What Is Employment Identity Theft?

Are you curious to know what is employment identity theft? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about employment identity theft in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is employment identity theft?

Identity theft is a pervasive and ever-evolving crime that can have far-reaching consequences for victims. One lesser-known but equally concerning form of identity theft is employment identity theft. In this blog post, we will delve into what employment identity theft is, how it occurs, its impacts on victims, and steps individuals can take to protect themselves against this type of fraud.

What Is Employment Identity Theft?

Employment identity theft occurs when a perpetrator uses someone else’s identity, including their Social Security number and personal information, to gain employment or secure employment-related benefits. This form of identity theft can take several forms:

  1. Getting Hired: A fraudster may use a victim’s identity to apply for jobs, pass background checks, and secure employment with various companies.
  2. Tax Fraud: Perpetrators often use the victim’s identity to file fraudulent tax returns and claim tax refunds.
  3. Wage Theft: In some cases, the thief may work under the victim’s identity and collect wages, leaving the victim with a false employment history and potential tax liabilities.

How Employment Identity Theft Occurs?

Employment identity theft can happen through various means, including:

  1. Stolen Personal Information: Perpetrators may obtain a victim’s Social Security number, name, address, and other personal details through data breaches, phishing scams, or physical theft of documents.
  2. Falsified Applications: Using the stolen information, identity thieves may create fake job applications, resumes, or employment verification documents.
  3. Misuse of Employment Records: Some perpetrators work within organizations and misuse their positions to hire individuals under fraudulent identities.

Impacts Of Employment Identity Theft

The consequences of employment identity theft can be severe and far-reaching:

  1. Financial Loss: Victims may incur tax liabilities, penalties, or legal fees as they attempt to rectify fraudulent income reported under their Social Security number.
  2. Damage to Credit: Employment identity theft can damage a victim’s credit score if the perpetrator uses their identity to open lines of credit or loans.
  3. Loss of Employment Opportunities: Victims may have difficulty securing future employment due to false employment histories created by the thief.
  4. Emotional Distress: The stress and emotional toll of identity theft can be significant, affecting a victim’s overall well-being.

Protecting Yourself Against Employment Identity Theft

To safeguard yourself against employment identity theft, consider the following precautions:

  1. Monitor Your Credit: Regularly review your credit reports for suspicious activity and consider freezing your credit to prevent unauthorized access.
  2. Secure Personal Information: Keep sensitive documents, such as your Social Security card and tax-related documents, in a secure place.
  3. Be Cautious Online: Exercise caution when sharing personal information online and be vigilant against phishing scams and suspicious emails.
  4. Use Strong Passwords: Create strong, unique passwords for your online accounts and consider using a password manager.
  5. File Your Taxes Early: File your tax returns as early as possible to reduce the risk of tax fraud.
  6. Stay Informed: Be aware of data breaches and consider signing up for identity theft monitoring services.
  7. Report Suspicious Activity: If you suspect employment identity theft, report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the appropriate law enforcement agencies.


Employment identity theft is a serious and potentially life-altering crime that can affect victims in numerous ways. By taking proactive steps to protect your personal information, monitor your financial accounts, and stay informed about the risks, you can significantly reduce your vulnerability to this form of identity theft. Remember that early detection and reporting are key to minimizing the damage caused by identity theft and improving your chances of recovering your stolen identity and financial losses.

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What Is An Example Of Employment Identity Theft?

Employment Identity Theft Explained

For example, an identity thief may scoop the information from a person using a cyber attack or by stealing their Social Security number in another way, then apply for and get a job for remote work using that information.

What Happens If Someone Used My Ssn For Employment?

If you suspect someone is using your number for work purposes, you should contact us to report the problem. We’ll review your earnings with you to ensure our records are correct. You also may review earnings posted to your record on your Social Security Statement.

How Do I Know If Someone Is Using My Ssn For Employment?

How To Tell If Someone Is Using Your SSN (or ID) for Employment

  1. You receive IRS notices (W-2s or 1099s) for wages you didn’t earn.
  2. Your Social Security benefits get denied.
  3. The IRS sends you a notice that your identity may have been stolen.
  4. You can’t file your tax return because of a duplicate SSN.

What Are The Consequences Of Employment Identity Theft?

Victims of employment identity theft can end up with a blemished work history, have difficulty filing taxes and, in extreme cases, even find themselves facing a tax audit. Employers and employees alike should know how employment identity theft works — and how to protect against its damaging effects.

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What Is Employment Identity Theft And How Can It Occur

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What Is Employment Identity Theft

What is employment identity theft?