Losing your Social Security card can have severe repercussions for your identity and asset protection, especially since someone else can get hold of your Social Security number and use your personal information without your consent.
A person that has your social security number can open bank accounts, commit a crime, and obtain credit – all under your name.
To prevent identity theft and the adverse effect that it can have on your financial and personal situation, there are five things that you should do immediately.
Place A Fraud Alert With The Credit Bureaus
Three main credit bureaus in the United States can furnish companies with credit information if they need it to make decisions. If you lose your Social Security card, contact one of these bureaus, notify them that you lost your card, and place a fraud alert on your credit activity.
The agency you contact will alert the other agencies, so you won’t have to do that.
Contact Your Credit Provider
After placing a fraud alert on your credit activity, contact your credit provider and instruct them to freeze your credit. Freezing your credit will prevent any person with access to your personal information to obtain a loan in your name.
Since a credit freeze can be inconvenient, it is worth considering this step. For example, if someone stole your Social Security card by mugging you, freezing your credit may be the safe option.
Social Security Card Replacement
The next step is to get a replacement of your Social Security card. Applying with the Social Security Administration can be quite challenging, and you need to provide them with sufficient documentation to prove, amongst other things, your identity and U.S. citizenship.
You have to fill in the application form correctly, as the SSA will have no problem rejecting your application on a minor error.
File A Police Report
Filing a police report is critical to distance yourself from any crimes that an identity thief may commit under your name. If you suffer extensive damages because of identity theft, you may have to, eventually, change your social security number.
If you didn’t file a police report at the earliest convenience, you might have trouble at a later stage to apply successfully for an SS number change. A police report will also form the basis of any case you may later have with regards to taxation and Social Security benefits.
Monitor Your Accounts
Keeping an eye on your financial accounts for suspicious activities is not a step as such, but rather a habit that you should form until you resolve the issue.
Adding text notifications to the financial service provider’s services can help you to notice suspicious transaction directly after the take place. It will also help to scrutinize your statements once a day or once a week.
Acting immediately after you have lost your Social Security card will reduce your risk of becoming a victim of identity theft. After you have taken these steps, you can rest assured that you are no longer vulnerable to any person with access to your information.