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Take Immediate Action
When you find that you are no longer in possession of your social security card, you have to cancel everything you planned for the day and take immediate action. Your Social Security number is your primary governmental identification.
Anyone in possession of your Social Security card can purchase property, open bank accounts, and commit crimes – all under your name. They can even sell your number to people who live illegally in the United States.
After conducting a thorough search for your card around your house, car, workplace, and the places you’ve been to recently, you have to do two things: protect your identity and get a new Social Security number and card.
There are a number of steps that you should take to ensure that you don’t fall victim to identity theft and fraud. These steps include the following:
Place a Fraud Alert on Your Credit
Call any of the three main credit bureaus and alert them that you are not in possession of your card. These bureaus are TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. The bureau you call will then place the fraud alert with other credit bureaus as well.
Renew the fraud alert once every 90 days until you know for sure that the issue is resolved.
Alert the IRS and FTC
To prevent anyone from filing a tax return in your name and claiming a refund check, contact the Internal Revenue Service and report your card missing or stolen. File a report with the Federal Trade Commission as well.
Contact the Police
If you don’t file a report with the police and the person in possession of your card commits a crime, you may be the one that they end up prosecuting. Filing a police report is also a requirement for the successful application of a new SS card.
Monitor Your Accounts
Keep an eye on all your back and credit accounts for suspicious activity. If you notice withdrawals, purchases, or any other activities, report it to the relevant financial services- or credit provider and the credit bureau.
Submit a Report to the IC3
Reporting your lost or stolen SS card to the Internet Crime and Complaint Centre will ensure clearance with local and federal authorities.
Apply for a New Social Security Number and Card
Applying to the Social Security Administration (SSA) for a new Social Security number can be a complex, lengthy, and tedious process. Even if you are successful in your application, you will still have to renew your fraud alert once every three months, and you may have difficulty getting new credit.
Consider using application filing service providers that understand what the SSA needs and that can provide you with professional advice. Using professional services increases your chances of a successful application and reduces your risk of falling victim to identity theft or related crimes.
When you can’t find your SS card, don’t wait before taking remedial action. Go through the steps to protect yourself and contact the SSA to find out what you need for your application.