ITRC Solution 27
Someone Working as You

When someone is working using your information, problems will be created with the Social Security Administration (SSA), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and possibly the state tax authorities. You may become aware of the situation upon (1) receiving a notice from the IRS stating that you owe money due to income generated by someone working as you or (2) you apply for a government benefit and during this process find out somebody is working as you.

The following steps are recommended:

Social Security Administration (SSA)

Go to www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount/.  Follow the steps to create an account.  This will allow you to download your Social Security Statement.  This Statement will provide you with a record of annual payments entered into your Social Security account over time.  This Statement is available free online. You may use this statement to determine if too much taxable earnings have been reported under your Social Security number. If you are unable to go online to access this information you can download the order form which is SSA-2004 or call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

Do not request your Social Security Earnings Statement at this time.  There is a fee for this more detailed statement which identifies employers who have paid into your SSA account.  At this time, you want your free Social Security Statement only.

Check the earnings section against your yearly W2s. If it is incorrect, file a police report for employment fraud or identity theft.

After you have reviewed the Social Security Statement and noticed fraudulent activity, contact your local Social Security Office. Explain that you are a victim of employment fraud.  Let them know if you have already obtained a police report.

At this point you may want to consider obtaining your Social Security Earnings which you can download the application from http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ssa-7050.pdf  NOTE:  If you do not wish to order your Social Security Earnings Information, skip the next two bullets. The more information you have on what information is not yours, the more likely you will be able to get it removed.

  • Look over your Social Security Earnings Information. Look for any employers you do not recognize.  Be aware that some employers have parent companies and those companies may be listed as “your” employer. Check with the companies you have worked for to verify information. Make sure your paycheck stubs reflect the proper amount of time you worked at your current employer. This can help determine if somebody else worked there after you or while you were employed.
  • Update your police report with this new information. Be sure to include how many years the thief was employed at this location.

File SSA Form 7008 to correct any errors in your work history or earnings. It is recommended that you do this at a SSA field office. The form can be found at: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ssa-7008.pdf. Include a copy of your police report along with any other requested documentation.  If you do mail in your documentation, make sure you send it Certified Mail Return Receipt.

If you wish to report fraud to the Office of Inspector General of the SSA, it is suggested that you read their list of requirements for doing so first. http://oig.ssa.gov/what-abuse-fraud-and-waste

The Social Security Administration allows victims of identity theft to block electronic access to their records. Read the Social Security Administration’s page for more information. 

Internal Revenue Service
If someone is working as you, income would have also been reported to the IRS.

Contact the federal IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit, toll-free at 1-800-908-4490..

File a police report or fill out an IRS Identity Theft affidavit (Form 14039). When sending in, please provide a copy of at least one form of a federal or state-issued identification (i.e. driver’s license, Social Security card, or passport).

Contact the IRS Taxpayer Advocate if you have an unresolved issue related to identity theft, or you have suffered, or are about to suffer a significant hardship as a result of the administration of the tax laws, such as wage garnishment. Visit the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS).

If you are interested in receiving a copy of a fraudulently submitted tax return that uses both your name and your social security number, follow the instructions listed on the IRS’s website. https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Instructions-for-Requesting-Copy-of-Fraudulent-Returns

If you are a tax preparer and your client is a victim of identity theft,  read this fact sheet from the IRS -  IDENTITY THEFT INFORMATION FOR TAX PREPARERS

State Taxes
Check with the Secretary of State, the Franchise Tax Board, Department of Revenue, or any other applicable state agency in which the thief gained employment under your information. Inform them that you are a victim of employment fraud/identity theft. Ask what documentation you need to submit in order to clear any fraudulent records they may have.

Minor Children and Dependent Adults
You cannot look up a minor child nor a dependent adult’s information the same way you can for yourself. The Social Security Administration will not allow you to request this earnings information online because it requires that you prove you have the legal right to request it. You will need to contact your local Social Security office. Since every office has their own process and procedures, the ITRC cannot tell you specifically what they will require or what forms they may need. Some items they may request are:

  • For a minor child: the child’s birth certificate showing you as the parent or court documentation showing legal guardianship and the child’s Social Security card.
  • For a dependent adult: legal documentation showing you have Power of Attorney for this person, their state ID or driver’s license, their Social Security card.
  • Your state ID or driver’s license
  • Form 7050 (available HERE) filled out
  • A police report stating there is identity theft.

There may be fees to get the requested information and you will need to turn in the requested documentation in person at your local Social Security office.

Credit Reports
In some cases, this person may have also applied for credit using your Social Security number. It is important to contact the three Credit Reporting Agencies to place a fraud alert and order your free copy of your credit reports. See ITRC Solution SN 03 – Contacting CRA’s to Place A Fraud Alert.

Check reports carefully for any fraudulent activity always send all documentation Certified Mail Return Receipt.

This solution sheet should not be used in lieu of legal advice. Any requests to reproduce this material, other than by individual victims for their own use, should be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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