Identity theft can happen to anyone, and one of the most common ways is through the loss of your Social Security Card, which contains your full name and Social Security Number, everything a crook needs to assume your identity. But the big question is, what do you do if you believe your Social Security Number has been compromised?
Well first off you’ll want to contact at least one, but to be safe all three, of the credit bureaus to request a credit report. As anybody using your Social Security Number for anything like applying for a loan or credit card will appear on your credit report.
The next step you’ll want to immediately take as you wait for your Credit Reports, will be to call the toll free fraud report numbers of all three Credit Bureaus. Both TransUnion, Experian and Equifax all have the option of putting fraud alert on your credit, which will alert any banks or credit card numbers that receive your Social Security Number on an application, that the number may be stolen. Fraud alerts last for ninety days, after which you will have to place an additional fraud alert if the problem persists.
After these, the next step you’ll want to take is applying for a new Social Security Card, for which you’ll have to fill out form SS-5 at your local DMV. This way you can ensure that you receive a new Social Security Card as soon as possible, to ensure either your status with an employer that may require such proof of identification is not compromised.
After that just continually monitor your credit reports to ensure nothing comes of someone else trying to use your Social Security Number. Other than that just be sure your new Social Security Card is always in a safe place. As the only times you should need it is applying for a loan or bank account with a different bank than the one you currently use, or after you are hired for a job to serve as proof of your identity for tax purposes.
Follow those steps and you shouldn’t have too much difficulty reclaiming, or protecting your Social Security Number.