Published on August 10th, 2018 | by Sunit Nandi0
What To Do If Your Social Security Card Is Stolen
There is a lot that could go wrong if your social security card is stolen because it contains your social security number. The social security number is the nine-digit number used for identity tracking purposes in the US.
It is needed for almost everything that Americans have to do including employment, financial services, medical services, taxes, education and so many other purposes. For this reason, the SSN should be kept secret. The SSN can be stolen when one loses their SSN card, through hacking and other loopholes.
Since the number is wrapped up in many of the aspects of the lives of Americans, then a lot can go wrong when the number is stolen. Here are some of the things that can happen;
They can file tax returns- one of the things that the thieves could do is file fraudulent tax returns claims, so they get your cheque. In 2016 the IRS gave a report indicating that as of March 2016 they had identified over 42,000 fraudulent tax returns claiming $227 million.
The numbers are expected to rise as hacking is on the rise as hackers target websites where they can access sensitive personal information.
They could open financial accounts – the thieves may also open bank accounts using your SSN since it is the most important requirement when opening a bank account. Using the account, they can access loans and credit cards which they refuse to pay damaging your credit report.
They might commit crimes – they might also commit crimes elsewhere, and when arrested they use your SSN giving you a criminal record even when you have not committed any crime.
Also with a stolen social security card, they could gain medical services or even steal your benefits.
How To Identify Identity Theft
Sometimes identity theft might go unnoticed for long, and therefore it is recommended that you keep checking if your identity is intact. This can be achieved by constantly checking your credit report for any unknown and strange transactions.
What To Do When You Lose Your Social Security Card
If you have lost your card, you should assume that it has been stolen so that you are on the safe side. The first thing you should do when it’s lost is check for any fraudulent charges or purchases at any stores done through new credit cards.
If there are any, call the company involved and ask them to freeze and cancel the cards. Also, ask the company to contact you if another attempt is made to open other accounts.
Next, you should place an alert with the credit bureaus like TransUnion and Equifax. This will stop anyone with access to your number from opening an account under your name. It is also important to file a report with the police.
The police will help you dispute any accusations made against you due to the fraudulent activities carried out when you lost your number. Finally, ensure that you have reported identity theft online on the FTC website.
With all these measures in place then apply for another social security card at your nearest social security administration.