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Should I change my Social Security number if I am a victim of identity theft?

In most cases this is a bad idea. You have had that number for many years and it is attached to many documents, including your credit report and various other private and government documents. If you must change your Social Security number (this will be an incredible hassle with the Social Security Administration), your credit reports with your old Social Security number will be attached to the reports with the new number. This will look very suspicious to creditors and employers, and cause further problems in proving yourself to be the victim instead of the imposter.

Furthermore, it is extremely difficult (seemingly impossible) to change your social security number since so many federal and state official records are tied to it. When someone runs background checks on people it is common to find several names assigned to the same social security number. Most of these are because of tax reporting errors during employment and from illegal immigrants simply making up a number that just happens to be yours. Ex-felons have been known to adopt new social security numbers if they are violating parole or have outstanding warrants. One step you can take is to go online to social security administration to obtain information to stop someone from using your social security number. If SSN fraud is suspected, call the SSA Hotline: (800) 772-1213.

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