Who Do I Contact If My Identity Has Been Stolen – Texas, like other states, sees a large number of fraudulent identity theft applications. TWC wants to remind all Texans to protect their identity online so they don’t get swept up in the wave of unemployment insurance applications.
TWC systems have not been breached or hacked, meaning data is stolen through other channels. Sometimes information posted on social media or content found on websites can be used to steal identities. All Texans should take steps to secure their online identity by using cybersecurity best practices. Treat your TWC account and all accounts like your bank account.
Who Do I Contact If My Identity Has Been Stolen
IDs are being stolen at record rates, some in breaches at health insurance companies, hotels and, in one of the biggest cases, a consumer credit union. The number of identity theft complaints in America doubled in 2020. With a sharp increase in unemployment claims due to COVID-19, fraudsters are looking to take advantage.
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TWC systems have not been breached or hacked, meaning identity theft occurs outside of the system. A growing cybercriminal community, known as the Dark Web, hunts down these stolen identities and brings them from hackers to scammers looking to make money off your information. Even the hackers get hacked. Government benefit programs are now the single biggest target for these thieves, even over credit cards.
If you receive a letter stating that you have applied for benefits that you did not apply for, it is very likely that you are a victim of identity theft.
If you believe someone has stolen your identity and filed a false claim, report it immediately on the TWC fraud portal. Then follow these important steps:
The Texas Workforce Commission investigates all claims for unemployment benefits to verify identity and quickly suspend fraudulent accounts. Fraud tips are investigated immediately, but keep in mind that you may not hear back right away.
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With such a large increase in the volume of UI claims and corresponding fraud, TWC has prioritized investigations over reporting to stop fraud in its operations and protect the integrity of UI funds. Nevertheless, TWC is hiring more agents to improve response times. For more information on identity theft scams, see TWC’s scam website. If your Social Security number has been stolen, report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission and law enforcement, freeze your credit report, and contact any business you suspect has your SSN for fraud.
Through December 31, 2022, TransUnion and Equifax will offer free weekly credit reports to all U.S. consumers through AnnualCreditReport.com to help protect your financial health during the sudden and unprecedented difficulties caused by COVID-19.
If your social security number (SSN) has been stolen, act quickly to reduce the damage that fraudsters can do. It is important to report the theft to the appropriate authorities and secure your credit and personal information. Then you must take additional measures to continue to protect your identity.
The number of compromises in the US increased by 68% in 2021 compared to the previous year, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. In particular, cyber attacks are becoming more common, putting SSNs and other personal information at greater risk of theft and possible fraudulent use. Here are steps to take if your SSN and related information is compromised.
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Your first action should be to report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and file a police report. When you visit the Social Security Administration’s website, you will be directed to the FTC’s website, IdentityTheft.gov, where you can report one or more of the following types of fraud involving your SSN:
Next, you will be informed of the next steps to take, which may include filling out several forms and getting a recovery plan. For tax-related identity theft, which usually involves your SSN, you may need to complete an Identity Theft Declaration or Form 14039.
After reporting the theft to the FTC, file a police report with your local jurisdiction. Although your city or county may not investigate this crime immediately (or at all), having a police report can serve as evidence for your ID recovery and release.
A credit freeze restricts access to your credit report and prevents fraudsters from opening new accounts, renting apartments or applying for loans in your name. Freezing your credit report will not affect your credit rating, and you can unfreeze and freeze your credit report at any time.
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You must freeze and unfreeze your credit with all three credit bureaus separately (TransUnion and Equifax).
If you believe your SSN has been stolen but do not have proof that fraud has occurred, you may be able to place a fraud alert on your credit report instead of a credit freeze. Instead of restricting access to your credit report, a fraud alert asks companies that check your credit to verify your identity before offering credit in your name.
By placing a fraud warning with one credit institution, the warning is extended to all three. It has no impact on your credit score.
If your information was used to create fraudulent accounts, contact each company. For example, if your SSN was used to open bank or credit accounts in your name, contact each business and explain that you are a victim of identity theft. They can then close your accounts so that the identity thief can no longer use the accounts.
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If someone used your information to create fraudulent identification records, contact all the agencies involved, possibly including the IRS, the Social Security Administration, and your secretary of state’s office, which handles fraudulent identification cases.
From now on, the name of the game will be monitoring and ongoing protection. For e.g. To see if your social security number is being used by someone else for business purposes, review your Social Security statement to check for suspicious activity.
Get into the habit of regularly checking your online banking and credit card accounts for suspicious activity. You should also monitor your credit report, driving records and insurance records.
Finding out that you have been a victim of identity theft can be both disheartening and frustrating. Identity thieves are getting better every day and the chances of your personal information being exposed continues to increase. The good news is that you have plenty of tools at your disposal to reduce the risk of identity theft and protect your social security number and other personal information.
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Credit monitoring can help you detect potential identity fraud earlier and can prevent surprises when you apply for credit. Get daily notifications when updates are found.
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