Losing one’s social security card can be quite scary. Unlike other documents, it bears your unique social security number. These nine digits hold all the details about your finances, employment records, medical, and education details. This is the reason why most people are concerned about identity theft and other forms of fraud once they lose their card. Below is a guide on what to do after you’ve lost your card in order to avoid these issues: https://www.application-filing-service.com/socialsecuritycard/lost-and-replacement-social-security-cards/.
Protecting your identity; put out an alert
First things first, you need to protect yourself from identity theft. Commonly, criminals use stolen social security cards to apply for new credit cards. This can easily send you into financial turmoil or even ruin your credit score. To prevent this, put outan initial security alert that is recorded your credit card report. This alert notifies financial institutions of the possibility of identity theftand someone may be falsely using your number to apply for credit.
Requesting an alert can be easily done online through credit reporting companies’ websites such as Experian, Experian or Transunion. Alternatively, one can report an alert via phone call. Placing an alert with any of the bureaus automatically notifies the other two.
Monitor your credit card reports
This is a good way of determining if your SSN is being actively used. Get a report of your credit card expenditure. This can be got from any of the three credit reporting companies. Monitor your credit card records for any new lines of credit that you never applied for. Presence of any entries that you never signed off to is a clear indicator of identity theft.
What to do in case you are a victim of identity fraud
Once you suspect identity theft, it is your duty to immediately notify various authorities. This is mainly to protect yourself from the damages, mostly financial, that is about to be caused by the perpetrator. Report the theft to one of the credit reporting companies, and to the government; Federal Trade Commission. The later
can be done by visiting www.ldentityTheft.gov.
The case also needs to be reported to the local police . Request a seven-year victim statement from the police. This basically alerts creditors to contact you before issuing credit using your number. Also, notify the IRS to prevent the thieves from filing false returns and collecting refunds.
Start working on the replacement
The longer you stay without replacing your card, the more vulnerable you are to identity theft. Therefore, you need to get the wheels rolling as early as possible. Start by notifying the social security administrators. This can be done online or by visiting the nearest social security administration (SSA) office. Look up on all the documents needed to replace your card, and acquire them before visiting the SSA offices. The sooner you replace your card the lower your chances of falling victim to identity theft.
In conclusion, social security cards are no ordinary documents like a national IDs. They bear critical information which, in the wrong hands, can be used for identity and financial fraud. For this reason, appropriate action should be taken immediately one loses his/her card. It is also important to handle one’s social security card with care and keep it in a secure location.