form 14039.
The IRS will issue you a personal protection PIN. This PIN will need to be included on next year’s tax return. A return with the stolen SSN that does not have this PIN will be rejected.
See this page at IRS.gov about identity theft.
What a world.
Call the irs directly. Speak to an assistant. They are courteous, helpful, and effective. Explain your situation. You will be fine. (File for an extension with the operator as well, to allow time to get this all figured out.)
I don’t believe this was an ACORN-type individual. She gave my husband his own information, not the other way around. She advised him to contact the Jupiter police.
Maybe when the worker saw that the address given was in Jupiter, it raised a flag for her to look into the residence. Maybe she saw that it was in a lovely golf-course planned community, she then wondered hmmm... food stamps? Maybe she then searched for the value of the home at the address provided, and confirmed her initial red flag.
Granted, we owned probably the most basic of homes in a community of homes that easily were double the worth of ours, but I doubt anyone living where we did needed food stamps. She could have gone to the tax assessor website and looked at the history of owners, and would have seen at least 7 yrs of names different from ours. One White Pages search of dh’s name and she would have seen our current home number.
Is it strange the initial government employee couldn’t figure out the SS number belonged to a different person then the one trying to use it?
If your congresscritter isn’t timely with assistance, I would send this situation to my radio, TV, newspaper. Who knows, they may want to publish this story. That would get the ball rolling.
Noone likes bad press.
Aside from the suggestions you’ve already gotten, I would also sign up for lifelock. http://www.lifelock.com/
It may not help with the fraud that has already taken place, but should stop future ID theft.
You have my sympathy. The same thing happened to my 2010 Fed Tax return. I just received my refund for 2010 a few months ago. They did pay me interest on the delayed refund though.
You can call the IRS at 800-908-4490 which is their ID Theft hotline. They will establish a case for you and will ask you to fill out Form #14039 which is an Identity Theft Affidavit. I had to file my tax return for 2011 manually because my pin numbers were now screwed up. You may have to do the same. Be very aggressive with the IRS in this situation. If they say they will do something in 30 days and it doesn’t happen then get on the phone and ask why they didn’t perform as promised. Keep pushing and you will get results.
The IRS is getting swamped with identity fraud and they are saying that they are taking steps to improve security. They have flagged my SSAN with an “identity theft indicator” which will alert them if any further activity on my SSAN occurs no matter the source.
Go to the IRS website and check out Pub 4535.
Other steps for you to take:
1. File a report with your local police department. Don’t care if it’s their jurisdiction or not. I reported four separate incidents, none of which were local. Make them take the report. You’ll need that the police report number for the next two steps.
2. File a report with the FTC. www.ftc.gov/idtheft Filling out the online form is kind of clunky. As an alternative you can print out a blank form and fill it out manually. Whatever.
3. Contact all 3 credit agencies and file an Extended credit freeze. That way no one gets in to your credit report. Prices for this process vary from state to state and may be zero if you can provide proof that you are a victim of identity fraud.
4. Set up an account with Lifelock. I currently use Trusted ID but am going to switch over to Lifelock when the Trusted ID account is up for renewal.
5. Monitor your credit card accounts and bank accounts very closely, like every day or so.
6. Create very complex passwords for any and all online accounts. I use 1password.com. It’s a program that generates impossible passwords and keeps them organized. Check them out. It’s complicated to get started but once you get the hang of it you’ll wonder how you got along without it.
7. Check out Clark Howard at clarkhoward.com. He has very good advice on consumer issues including identity fraud. He’s the best in the business IMHO.
Just a few ideas for you to consider to ramp up your security and help you get a handle on this identity fraud mess. Good luck.
My husband is extremely frugal, and in some ways naive; but he quickly learns. I’ve told him a few times about Lifelock b/c Mark Levin seems to endorse it.
He’s mailing them in today, and he’s made copies for our records and for the local police where he’s heading within the half hour. He’s been on hold with the IRS for over 45 minutes, and there is still a long expected wait.
1. If you have a Homeowner’s insurance policy, check to see if it has Identity Theft coverage. If so, follow the requirements to take full advantage of it.
2. Some posters have suggested that the call itself a phishing scam. Seems likely (why would the thief supply your current phone number?).
3. If you are convinced it was genuine, get the name of the top official or general counsel of the Dept of Children & Families. Send that person a demand by certified letter, replete with facts, names, times, and dates, that they take action on this immediately. Demand a response within x days stating what action they have taken. Demand to know their policies about reporting id theft, the number of reports in the last year, and the number of cases that resulted in prosecution.
4. If they do not start dealing with it immediately, write letters to the editor of the local newspapers, warning the public of this id fraud danger. Revealing the lack of action by the agency, and imply that you are beginning to wonder of if the agency condones and abets id fraud.
5. One would assume an application to receive food stamps, would involve some sort of physical contact, a phone number for future contact, and an address or account number. All the agency has to do is ask the applicant in for an appointment to get their hand-out card, then slap on the cuffs. Their failure to do this already tells you they have no desire to catch the scum.
My husband's SS# was stolen as well but as far as we can tell, it was because of the Marine Corp. We got a letter from them telling us their records were compromised and soon after, the purchasing on our credit began. We were able to file with our local Sheriff's office *but* that's all they've done for us. Everything else, we've done. As others have stated, get life lock, contact the credit agencies and have them flag your number. Be aware that life lock offers different levels of protection. We have the cheapest and it's not foolproof. The quicker you act, the better your result. The thief pulled a credit report and found our bank, they pulled 6k out of our account but we got it back because of our diligence.
Think of everything you have that can be affected and take steps to lock it all down. Change bank accounts, notify credit card accounts make sure your cell phone provider e-mails your phone if any changes or additions are requested to your account. Also, attempts to steal from you will stop but don't let your guard down! It stops long enough for the person to sell your info and new attempts start! Best of luck to you.
******On my now very old SS card, it states the SS# is NOT to be used for identification purposes yet we have allowed our useless government to make ex post facto laws and now everyone except the clerk at the nail salon wants your SS#.****
Dh has always refused to give it out. Same with me. Can’t remember if it was FL or TX years ago, who used your social for your drivers license number. What a sscam.
“Lifelock for $9/month.”
File the police report, notify SS and the credit agencies.....
And buy Lifelock. I think there’s a premium version. THEY take care of paperwork, too. It’s their business and they mean business. No joke.
Full disclosure. We have their premium service. It’s a blessing. We also have Pre-paid legal and collect hours every month. We have hundreds of hours now.
I would also contact the Attorney General’s office of both states and explain how you are having trouble filing a police report:
My thought has been — why doesn’t the lady at DCF contact the applicant and have him/her come into the office to pick up their first check?
You’ve been approved, come on down!
(sound of cuffs)
I am so sorry. I have no other advice..but had to read and bookmark this page as there are some excellent Freeper suggestions here.
I hope this nightmare is over for you very soon. I had my SS lifted about 20 years ago..and used to buy car phones..they tried to stick me with a 10K plus bill. I got it fixed but it was a pain..
When I was in college mumblety-mumble years ago the California State Univ used it as our Student ID number. There was a lawsuit - CSU lost. They had to issue NEW ids to everyone... that didn’t last long. Congress has passed numerous exceptions to the “can’t use it as an ID” requirement over the years so now it is a pointless observation. The SSN is essentially our Universal ID card - with associated obvious problems.
They can seem to check out if sophisticated. They might have two or three people in the home answering the phone properly to what scam they are doing. Even while on hold they can have on hold information seemingly proper. Saw this with a scam out of Wisconsin wherein they were badgering my Grandparents for information. Plenty of reports when I googled the actual call back number. Pretty soon they just disappear and start up a new number.
The number you call,,, is it traceable to the Dept. of Children and Families??? Reverse lookup?
Google search the number they are calling from - Others may have already reported it.
Google search the name of the person you are in contact with.
Google Search a specific, pertinent and convincing statement the person made to you.
I thwarted a “Toner Scam/Office Supplies” and a “Safety Equipment” scam this way. I thwarted an identity theft scam when my “Insurance Company” called to verify “updated driving records and mileage”. The caller needed to verify the current mileage on my truck to verify if I was driving the amount that I had originally stated years prior. They also wanted to update my beneficiaries for my life insurance policy. They knew my insurance company and the name of my agents as well as some specifics about my policies. They said they were calling from “corporate” when I asked to speak to either “Joe” or “Jane”, my agent or his assistant. I told them I would go check the mileage and instead, while they waited, I checked google and found exactly what the scam was. When I started asking questions of her to help build a case, she caught on that I was doing the fishing and hung up. I still have the recording I started somewhere on one of those little cassettes. I reported it to several groups including my insurance company and never heard back from anyone.
Back in 1992, my motorcycle was stolen off of Homestead AFB... 3 weeks later, they pulled the gy over who had stolen it. It happened in WPB, and I had to get a friend to drive me up there from Miami (Homestead AFB).
When we arrived at WPB Sheriff’s Office, I filled out the release forms.. and was going to press charges... They talked me out of it. They said something like, #it’s not worth it”.
I have no idea what they meant, but they were convincing enough for me (being a naive 22yo at the time).
They (the authorities there) seem not to really be concerned about the public in general when it comes to stuff like this :/
As for your situation, there is lots of good advice posted above me.. and I would add on to contact your area rep and have them contact the agencies to give a little push.
Good luck and stay safe!
1. Go to FTC.gov and search “identity theft”. You will be able to fill out a complaint there and print out a copy that will include pages that you can take to law enforcement for their signature and also an “affidavit of identity theft “.
2. Take the affidavit to a notary and have them watch while you sign and notarize your signature. Then take the complaint to your sherrif’s office and file the complaint. There will be a page in the report where the deputy signs off and verifies that a report has been filed with law enforcement.
I live in TX and bad an ID theft problem several month ago. The sherrif’s office will take a report from you no matter where the theft occurred. With the copy of the CFC report that includes the notarized affadavit and the documentation from the sherrif, you will have everything you need ready to hand over should more theft events come to light.
I found that advice online is fragmented and found the most comprehensive advice was at the TX DPS website. Just go there and search for identity theft. It won’t all apply to your situation but it was the best source that found.
What a mess! There’s some excellent advice posted here by freepers, but one thing I would like to add-document everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. Set up a file to keep everything in one easy-to-access place.
If you call someone, write down the phone number, date, time, name of the individual you spoke to, make notes of the conversation. Do the same if someone calls YOU.
If you go to an office, bring a notebook, take notes, get the person’s name and title, and after the meeting, send a memo to the individual. If the person is helpful, send a thank you note. This small courtesy may keep your problem on the top of the pile.
Save all correspondence, and print out all emails sent and received.
Hang in there. And good luck!!!
Identity Theft is a serious thing.
My friend Mike got pulled over for a dead tail light about 4 years ago.
While the officer was writing his ticket, he also ran Mike’s name and found everal outstanding warrants from Florida for bad checks, stealing a car (buying a car and never paying for it) and a couple of other things. Mike lives in New York and had never been to Florida. Mike sat in the county jail in NY for a week waiting for extradition papers. Was transported to Florida where after 5 weeks someone finally realized that Mike wasn’t the right skin color. Still it took several more weeks before Mike was released from custody.
A judge finally gave Mike a signed Court Order declaring him to be an Identity Theft victim.
Mike has spent $30,000 on attorneies and court fees fixing this problem and he still gets harassed occasionally and can’t get credit despite the court order. By the way, the Identity Thief is currently somewhere in Texas.
You've received some excellent advice here, and I can't emphasize enough the importance of contacting the credit bureaus and IRS. You also need to contact any credit card or insurance companies, in fact, any entity that deals with your private/financial/health information. I agree with the poster who mentioned FTC---there's a lot of good advice there on handling identity theft. Without police assistance, you're going to have to do some legwork yourselves, and it's important to keep detailed records. Try to stay as cool-headed as possible, although I know that's easier said than done.
About five years ago, my husband and I were the victims of stolen identities via mail theft. The perpetrators were part of a multi-state crime ring,brazenly obtaining driver's licenses, credit cards in my husband's name, and on and on. We strongly suspected false tax info was submitted based on information I received from IRS, although that was never confirmed. It took us months to sort it out, but the credit agencies, as well as our bank and credit card companies, stayed on top of this. They've become very adept at handling such matters, as identity theft is rampant. After several months, we were given the good news that several of the perpetrators were caught, due to their blunders. They went to trial and were shipped off to the federal pen. From what the authorities told us, most of these people are never caught.
If you're able to do so, please keep us updated, and I hope you all quickly get the support you need.
Oh.....my......gosh. THAT is freaking scary.