If you lose your Social Security card your first thought may be how to replace it. However, replacing your lost or stolen Social Security card is NOT even in the top 5 things you should do! Here is what Social Security says on this topic:
You can replace your Social Security card for free if it is lost or stolen. However, you may not need to get a replacement card. Knowing your Social Security number is what is important. Social Security does not take reports of lost or stolen Social Security cards or numbers. If you have lost your card, you may apply for a replacement but Social Security takes no action just because it has been lost or stolen.
The real danger is identity theft!
A person using your card or number can get other personal information about you and apply for credit in your name.
Here are 5 things you have to do IMMEDIATELY!
- Educate yourself about identity theft.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (1-877-ID-THEFT or 1-877-438-4338).
- File an online complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov.
- Check your Social Security records (call toll-free 1-800-772-1213; TTY 1-800-325-0778) to ensure your income is calculated correctly;
- Monitor your credit reports.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit report to reduce the chance of a thief opening new lines of credit.
For more information, see:
- Identity Theft And Your Social Security Number (Publication No. 05-10064); and
- The Federal Trade Commission’s identity theft web page.
The FTC website provides additional information if you are the victim of identity theft, including how to file an identity theft police report, how to put a fraud alert on your credit report, and how to set up a credit freeze reducing the chances that someone can take out a line of credit based on your identity.
If you do replace your Social Security card
Keep your Social Security card in a safe place with your other important papers. Do not carry it with you. You are limited to three replacement cards in a year and 10 during your lifetime. Legal name changes and other exceptions do not count toward these limits. For example, changes in noncitizen status that require card updates may not count toward these limits. Also, you may not be affected by these limits if you can prove you need the card to prevent a significant hardship.
CC Photo by KhÃ¡nh Hmoong