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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 37682
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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What to do if your Social Security Number is stolen?

Customer Question

My wife and I have direct deposit of our social security checks to our bank. Recently we have been advised that we may have an issue about identity theft. We have been advised to contact S.S. about changing our account and need to advise that we have a new routing number 5 0 3 2 4 9 9 4 8 for our check deposits. Please advise.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

If you already are receiving benefits, you can create a My Social Security Online Account and start or change Direct Deposit online. If you don’t already have an account, you can easily create one. You can open your own social security online account and see your earnings statement, estimated retirement benefit, change bank accounts and much more, in about 15 minutes through this site: http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/

If you are already receiving Social Security and or Supplemental Security Income benefits through direct deposit, then you may change the account the deposit is posted to by calling 1 (800) SSA-1213(1 - 800 - 772 - 1213). The representative will be able to assist you in getting the change made to your account.

Finally, you may also visit your local social security office and make the change.

I certainly empathize with the angst and frustration that you must be feeling in potentially being a victim of fraud/identity theft. This happens to so many people and while it is good to be concerned, there are several things that can be done, even now to protect yourselves. Let me explain.

While a social security number/banking information may have been stolen, you can prevent the use of that number for fraudulent purposes by freezing the credit of the person whose number has been fraudulently obtained. That way the credit reporting companies will not provide credit scores for new loans, credit cards etc. unless they first get your permission, so long as the freeze is in place. You will want to contact the three main reporting agencies and have the reporting frozen.

Here's how to contact the three major credit bureaus to ask about or obtain your credit report or credit score, alert creditors to a possible fraud using your name, or for any other reason:
Equifax: 800 - 685 - 1111 (general) or 800 - 525 - 6285 (fraud); P.O. Box 740241,Atlanta, GA 30374; www.equifax.com
Experian: 888 - 397 - 3742 (general and fraud); PO Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013,www.experian.com.
TransUnion: 800 - 888 - 4213 (general) or 800 - 680 - 7289 (fraud); P.O. Box 2000,Chester, PA 19022; www.transunion.com.