Last Updated on February 13, 2023 by Jerome Donovan
One of the tactics used by identity scammers and romance scammers are building trust with you, till you give them sensitive information like your SSN. So wondering can someone access your bank account with my SSN becomes the next thing. Well, here is your quick answer.
Having your Social Security Number (SSN) alone is not enough to gain access to your bank account. Banks typically have several layers of security in place to protect their customers’ financial information, including secure passwords and multi-factor authentication methods.
However, if an your SSN is combined with other sensitive information such as your full name, date of birth, and account number, it could possible that someone access your bank account.
But asides your bank account, there are many other important things regarding your finances that a scammer having your SSN can impact negatively.
We will look at them in details, and also provide solution on what to do if you have already give any scammer your SSN.
Why Is Social Security number Important to Scammers?
Generally, a Social Security number is a nine-digit identification number that contains essential information about you. The U.S. Social Security Administration, employees, and other agencies also use your SSN to identify and track your earnings.
As mentioned earlier, someone may be able to access your bank account with your SSN. But the person needs complementary information such as your bank password and linked email address.
Although it is difficult or impossible for someone to hack into your bank account with your SSN, you are still vulnerable. For instance, a scammer can use your Social Security number to steal your identity.
Can someone access my bank account with my social security number?
A criminal will not have access to your bank account with just your SSN; they can use it for other incriminating purposes. These include selling it on the dark web, faking identity, and many others.
If someone claims to have access to a bank account with just SSN, they laid hands on other details such as the banking app password and email address, known as bank logs (scammers’ terminology). In this case, your bank account details are compromised; you need to contact your bank and reset your passwords.
Even with your Social Security card, a scammer cannot access your bank account. Suppose the scammer visits one of your bank branches to cash in your name; they are asked to provide a valid photo ID.
Nonetheless, there are rumours that SSNs are tied to secret bank accounts, which is entirely false. Your SSN is not linked to any government-managed bank account in your name except if you enroll in direct deposits for your Social Security income.
What can a Scammer do with your SSN?
Unfortunately, someone can do a lot of nasty stuff with your Social Security number, which is identity theft. These are typically things that can implicate you by giving you a criminal record, damaging your credit, and generally tarnishing your reputation. Here are other lists of things that can happen if someone has your SSN.
Below are some of the things someone can do with your Social Security number:
Obtain a credit card in your name
A criminal can fraudulently obtain a credit card or credit card in your name if they have your Social Security number. They also need your address which will not be a hard nut to crack. They can even obtain your address through phishing for your driver’s license.
A scammer with cards in your name can run up lots of debts that damage your credit history.
Sell it on the dark web.
Your SSN is worth more to a scammer, and research even shows that your Social Security number Costs just $4 on the dark web. Other scammers will buy your SSN for several fraudulent activities in your name. Alongside your SSN, a scammer might also request for your address and also sell it.
Tax refund claims
Your SSN can be used for false tax refunds. You would not know while this goes on until you receive notice that someone else filed a return in your name and received the tax refund. Of course, you miss that long-awaited check.
Open a financial account in your name
The bank needs your Social Security number to extend your credit or when you are opening an account. Thieves can create a bank account in your name to get loans if thieves handle your SSN.
Sadly, you are liable for the property damages since the bank cannot tell if you are sincere. You must repay the debt, which could damage your credit when you miss the payments. Your SSN is linked to the obligations, so that you will see them on your credit report.
Bad credit history can stop you from applying for loans or even a new account in the future.
Claim your benefits
A scammer can use your SSN to file for Social Security benefits and unemployment, which depletes the resources and keeps you from accessing the assistance, and you will not be able to access them when you are in need.
Open a phone account
A thief with your Social Security can open a phone account in your name; they also need your address which is even easier to get.
You can receive, for example, a Verizon Wireless bill you know nothing about. A scammer’s handiwork opened an account in your name to purchase several expensive phones charged to your account.
How do I check if someone uses my Social Security number?
There is no perfect way to check and tell if someone is using your Social Security number; you only have to be observant to know. Below are the tips you can use to limit to see if someone is using your Social Security number:
Credit score changes
Bans and lenders use your credit score to determine the risks they face when they lend you money. They will use your track record to know how likely you are to repay the loan.
Several financial factors influence your credit score; this will typically reflect when a scammer takes loans in your name.
You can burst a thief doing this by checking your finances to ensure that there are no mistakes. If you notice accounts and credit information you know nothing about, it is a sign that someone is using your SSN.
Strange email and snail mail
Someone could use your SSN fraudulently if you notice changes in your email and snail mail.
Regarding your email, you will receive invoices or bank statements on transactions you did not initiate.
In extreme cases, a scammer can bomb your email address. This is a technique scammers use by spamming your email address with multiple email messages to prevent you from seeing notifications relating to your financial information.
If you receive strange notifications to your snail mail on purchases you did not initiate, your SSN could be used by a scammer.
Notifications from credit agencies
As mentioned earlier, scammers use your Social Security to obtain loans in your name. If you receive notifications from a credit company calling to inform you about an issue, someone may have used a credit line with your Social Security.
Changes in your bank statement
Many bank account holders do not review their bank statements, so scammers usually get away with their fraudulent activities. Ensure to check your bank statements when you receive them. You can also regularly request a copy of an e-statement through your banking app.
Scrutinize the bank statement, making sure there are no strange subscriptions. If any, a scammer or a group of scammers may be using your SSN.
Test charges in your account statement indicate that someone is using your SSN. A scammer can initiate test charges to your account to ensure you have a positive balance they can use illegally.
You can log on to your SSN account to check the record of your earnings. If inaccurate, you can call the FTC at 1-877-438-4338 or file a complaint online. You can also contact the SSA via 1-800-269-0271 or notify them through the IRS Identity Protection website.
Finally, you want to inform your local police department that you believe someone is using your SSN. This will also protect you against crimes linked to you in the future. Ensure to provide the police with all information and unauthorized activity in your accounts.