So perhaps you didn’t know any better and you’ve been carrying your Social Security card around in your wallet. Yep, the wallet that you just lost or that was stolen. Now you’re wondering what to do if you lose your Social Security card, or alternatively, what to do if your Social Security card is stolen. Either way, your next few moves should look the same.
We’ve put together this easy-to-follow guide for you.
(And if you do carry your Social Security card around but haven’t lost it yet, we strongly suggest you remove it from your wallet now and put it somewhere safe and secure, like a fire-proof safe. It’s just one of six things you shouldn’t carry around in your wallet.)
But onto our recommendations:
- Report the loss to the Social Security Administration. You can start the process of ordering a replacement card online at www.ssa.gov, by calling 800-772-1213, or by visiting your local Social Security office. We highly suggest you make an appointment in advance (by calling the aforementioned number) so you don’t have to wait in line for hours. You need to bring a U.S. driver’s license, a state-issued non-driver identification card or a U.S. Passport. Photo copies (even if notarized) of the documents are not sufficient. You’ll need to have the originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. They will issue you a new card, though they won’t issue you a new number. The good news is the process is fairly straightforward and quick (and free!) — you’ll likely get a new card within two weeks. The bad news is if you’ve lost your Social Security card or had it stolen, your identity has been compromised and you’re at a much greater risk for identity theft. There are a few other steps you can take to reduce your risk of becoming an identity theft victim.
- Report the lost or stolen card to the IRS Identity Protection Unit. The IRS recommends: “If your tax records are not currently affected by identity theft, but you believe you may be at risk due to a lost or stolen purse or wallet, questionable credit card activity or credit report, contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490 (Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time).
- File the loss with the Federal Trade Commission at www.consumer.ftc.gov or the FTC Identity Theft Hotline at 877-438-4338.
- Contact the fraud department at the three major credit bureaus and put a fraud alert on your credit. Our blog post details how to do it.
- Sign up for LibertyID. If you’re not already covered by LibertyID, now would be a really good time to have it. When your Social Security card has been lost or stolen, your identity has been compromised, which leaves you at much greater risk of identity theft. According to some statistics, the average identity theft victim spends upwards of 200 hours repairing the damage. That’s where LibertyID can help. Our subscribers save themselves massive amounts of time and stress by having our service to rely on when something does happen. If your identity is stolen, we assign you a personal recovery advocate who will clean up the mess and restore your identity to pre-event status. Sign up for an annual subscription now and rest easy knowing you’re covered by LibertyID.
For more information about all the nefarious things someone could do with your Social Security number, visit our blog post titled “What Can Someone Do With Your Social Security Number?”
Are you covered for identity theft?