Reporting a Stolen Social Security Card

What Should Be Done While Reporting a Stolen Social Security Card?

It is important to report a stolen Social Security card because it is the most important proof of identity that any person possesses. In this article we tell you how to go about this process of reporting the theft of a social security card and getting a replacement for the same.
OpinionFront Staff
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
What are Social Security numbers? In the system of Social Security, every individual is assigned a Social Security number which helps the administration to keep track of all the benefits that the particular person is eligible for. It is also a very important proof of identity and is therefore used for verification in many situations, especially during financial transactions. The card that possesses information about the Social Security number is known as the Social Security card. So what do you do in case your Social Security card is stolen and how do you go about the process of receiving a replacement for the same?

Having your Social Security card stolen is very dangerous as it is possible that whoever has stolen the same will use it for a number of delinquent things. It is possible that your identity may be stolen making you liable in case of any forgeries or criminal cases. Since there are no means of biometric identification on a Social Security card, protecting your Social Security number (SSN) and the card information becomes a lot more difficult.

Reporting the Theft of Social Security Card

In case your Social Security card has been stolen, then the first step that you need to take is to report the same to a credit reporting agency. This will help you ensure whether or not the card is being used by someone else and whether there is any sort of identity theft involved. Before you can actually replace a lost Social Security card, it is important to verify that there is misuse of your Social Security number as only then will a replacement of the same be possible. Given below are the steps you need to follow to report the theft of a Social Security card.
  • Contact one of the three credit reporting agencies; Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. This is very important and is the first thing you need to do as soon as you realize that your Social Security card has been stolen. Doing so will allow you to place a fraud alert on your credit statement. Check your credit report for any inaccurate information and get any such information removed. It is important that after reporting a Social Security fraud like theft of the card, you monitor your credit report at least every three months.
  • If your financial accounts have been tampered with, then talk to the companies involved and keep documentation of all your communication with them.
  • It is important that you inform the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about the theft of your Social Security card and the ensuing identity theft. You can file this complaint online on the FTC website, where they have easy to follow instructions to do so. You will be required to answer some questions about the Social Security card misuse.
  • It is also important that you file a police report for the Social Security card theft in case it is being used illegally. In order to do so you will need to take a copy of the complaint you have filed with the FTC to the police station.
As mentioned before the replacement of a Social Security card is possible only if there is evidence that the card is being misused by someone. In order to replace a card you need to know your Social Security number. This is of prime importance. If you need to know how to get a new Social Security card to replace the stolen card, the process is very easy. All you need to do is fill up an SS-5 Form which comprises an application for Social Security card. Along with this form you need to show documents that prove that you are a US citizen and your identity. In case of immigrants you need to prove your immigration status and your eligibility to work. You will then need to submit these documents to your local Social Security office. Any person is eligible to only three replacement cards in a year and ten cards in your entire lifetime. In case you change your name or there is change in your citizenship status, then that would not be included in these limitations. There are some requirements that you need to fulfill if you want to replace your Social Security card and these define that you cannot receive a new number in case you have filed for bankruptcy, there is proof that you are trying to avoid legal responsibility, or there is no proof that misuse of your Social Security card is taking place. In case you are eligible for replacement of card, there is not cost that you will need to incur to replace the card as the entire process is free.

The Social Security Administration office advises that in order to avoid this situation, one should avoid carrying the card with oneself. It is advisable to store the same with other important papers. It is also important that you do not give out your Social Security number to all and sundry without proper verification.