Freeze Your Credit Reports And Contact Banks
After youve experienced identity theft, notify all banks and credit card companies where you have open accounts. Notify lenders, too. You can do this over the phone or through their websites. Youll also need to inform the company or companies where the fraud took place, if possible.
Next, you should put a freeze on your credit, which means no one can open any new accounts in your name this goes for you as well. Youll need to unfreeze your account when you feel comfortable or when youre ready to make a big purchase. Learn more about freezing your credit here.
To keep an eye on your financial activity, download a free copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus. You can do this once a year through the Federal Trade Commission at annualcreditreport.com.
Lost Or Stolen Wallet Heres What To Do
You never think it’s going to happen to youuntil it does. One minute, your wallet is snug in your back pocket or purse, and the next minute, you’re frantically trying to figure out where you last had it when you realize you can’t pay for anything.
This happened to me recently. Someone slyly lifted my wallet out of my purse while I was grocery shopping. I must have turned away for just a minute, but it was enough time for a thief to get exactly what they wanted, with me none the wiser. I only realized it was gone when my phone started blowing up with text messages from my credit card issuers, who were asking me if I really did just go on a multi-thousand-dollar shopping spree at Target.
Of course, I panicked. Luckily, I still had my phone with me and was able to get home, call all my issuers to cancel my credit cards. Since I never have much cash on me, I only lost $11, but my wallet had been full of other important stuff, like gift cards, my health insurance data, and the punch card at my favorite nail salonnot to mention the wallet itself that I really loved.
I did have to thank my lucky stars, though: My driver’s license happened to be in a sleeve in my phone, though I usually keep it in my wallet. And of course I never keep my Social Security card in my wallet, so I didn’t have to worry about my number getting in the wrong hands. But if you do carry your Social Security card in your wallet, stop what you’re doing and remove it immediately.
How To Report A Lost Social Security Card
If your social security card has gone missing, itâs common to feel panicked. After all, this card is one of the most important documents you have. Your social security card is linked to the most important aspects of your life: government, finances, health care, employment – and more.
If your card has been lost or stolen, you need to begin the process to report and replace it right away. This article will guide you through everything you need to know if your social security card is lost, including:
- How to report a lost social security card
- Why itâs important to report your lost card
- Why you should replace your card quickly
- What youâll need for a replacement social security card
How To Report Identity Theft To Social Security In Three Steps
Lets say you spot something unusual on your credit report or get a notification that someone has filed a tax return on your behalf without your knowledge. These are possible signs that your identity, if not your SSN, is in jeopardy, which means its time to act right away using the steps below:
1. Report the theft to local and federal authorities.
File a police report and a Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Report. This will help in case someone uses your Social Security number to commit fraud, since it will provide a legal record of the theft. The FTC can also assist by guiding you through the identity theft recovery process as well. Their site really is an excellent resource.
2. Contact the businesses involved.
Get in touch with the fraud department at each of the businesses where you suspect theft has taken place, let them know of your situation, and follow the steps they provide. With your police and FTC reports, you will already have a couple of vital pieces of information that can help you clear your name.
3. Reach the Social Security Administration and the IRS.
Replacing Your Lost Social Security Card
Fortunately, it is possible to replace a lost social security card. The Social Security Administration allows you to get up to three replacement cards in a calendar year and up to a maximum of 10 replacement cards within your lifetime.
You will need to fill out an application and gather required documentation to submit with it. Then you have three options for submitting your application to the Social Security Administration. You can make a trip to an SSA office near you, submit your application by mail, or – the fastest and easiest option – you can handle the entire process to get your replacement card online.
If youâre wondering how long to get a replacement social security card, typically the SSA will mail you your social security replacement card in 1-2 weeks once you have submitted your application.
You can learn what documents you will need and access the application for a replacement social security card with our step-by-step guide. It will walk you through the process to complete your application online, so you donât have to take time off work or away from your weekday schedule to go to the local social security office during business hours, only to encounter long lines and wait times. Instead, we will guide you through the online application process so itâs quick, easy and completed entirely from the comfort of your own home.
Also Check: Socail Sucurity
If An Organization Asks For A Sin And It Is Not Legally Required
If you believe your SIN isn’t required, ask why it is being requested, how it will be used and with whom it will be shared.
If your SIN is not required by law, explain that you prefer not to provide it. Offer different proof of identity.
If the organization refuses to provide the product or service unless you provide your SIN, ask to speak to the person in charge. Many organizations don’t know about the appropriate uses of the SIN. Once they understand, they may willingly change their practices.
If you are not satisfied with the organization’s response, you may formally complain to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada or 1-800-282-1376. There is no fee for making a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner.
You can also contact the organization’s industry association, ombudsman or complaint office. For example, the Canadian Marketing Association and the Canadian Banking Ombudsman handle customer complaints about their member companies.
For more information on laws about your privacy and the Government of Canada, visit the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
How To Protect Yourself: Identity Theft
Identity theft is a serious problem that affects millions each year. When an imposter uses your name, Social Security number , credit card number or any other form of personal information without your knowledge and permission, its a crime.
Unfortunately, sometimes victims remain unaware that their identity has been stolen until they receive monthly statements for credit card accounts they never applied for, credit reports including unfamiliar debts or monthly statements that include unauthorized charges.
If someone has stolen your identity, immediately take these three steps:
Take control of your identity.
Although identity thieves can destroy your personal finances, there are some things you can do to take control of the situation.
Some ways to handle the most common forms of identity theft are:
A- If an identity thief has stolen your mail for access to new credit cards, bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers and tax information or falsified change-of-address forms, that person has committed a crime. Report it to your local postal inspector. You may contact the United States Postal Inspection Service online at .
G- If any identity thief is using your name or SSN to obtain a drivers license, report it to your states Department of Motor Vehicles. Also, if your state uses your SSN as your drivers license number, ask to substitute another number.
Report The Crime To The Police
Under California law, you can report identity theft to your local police department.1 Ask the police to issue a police report of identity theft. Give the police as much information on the theft as possible. One way to do this is to provide copies of your credit reports showing the items related to identity theft. Black out other items not related to identity theft. Give the police any new evidence you collect to add to your report. Be sure to get a copy of your police report. You will need to give copies to creditors and the credit bureaus. For more information, see Organizing Your Identity Theft Case” by the Identity Theft Resource Center, available at
If You Are Wrongly Accused Of A Crime Committed By An Identity Thief
“Criminal identity theft” is a label given to a particular type of identity theft. Criminal identity theft occurs when a suspect in a criminal investigation identifies himself or herself using the identity of another, innocent person. A special database in the California Department of Justice can help victims of this kind of identity theft. See our Consumer Information Sheet 8: How to Use the California Identity Theft Registry- A Guide for Victims of “Criminal” Identity Theft.
How Thieves Can Profit From Your Social Security Card
That being said, if your SS card has fallen into the wrong hands, you may be at risk of identity theft. Thieves can use your SSN to:
- Apply for credit in your name and then not pay the bills, which can damage your credit score1
- Apply for jobs
- West Virginia
If you live in any of the above states, go to the next section .
NOTE: Was your drivers license or ID card issued by a U.S. territory like American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands? If so, you cant request a new SS card online you must do it either over the phone or in person.
If you live in an eligible state, there are a few more requirements to request a new SS card online:
- You are a U.S. citizen age 18 or older.
- You have a U.S. mailing address, which includes APO, FPO, and DPO addresses.
- You arent requesting any changes to the card, just a new card.
- Your drivers license or state identification card is from one of the 50 U.S. states or Washington, D.C.
After you request a new card, you should get a replacement within 10 to 14 days.4
How Service Canada Protects Your Sin
Service Canada stores personal information requested to apply for a SIN in the Social Insurance Register. This information includes your name, date of birth, place of birth and your parents’ names. Dates of death are also recorded in the Register.
Service Canada protects your SIN in the following ways:
- we store your personal information carefully on our premises and in computer systems that are only accessible to authorized employees who have a “need to know”
- we provide guidance about how to protect your SIN and your personal information
Also Check: How Much Is Social Security Income
Plan For Your Childs Future
Keeping your childs Social Security number secure is an important step toward keeping his or her benefits safe like Social Security benefits for his or her future family. Children grow up fast, and it’s important to think about his or her later-in-life experiences, too.
Its never too early to plan well for yourself as well. Cake can help you store your will, name an estate beneficiary, and secure your legal documents safely online. Cakes free online profile ensures that all of your end-of-life resources are in one place so you wont have to worry about replacing a lost document ever again.
Place A Fraud Alert On Your Credit File
Contact any of the three major credit agencies Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. You only need to contact one of the three agencies because the one you contact will report the alert to all other agencies. This alert will last for 90 days but you can renew it if you still feel unsafe. The numbers for each are listed below.
Equifax: 1-888-766-0008Experian: 1-888-766-0008
Call One Of The Three Major Credit Bureaus
Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax and explain what happened to your card. To speak to Equifax, call 1-888-766-0008 or visit this page. To contact Experian, call 1-888-397-3742 or go here for a fraud alert or here for a credit freeze. For TransUnion, the phone number is 1-800-680-7289 the fraud-alert link is here and the credit-freeze link is here. The bureau you called will place the fraud alert with the other two bureaus as well. Every 90 days, renew the fraud alert until you are confident that the situation is resolved. Be prepared for this to last several years.
Social Security Q& a: Reporting A Lost Card How Benefits Are Calculated
You do not have to report a lost Social Security card. In fact, reporting a lost or stolen card to Social Security will not prevent misuse of your Social Security number.
QUESTION: How do I report a lost Social Security card?
ANSWER: You do not have to report a lost Social Security card. In fact, reporting a lost or stolen card to Social Security will not prevent misuse of your Social Security number. You should let us know if someone is using your number to work, call us at 1-800-772-1213 .
If you think someone is using your Social Security number, there are several other actions you should take:
Contact the Federal Trade Commission online at www.ftc.gov/bcdp/edu/microsites/idtheft or call 1-877-ID-THEFT .
File an online complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.
Contact the Internal Revenue Service Identity Protection Specialized Unit by calling 1-800-908-4490, Monday Friday, 8 a.m. 8 p.m.
Monitor your credit report.
Q: When a person who has worked and paid Social Security taxes dies, are benefits payable on that persons record?
A: Social Security survivors benefits can be paid to:
A widow or widower unreduced benefits at full retirement age, or reduced benefits as early as age 60.
A disabled widow or widower as early as age 50.
A widow or widower at any age if he or she takes care of the deceased’s child who is under age 16 or disabled, and receiving Social Security benefits.
Dependent parents age 62 or older.
Also Check: How Much Is My Social Security Going To Be
What If Someone Steals My Social Security Number
All of this is of course very interesting, but lets bring it back to the point of this article: what if some bad guy steals, obtains, guesses at, or otherwise gets hold of your Social Security Number? As it happens, all kinds of bad things!
Because you have to have a Social Security Number to get a job in the United States , crooks are very fond of stealing SSNs specifically for the purpose of selling them to people who do not already have permission to work in the United States, so that those people can get a job.
Nothing is wrong with people getting jobs, of course, but if they are using your Social Security Number, it can cause untold confusion and issues with your taxes and your Social Security benefits. You could even LOSE your Social Security benefits and that can be hundreds of thousands of dollars.
As you can see, it is very important for you to be able to tell whether someone is using your Social Security Number without your permission. In this article, I will show you several methods of detecting whether your Social Security Number has been compromised.
Consider An Identity Protection Service
You can register with an identity protection service such as LifeLock, IdentityForce, or Identity Guard. Such companies charge fees that typically start around $10 a month. Banks and credit unions also have packages they sell to customers, as do major agencies such as Experian and TransUnion. Many of the best credit monitoring services also offer identity protection tools and services.
You May Like: Do I Have To Claim My Social Security As Income
Dont Send Your Ssn Via An Electronic Device
Never type your SSN into an email or instant message and send it. The majority of such messages can be intercepted and read. Also, dont leave a voicemail that includes your SSN. If you need to contact someone and give them your number, its best to do it in person. The second best way is to reach them on the phone and do it live.