6.08.2019

Manage And Protect Your Credit And Identity With US Government Websites

Manage And Protect Your Credit And Identity With US Government Websites


https://publicdomainvectors.org/en/free-clipart/Vector-image-of-simple-ID-card-with-photo/21678.html

Identity theft is a real and growing problem. This post will give you three US Government sites that can help you manage and protect your credit and identity.

#1: IRS Tax Records 


If you want to see your current tax account, then you can create a personal account on the IRS website:
 

create an online IRS account to manage your taxes

What can you do with this tool:

If you're an individual taxpayer, you can use this tool to view:
  • Your payoff amount, updated for the current calendar day
  • The balance for each tax year for which you owe
  • Up to 24 months of your payment history
  • Key information from your current tax year return as originally filed.
Once you have viewed your information, you can:
  • Select an electronic payment option
  • Go directly to Get Transcript without having to log in again
After you click the link to create an account, at some point before you enter your personal information you will be informed exactly what you need to prepare in order to register for an account:


personal information needed for IRS online account


credit information needed for IRS online account


US mobile phone needed for IRS online account

The last screen is where a lot of expats will have an issue. Many expats may not maintain a US based text capable phone. And Google Voice and other “virtual” options are not accepted.

You can also receive your IRS tax transcripts online or by postal mail.
 

You can view your historical tax transcripts online if you already signed up in the previous step or you can sign up now:


get your IRS tax transcripts onlinie

Or receive your tax transcripts via post mail:


get your IRS tax transcripts via snail mail

A transcript viewing account has the same sign up requirements as the current tax account, but again, if you already signed up for the current tax account you should be good to go. 


For me the road block is the SMS capable US based mobile phone “with your name on the account,” as I am sure it is for many other expats.

#2: Your Social Security Account


Sign up for an account on the Social Security Administration website to view your Social Security Statement and contribution history.

The Social Security website used to require that account holders possess an SMS capable phone for 2-step authentication, but that has been made optional. 


They can send the code to your email address if you prefer.       


My Social Security online account actions


With your “my Social Security” account you can
  • View your Estimated Benefit 
  • View your Earnings Record 
  • Print your current Social Security statement
  • Get a Benefit Verification Letter
  • Request a replacement Social Security Card
Viewing your earnings record is vital to making sure that no one else is using your SS number.
 

#3: E-Verify

 
You can use my E-Verify to lock your Social Security number making it impossible for anyone to use your number when applying for work with employers who use E-Verify. You can also view the history and current use (if any) of your number. The down side is that only about 20% of US employers use E-Verify, as it is not required.

Last year I was able to get in, lock my number and view the history. There seems to be a lot of issues and upgrades or whatever going on with the my E-Verify system. Many times I was not able to get including just now. It is midnight in the US, so maybe the server is down for maintenance/updates. I will check it again and update the post. 

This graphic from the E-Verify website shows what an individual can do with their account:


My E-Verify online account features

Another part of this topic is the credit agencies, credit score and credit reports. I address those issues in Protecting Your Credit While Living In The Philippines.


Update 6-11-19


I was able to get in and complete my my E-Verify account today. I did not see any notification about it, but some government sites cannot be accessed over the weekend or at night etc. I figure that might explain not being able to access the site over the weekend.

In the course of signing in to the system was prompted to input personal and contact information. I had done this last year, but E-Verify has been upgraded and my old account needed to be reassessed. As part of the upgraded security a soft pull on my credit report was initiated in order to confirm my identity, which is good. After that I was taken to my account showing these choices:


My E-Verify online account options

I think that my E-Verify can be a good tool to add to your identity protection portfolio. The self lock and case history features are the tools that make it valuable to me, but they would be a lot more valuable if all employers were required to use E-Verify. 


If you decide to use it, then for best results I suggest accessing it during business hours on weekdays and not holidays and be prepared to answer questions about items on your credit report. The system appears to be constantly undergoing upgrades, so be patient. 

After 14 months I was sent an email that self lock had expired.

 

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