If you suspect that your Social Security Number (SSN) is compromised by identity thieves, you can request for a new number. However it may not be an appropriate remedy to overcome identity theft.
Social security number is issued only once to individuals. The social security administration is very reluctant to issue another number. However if you feel that your number is misused due to identity theft, you can contact their hot-line and request them to replace your existing number.
You should provide sufficient proof about the fraud committed on you with the help of your social security number. The administration will ask you a lot of questions about the scope of the fraud, the time of the fraud and the consequences you have already suffered. Once you report such fraud, you have to wait for the decision of the administration.
If the administration believes that someone is misusing your SSN, then a new number will be issued to you. You will be asked to submit the proof of your age and your citizenship.
However getting in your number does not fully solve your problem.
1. Even though the new number is issued to you, fraud on your old number may continue. Getting a new number is not the solution to stop such fraud.
2. There are a number of places where your old number will still be on the records and it will conflict all your future transactions.
3. The new number will not have any credit history so you may not be able to get any new credit on that number.
4. If you request credit bureaus to combine the credit history under both the numbers, it will create a lot of confusion and suspicion in the minds of creditors.
5. There is also a possibility of your new number being compromised!
Considering the inconveniences, give a careful thought about whether you really want to apply for a new SSN. Your personal circumstances will be the deciding factor. Most of the times, it is better to live with your old number. The hardships after taking new number are more than the real benefits.
You get restless and annoyed when you realize that someone has accessed and misused your social security number. The financial pain which comes thereafter is unbearable. You may think of applying for a new number. It is not easy, but you may get it. But is it worth the hassle? Chintamani Abhyankar advices pros and cons of getting a new number.