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What To Do After Losing Your Social Security Card

What to Do After Losing Your Social Security Card

You lost your Social Security card. Any time personal information goes missing, it can be unnerving. How big of a problem is this, exactly?

The card itself is not much of one. Replacing a lost Social Security card is free and relatively simple. The bigger worry is what happens if your Social Security number falls into the wrong hands, and criminals use it to steal your identity. Then, you have a problem.

You can reduce the odds of trouble by acting quickly. Follow this fast plan if you’ve lost your Social Security card.

Protecting your identity

To understand whether someone has stolen your Social Security number, keep a close watch on your credit reports. Thieves could use your Social Security number to apply for new credit cards in your name, racking up debt without you even realizing. This could send your credit score tumbling. You might also start receiving calls from angry creditors wondering why you haven’t paid your bills.

The best way to determine if someone is illegally using your Social Security number is to order copies of your credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com. You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three national credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — each year. Once you have your reports, study them carefully. Look for new lines of credit taken out in your name that you know you never applied for.

If you do suspect someone is using your Social Security number illegally, visit IdentityTheft.gov, a website run by the Federal Trade Commission, to report the theft. You can also file an online complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

It’s important…

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