What You Should Do If Your Social Security Card Is Stolen?

social security card stolen

In the 21st society, known as the digital age, the idea of losing a wallet or purse can seem like a low-risk affair.  Unfortunately, many people do experience the loss of wallets and purses on a daily basis, and many of them have their social security cards contained within these purses and wallets.  While there are reliable ways to avoid losing your Social Security Card, such as locking it away in a secure place and keeping it out of your pocket or wallet. However, people still lose these important cards, and getting a new card can be a challenging procedure.  This article will provide information on what to do if your Social Security Card is stolen.

What Are The Top Three Steps To Take Your Social Security Card Is Stolen?

  1.  Report The Theft To The Relevant Government Authorities And Agencies

Social Security Administration will direct you to the Federal Trade Commission when you need to report a case of a stolen Social Security Card.  It is also possible to report a case of a stolen Social Security Card within your local jurisdiction at your local police station. While it is not always possible for the local county or city to investigate the crime, having a police report on the issue can a crucial document to help recover any items from identity theft.

  1.  Request Credit Freeze With Each Of The Different Major Consumer Credit Bureaus

Contrary to popular belief, credit freezes will not affect a person’s overall credit score.  In fact, it can prevent a credit report being access by lenders and utilized to perform other activities, such as renting apartments, opening new accounts, or applying for loans using your name.  However, if you need to perform these activities yourself, it will be necessary to suspend the credit freeze request until the action is completed. You could request an extended fraud alert from consumer credit bureaus, and this will last for approximately seven years.  

The difference between a fraud alert and a credit freeze is that a fraud alert is known as an initial security alert, lasts for 90 days, and is a means of extra security to validate identity before opening an account.  It is a simple procedure to use and is ideal for people who want to be cautious with finances, but do not want to suspend access to their credit reports.

On the other hand, a credit freeze is a type of security freeze preventing potential lenders from accessing credit reports.  To access your credit report, you will need to unfreeze the account; therefore, it is not a beneficial option if you have a financial transaction in process or are planning to apply for credit in the near future.  

  1.  Contact The Company Fraud Department Where Fraudulent Use Of The Social Security Number Has Been Reported

If your Social Security card has been stolen and there is activity using the Social Security number, it is essential that you contact the company’s fraud department to report identity theft.  The company will provide you with the necessary guidelines on how to change your security information. Ultimately, you will need to request a new Social Security number, but this can be challenging.  You will need to prove the Social Security number (SSN) has been used to commit identity theft, that you have experienced harm, and you have attempted to investigate the crime.

What Is The Procedure To Obtaining A Replacement Social Security Card?

Replacing a Social Security card can seem simple, but the procedure does have complications.  To gain a new Social Security card, you will need to visit the Social Security Administration’s website and access your Social Security account.  Here you will be able to access instructions on how to request a replacement card; however, there are certain conditions that need to be met for the request to be granted.

Firstly, you must be a US citizen aged 18 years or older with a valid mailing address in the United States of America.  You must also have a state-issued identification card or a driver’s license from the US state in which you reside. Finally, you should not request any name changes or other types of changes to the Social Security card when requesting a replacement card.

To apply for the card, you will need to provide the SSA with some identification, such as your birth certificate.  If you do not have a birth certificate available, the SSA is willing to accept US hospital records of your birth, a United States passport, a final adoption decree, or a religious record indication the date of your birth.  It is important to note that all identification documents must be originals or copies certified by the issuing agencies. No photocopied IDs will be accepted, or receipts claiming that you have applied for a legitimate form of identification.

When all the correct documentation is available, complete the downloadable replacement Social Security card form from the SSA website or with https://applicationfiling.com – social security cards.  Ensure the document is dated and signed, and then mail the completed form to your local Social Security office.  When the application is received, and your information is verified, the SSA will either reject your application or mail a replacement Social Security card to the allocated address.  All information on the replacement card will be identical to that on the stolen Social Security card.

What About Social Security Fraud?

When you have received the replacement card, lock the item away in a secure place and do not access it until it is required.  Experts recommend that cardholders avoid having the card on their person, especially if they have already experienced a loss of their original card.  In fact, several Social Security specialists say that the Social Security cards are not relevant in the digital era, and their priority should be focused on fraud protection.

If you do lose your card, it is important to follow the steps mentioned above as these will help reduce any identity fraud.  Data security experts agree that losing a card can be dangerous, and it contributes to identity fraud; therefore, it is best to keep the card in a secure location until it is required.