What To Do If You Lose Your Social Security Card
Now that you know the basics, lets take a deeper dive on what to do if you lose your Social Security card. To be sure, quick action is important.
If an individual loses their Social Security card, the first thing they should do is make sure they have claimed their My SSA profile at the Social Security My Account website, says Devin Carroll, founder of Social Security Intelligence, in Texarkana, Texas. Not only can you request a replacement card, you can also quickly check the accuracy of your annual earnings history, print benefits statements and change your address.
When you do reach out to the Social Security Administration to report and replace a lost card, know going in that the agency has a substantial to do list that needs to be completed before they’ll even accept your request for a new Social Security card.
The good news is that the Social Security Administration provides, free of charge, three card replacements on an annual basis, and 10 free cards in the course of an individuals lifetime.
Your Social Security Card
Whether youve lost your social security card or someone an acquaintance used the number, this is another common way that someone has obtained this information. Keeping your social security card safe, not keeping it in your wallet, and making sure that no one can get to it is another way to protect your identity.
What Are The Dangers Of Losing My Social Security Card
Scammers can use your SSN to apply for credit cards or loans in your name, or commit account takeover fraud and steal or access additional personal information. One of the fastest-growing COVID-19-related identity theft crimes is tax fraud and identity theft, whereby thieves file a phony tax return in your name, hoping to snag a refund before you catch on. If your Social Security card is stolen, be sure to report the loss to the Internal Revenue Service. Another recent COVID-19 scam that cruelly exploits job losses involves filing phony unemployment claims using your SSN, birth date, name, or address.
Even if your Social Security card is not stolen or lost, you need to remain vigilant for scammers who call you claiming theres a problem with your SSN or account and try to get you to divulge personal information. If theres a legitimate problem with your number or account, the Social Security Administration will mail you a letter with your Social Security number. To learn how to respond to unsolicited robocalls or calls using caller ID spoofing, visit this SSA webpage.
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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.
Contact The Internal Revenue Service
You may also want to contact the Internal Revenue Service if you suspect an identity thief has filed a tax return in your name to get a refund. The IRS should also be on your list of contacts if you suspect someone is using your number for work purposes. Otherwise, the IRS could think you failed to report income when you file your own tax return. Use the IRS Identity Theft Central website or call 800-908-4490.
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How To Apply For A Replacement Social Security Card
While you dont need to have your Social Security card on you all the time, there are occasions where having your physical card is imperative. So, if you have lost your card, then youll need to get a replacement from the Social Security office. Thankfully, the process of getting a replacement SS card is not extremely difficult. Youll just need to provide the proper documentation and your new card will be mailed to you.
Once you have created your mySocialSecurity account, you can request a replacement card online in most states. As long as you have a United States mailing address and are making no other changes , then you will simply need to upload a copy of your valid drivers license or state-issued identification card to make the request. The site will guide you through the process, and you should have your new card in under 30 days.
If you live in a state that does not qualify for online requests, then youll need to either mail in the application for a new card with your documentation or visit your local Social Security office. You will need one document that proves your identity. There are a few you can choose from, and they are as follows:
- U.S. Birth Certificate
- Religious document showing date of birth
- Final adoption decree
What Can A Thief Do With Your Social Security Number
Because an SSN is unique to every individual, it is a very useful identification tool. But since its difficult to use on its own, criminals get quite crafty when it comes to using your Social Security number.
In essence, all types of SSN-related identity thefts use the number plus your additional information to bypass identification procedures in social and financial institutions.
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How To Protect Your Identity Going Forward
Now that you have made your initial report and have a new card on the way, what do you need to do to protect yourself going forward? First, you should consider signing up for a credit monitoring service so that you can keep a close eye on your credit. This type of service will alert you immediately if anyone attempts to use your Social Security number to obtain a new line of credit like a loan or credit card.
You might even consider contacting the major credit reporting agencies like Experian, Equifax, and Transunion to place a lock on your Social Security number. This would prevent anyone from using your SSN to obtain credit without going through rigorous identification verification. Finally, make sure to keep a constant watch on your credit file for any suspicious activity. You can obtain a free copy of your report at annualcreditreport.com, and staying vigilant will help protect you from ID theft going forward.
Finally, you should keep your Social Security card safe and secure. There is really no reason to carry your card with you all the time. It is best stored in a safe location and only pulled out when absolutely necessary. This can help prevent both theft and accidental loss of your card.
What Can Someone Do With My Social Security Number
Once your personal details have been discovered, thieves can either sell your identity to others or take advantage of services in your name. They can access medical care, file fraudulent tax returns, steal benefits, commit crimes, and open accounts in your name, all with your social security number.
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When To Provide Your Ssn
Not everyone who requests your SSN actually needs it. Generally speaking, if an entity reports information about you to the Internal Revenue Service , you probably have to supply your SSN. This includes your employer, banks/lenders, the U.S. Treasury for savings bonds, and state unemployment insurance and workers compensation offices.
Although other institutions and businesses have the right to ask for your number, they often dont need it, and you arent legally required to provide it.
As of Jan. 1, 2020, Medicare no longer uses Social Security numbers for identification. Instead, Medicare recipients receive a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier a unique series of numbers and letters that they should also try to protect from identity thieves.
How Can I Check To See If Someone Is Using My Social Security Number
To report ID theft by phone call 1-877-IDTHEFT or visit www.idtheft.net. Theft of identity. If you would like to order a copy of your Social Security Administration earnings and benefits statement, or if you want to know whether someone has used your Social Security number to get a job or evade paying taxes, you can visit www.ssa.gov. In social security. Go to https://statement.gov/.
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How Do Thieves Profit From Stolen Social Security Cards
Identity thieves can use your SSN to apply for more credit in your name. Of course, the scammers never pay the bills, which can damage your credit, and cause you to get calls from unknown credit demanding payment for items you never bought. They may also place your Social Security number on the Dark Web to sell to other identity thieves.
So Should You Keep Your Ssn In A Safe
No, you shouldnt. Instead, you should keep all your personally identifiable information as safe as possible.
In todays world, our personal information is mostly digital. Online security, cyber hygiene, and browsing habits are more important than ever. Take some time to educate yourself on how to be safe online, and you wont have to worry about losing your personal data or resources!
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How To Protect Your Identity When Your Social Security Card Is Stolen
If your social security card has been stolen, youve lost important vital records that prove your identity. Taking steps to protect yourself will help prevent fiscal losses.
- If you dont know your social security number, contact the Social Security Office first with a copy of your birth certificate or passport.
- Then, report identity theft to the FTC. Visit IdentityTheft.Gov and fill out the wizard to make a report.
- Also, call the IRS at 800-908-4490 to report the theft and to prevent someone from submitting a tax return in your name. You may have to prove your identity with your birth record.
How To Check If Someone Else Is Using Your Social Security Number
The rise of technology has brought new threats to your personal data and its security. Identity theft is a crime that strikes at the heart of a modern citizens wealth, employment, social services, and more. Our identity specifically, the electronically-encoded identity that serves as the gateway to our bank accounts, to our home security systems, to our e-mail and network resources can be stolen by unscrupulous people and used for crimes great and small.
At best, an identity thief may use part of your identity as the launchpad for some phony persona that they are using to commit acts of fraud and light scams. At worst, they can drain your bank accounts, destroy your credit rating, and wipe out your hard-earned retirement benefits. Identity theft is not a minor crime in 2018, more than 60 million Americans reported that they were affected by identity theft.
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Things You Should Know Before You Attempt To Find Someone’s Ssn
Docusearch is a licensed private investigative agency with over 35 years of experience finding Social Security Numbers and sensitive, non-public information for permissible purposes. Our unparalleled access to sensitive information is why we’re the favorite among leading attorneys and debt collectors, nationwide.
Read our guide below or start your search now:
This Guide provides everything you need to know to find someone’s Social Security Number for permissible purposes. All our searches are performed by real Private Investigators and the subject is never contacted. We’ve provided an FAQ list below on 6 answers you should know before requesting to find a Social Security Number.
What To Do When Someone Is Using Your Social Security Number
When an identity thief has a victim’s Social Security number, he or she has a passport to commit Social Security fraud, identity theft, and many other crimes. This is one of the many reasons why people should never carry their Social Security cards in their wallets or purses. From the time of issuance when we’re children, Social Security cards should be stored in a safe location at home, away from credit cards, drivers’ licenses, and other personal information.
If you suspect that a criminal has your Social Security number, the Social Security Administration can help point you in the right direction, but it can’t fix your credit. You’re the only one who can do that. To that end, here are some things to do if someone is using your Social Security number to commit identity theft and Social Security fraud:
1. Stay cool and focused.While identity theft is stressful, you’re the only person who can help with this problem, and you can’t solve it in a week or a month. It will take time. Stay as calm and focused as possible, and methodically address the problem.
2. Contact the credit reporting agencies.Contact TransUnion, Equifax, or Experian to place a fraud alert on your credit report. Each agency is required to alert the other two when you place an alert. The alert will prevent a thief from opening any new accounts in your name.
Experian: 1-888-397-3742 www.experian.com
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Commit Crimes In Your Name
One of the most dangerous consequences of social security number theft is having crimes committed using your identifiers. If someone is arrested and produces your information to law enforcement, you become entangled in their criminal activity. This could have a significant impact on your ability to get a job, a loan, or even rent an apartment.
Stolen Or Lost Social Security Card: What To Do Next
If your Social Security card is lost or stolen, it could wreak havoc on your personal affairs. Since your Social Security number is used for basically everything from identification to creditworthiness, you could easily become the victim of identity theft if your card falls into the wrong hands. There are steps that you need to take immediately upon recognizing that your card has been compromised. We will outline those steps in this article as well as tell you what you need to do to get a replacement card. While losing your card is not good, following the advice below can help you ensure that your lost card does not end up causing a disaster for you.
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Social Security Benefits Fraud
This type of fraud aims at using an SSN to steal someones Social Security benefits or file for unemployment in their name. Just like with financial identity theft, you may not know someone else is profiting from you until you apply for social benefits yourself and get denied.
The recent COVID-19 stimulus frauds, when identity thieves steal others stimulus payments, fall under the social benefits fraud category.
Password Reset Emails In Your Inbox
If you begin receiving mysterious password reset emails, then this could signal a problem. This could be a sign that someone is attempting to change the password to your accounts without your knowledge. Never click on the links in these emails. It could be a phishing scam designed to capture your SSN or other sensitive information. If the email is from an account or company you recognize, then you should log on directly to their website and change your password immediately. If someone has gained access to your account, then changing your password should keep them out going forward.
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How Can I Check If My Ssn Was Leaked
Data leaked during breaches usually ends up on the dark web. There are databases online that can scan the web for leaked personal information. Mostly, these include email addresses, which is not a lot.
Surfshark Alert can check the web for leaks of your emails and passwords,Social Security numbers, and It will also continue to monitor your information and will notify you if it finds that any of your data leaked on the web.
Heres how you can check your SSN for leaks with Alert in 6 steps:
How Can I Get My Ssn
In person, you can apply for a social security number at any Social Security office. A copy of your original documents to prove your age, identity, and ability to work must be brought to the SSA office. It is vital all immigration documents and work authorizations are current.
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