The moment you realize that your social security card is missing, that’s the right time for you to spring into action without any hesitation. This should narrow the window in which the fraudsters (if any) would use to steal your identity and end up hurting you both financially and emotionally.
Without further ado, here is how you can get your social security card, and any personal identification documents, replaced the moment you realize that they are missing:
Notify The Social Security Office
The moment you realize that your social security card is missing, your first contact should be the social security office. You can do so by either visiting their official site online or even better, get their office telephone number and give them a call. The most important thing about doing so is that the old card will get blocked almost immediately.
And with your stolen/missing social security card blocked, you won’t even have the chance to worry about any fraudulent activity taking place at your expense. Once your card has been blocked, your next order of business will be preparing yourself to receive a brand new social security card.
Once notified, the people at the social security office will start working to replace your social security card immediately. And it will take them close to a fortnight before they deliver the work for you. Remember that the information differs depending on the country you are in.
Apply for A New Social Security Card
Once you’ve notified the social security offices about your situation, you’ll be directed on how you can apply for your new card. Thankfully, following these three steps is just about the easiest thing you can ever do. And for that reason, you’ll be required to do this as quickly as you can. These steps include the following:
• Visit the official website then print it the form.
• You’ll then be required to fill it out with the required information before printing it out.
• Once you’ve done so, you can either email it or mail it, depending on whatever floats your boat.
When visiting your local social security office, don’t forget to carry either your driver’s license, your state-owned identification card or a valid passport. In the event that you lost all the three, feel free to carry a police affidavit claiming the same then you’ll be good to go.
Once you’ve done all the above procedures, your next order of business would either to wait for two weeks for your new social security card to check in or you can do a lot more to ensure that your shielding yourself from the long hands of identity thieves. You can do this by doing the following:
Place A Fraud Alert
Once you’re done with alerting the social security offices and signed up for your brand new social security card, your next order of business should be placing a fraud alert. A fraud alert is meant to reduce the chances of identity thieves from stealing your hard earned money. You can do so by calling any of the following three agencies:
These agencies will ensure that your credit is monitored for any unusual activities within the two weeks you’ll be waiting to have your social security card replaced. This is incredible because once any activity happens under your name, you’ll receive a call for verification. You can also continue to renew the alert every 90 days until you are satisfied that the fraudsters can’t touch you.
Alert The IRS About Your Missing Social Security Card
The reason why you need to involve the internal revenue service is so that the identity thieves cannot manipulate your tax return details. Feel free to contact the IRS and they’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how best to protect your identity. They’ll also do their level best to assist you in the best way possible so that you don’t suffer when all is said and done.
Notify The FTC of Your Current Predicament
Note that doing all this isn’t out of paranoia but it’s just another way for you to shield yourself from identity thieves. As stated earlier, they are really getting smarter by the day. And that’s exactly why you’ll need to do one better to ensure that you’re fully protected. Thankfully, the FTC specializes in this and will take your case with the seriousness it deserves.
Once you’ve notified them, either via their official number or via their official page online, always make sure that you are retaining their reference number. This is very important since you can very much use it to counter any credit damage done under your name.
Feel free to print out FTC identity theft affidavit just so you can counter any identity theft cases that may come as a result of having your social security card stolen. And when all is said and all is said and done, always keep an eye out for any unusual activities yourself just so that you can be ahead of the curve.
Why Is Replacing Your Social Security Card So Important?
Your social security card can be used to defraud you without you even knowing. The thing is, fraudsters and identity thieves have been doing such a great job when it comes to reinventing themselves. That said, they have devised ways in which they can use your social security cards to earn a payday at your expense. Below are some of the ways they can get to do this:
• Filing bogus tax return – a really experienced identity thief can use your social security card to manipulate your tax returns in the hopes of getting copious amounts of reimbursements. But one this is for sure, the IRS never sleeps and would soon detect the error and come bearing down on you. Which is why you need to report your stolen card early to avoid getting yourself in trouble.
• They can open new payment cards without your knowledge and get to benefit while you are getting deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of debt.
• Smart identity thieves can access your one-time passwords which will, in turn, give them access to your money especially if you have access to your bank through your mobile phone.
And this is exactly why you need to have your social security card reported as quickly as you can because delaying equates to giving the fraudsters time to screw you even further. You can do this even before you get to replace your social security card.
Whether you’ve lost your social security card or had it stolen, your first order of business should be hurrying up and having it replaced. This is simply because, and as I’ve stated earlier, there are plenty of people who will jump at the opportunity to swindle you.
So the earlier you report it to the authorities and have them sorted out, the more you’ll get to reduce the likelihood of your identity being stolen. It is also very important for you to familiarize yourself with the above procedure so that you know what to do the minute you discover that your social security card is missing.
Apart from springing into action, it is also important for you to know how to monitor your card for fraudulent activities. In as much as your card might just be lost and not exactly used for any fraud, it is important to always be prepared for anything so you can be on top of things when all has been said and done.