What to do if your social security card is stolen? Here, in this article, we have listed some ways that may help you in protecting your social security. Social security card is the most important and most valuable piece of information for an individual which is issued by the government. Your lost social security card can make it possible for a thief to utilise your unique identity and commit a crime. The Social Security Number (SSN) of each and every individual is unique and thus you need to save it before it gets stolen or misused.
If your social security card is stolen or lost, you can get into a lot of troubles. Just as social security card is very valuable for you, in the same way, it is valuable for a thief also. A thief can use your social security card to do all kinds of things that you could do with it. He can use it to buy a house, open new bank accounts, acquire loans, file tax returns, obtain medical benefits and even get a job. All this in your name! Not just this, a thief can sell your social security card to criminals who can commit crimes in your name.
The problem with lost social security card is that you cannot close it like a credit card account. That’s why it is very important to take immediate action because it could also lead to social media identity theft.
You should take the following steps if social security card is lost or stolen:
1. Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Contact the FTC to file a report of lost/stolen social security card. You can contact the FTC either through their website or by calling them. You can file a complaint on FTC’s website www.ftc.gov/complaint. Alternatively, you can call at 1-877-438-4338 or 1-866-653-4261 to report your complaint.
2. File a report with your local police
Filing a police report is very important. If your social security card is used for criminal purposes, then it will be a proof to report that you are innocent. The police report is also required to obtain a new social security card.
To file a police report, you need to have a copy of your FTC report, any other proof of the theft, a government issued identity proof having your photograph and an address proof. After filing the report, keep its copy with you.
3. Contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
The IRS need to be contacted to prevent anyone from filing tax returns and obtaining refunds using your SSN. You can contact the IRS through its website www.irs.gov or call at 800-908-4490.
4. Contact the Social Security Administration (SSA)
As soon as you come to know that your social security card is stolen or lost, contact the SSA immediately to report the issue. Contacting the SSA is also important to get a new social security card. You can contact them through their website www.socialsecurity.gov or call at 1-800-772-1213.
You are required to fill an SSN application to get a new social security card. You can get the application from the SSA office or you can find it on their website.
Getting a new Social Security Number is not a piece of cake. In fact, it is very difficult. You need to have sufficient documentation and proofs to plead your case. Then also, it entirely depends upon the Social Security Administration if you can be issued a new number or not.
If the SSA is satisfied with your case, then you can get a new social security card. You will receive a new card within 7 to 14 working days through mail.
5. Contact the credit reporting agencies
• Place a fraud alert
You need to contact the three credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion to report any fraudulent activities in your credit. Ideally, you can contact one of the three agencies and that agency will notify the other two agencies. This is the easiest method to monitor your credit. In case any credit line is opened in your name, these agencies will notify you immediately.
Contact Equifax at (800) 525-6285 or visit www.equifax.com.
Contact Experian at (888) 397-3742 or visit www.experian.com.
Contact TransUnion at (800) 680-7289 or visit www.transunion.com.
• Request free credit reports
You are entitled one free copy of your credit report each year from all the three agencies. Request for these credit reports and review them carefully for any fraudulent activities. Check these reports regularly.
• Request extended fraud alerts
If you suffered from identity theft due to loss of your social security card and you have reported it to the FTC, then you can place an extended fraud alert on you credit profile. Requesting an extended fraud alert is absolutely free for identity theft victims and is valid until 7 years.
By following the above steps appropriately, you can prevent yourself from suffering the loss of losing your social security card. As a precautionary measure and to prevent any further losses, never carry your social security card with you and carry only those cards which you really need.