It’s a number that's yours - and only yours.
Your Social Security number is one of the most protected parts of your identity, and if it’s compromised, you’re in trouble.
For a local woman, a request for a new Social Security number ended up getting switched with someone else's.
Jennifer Palacios recently got married, and says she applied for a new social security card. She says she received that new card in the mail weeks ago.
“It’s like, ‘Wow, I’ve got mail, and they all say my new name on them,’ and it’s exciting,” said Palacios.
But Thursday, an unexpected envelope from the Social Security Administration with another man’s Social Security application.
“'Wait a minute, this isn’t mine.' I’m looking at it some more and going, 'Oh my gosh, this is somebody else’s complete information,'” she said. “The more I got into it with the pictures, it just made me really alarmed.”
She says someone messaged her on Facebook, telling her they had something that belongs to her. She believes they received her application.
Palacios reported the incident to the Social Security Administration, explaining the mixup.
“I’m gonna try get this stuff back to its appropriate owner,” said Palacios.
She says Social Security is working with her to fix the mishap, but her information being in someone else's hands is concerning.
Lynette Baker, Marketing Director of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Rochester, says in a case like this, it's critical to do a credit report and closely watch all accounts.
“The two people involved in this didn’t really do anything wrong. And the government requires you send in this information in order to get a new Social Security card, so what else could you do?” said Baker
Palacios is now tracking her accounts closely.
“I’m mad. I’m mad at the Social Security Administration for making such a huge slip up and divulging information," she said.
The Social Security Administration is investigating this incident.