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What If You Lose Your Social Security Card

How Can I Protect My Child Against Identity Theft

What to Do if You Lose Your Social Security Card

One of the best things you can do to provide identity theft protection for your child is to keep their Social Security card stored in a safe and secure place until it is needed. Do not carry the card around with you or allow the child to carry it. Also, you should obtain a free credit report for them each year to monitor their credit history and make sure that nothing suspicious appears on the report.

What Do I Do If I Think My Identity Has Been Stolen

If you have identity theft insurance, file a claim with it. Notify businesses that your identity has been stolen. Submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission. Contact the police department in your area. Set up a fraud alert on your credit files. Credit may be frozen. If one is available, enroll in a credit monitoring program.

Protect Yourself Going Forward

Once you’ve followed all the steps to get your replacement Social Security card, it’s wise to take action to protect yourself. You may have received a new physical card, but your Social Security number will remain unchanged, and anyone who comes into possession of your old card can use it to commit fraud. This may mean staying diligent about what’s on your credit report for years to come.

The good news is there’s a lot you can do to prevent your Social Security card from being used nefariously. In addition to taking steps to protect your identity, make sure your new card is stored safely and securely and only leaves your home or safety deposit box when absolutely necessary. Losing possession of your Social Security card can be a nerve-wracking experience, but you’ve got tools at your disposal to make sure it’s replaced quickly and your identity is protected for years to come.

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Can’t Find Your Social Security Card Here’s How To Request A New One

If you’ve lost your Social Security card or changed your name recently, you’ll need to replace it as soon as possible.

Katie Teague


Katie is a writer covering all things how-to at CNET, with a focus on Social Security and notable events. When she’s not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.

Your Social Security number is needed for a number of things in life to confirm your identity. For instance, when you apply for a new credit card, file your taxes or if you need to verify your identity online. You need your physical Social Security card much less frequently, usually for situations like starting a new job — or if you don’t yet have your number memorized. So if you don’t have it when you need it, you could be in trouble.

If you’ve misplaced your Social Security card or have recently changed your name, you can get a new one. But how you do it depends on whether you need a new one with updated information or a replacement without any changes.

We’ll tell you what you need to get a new Social Security card for either situation. For more, here’s when it’s OK to give out your Social Security number. While you’re here, check out these identity theft protection and monitoring services.

What Can Someone Do With The Last 4 Digits Of Your Ssn


In most circumstances, a hacker or scammer may use the last four digits of your SSN to register accounts in your name, steal your money and government benefits, and even gain healthcare and tax returns in your name if they have access to additional personal information such as your name and address.

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How To Apply For A Replacement Social Security Card

While you dont need to have your Social Security card on you all the time, there are occasions where having your physical card is imperative. So, if you have lost your card, then youll need to get a replacement from the Social Security office. Thankfully, the process of getting a replacement SS card is not extremely difficult. Youll just need to provide the proper documentation and your new card will be mailed to you.

Once you have created your mySocialSecurity account, you can request a replacement card online in most states. As long as you have a United States mailing address and are making no other changes , then you will simply need to upload a copy of your valid drivers license or state-issued identification card to make the request. The site will guide you through the process, and you should have your new card in under 30 days.

If you live in a state that does not qualify for online requests, then youll need to either mail in the application for a new card with your documentation or visit your local Social Security office. You will need one document that proves your identity. There are a few you can choose from, and they are as follows:

  • U.S. Birth Certificate
  • U.S. hospital record of birth
  • Religious document showing date of birth
  • Final adoption decree

Earn Ssa Work Credits In Some Countries

You may not have enough credits from your work in the United States to qualify for retirement benefits. But, you may be able to count your work credits from another country. The SSA has agreements with 24 countries. If you earned credits in one of those countries, they can help you qualify for U.S. benefits.

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Monitor Your Credit Reports

Keeping an eye on your credit report cannot be overemphasized. This protects you from unauthorized actions being carried out in your name on your credit. Be on the lookout for new accounts, unauthorized changes made on old accounts, changes in details, and inquiries from creditors that you havent contacted.

The good news is that monitoring your credit report is not an onerous task. The three largest credit reporting bureaus are legally mandated to provide you with an annual free credit report. However, in a bid to combat the uptick in identity theft and credit fraud, the bureaus pledged to make free credit reports available weekly to consumers through 2022

Use A Fraud Alert Security Freeze Or Identity Theft Protection Service

How to replace a lost or stolen social security card.

Fraud alerts, which are free, typically last for a year and are renewable. When you place a fraud alert, potential creditors will be mandated to contact you before extending new credit. The purpose of this is to ensure that the new credit product was actually requested by you, not someone who stole your information.

Employing a security freeze is also helpful. Security freezes prevent perpetrators from applying for new credit and opening new accounts using your identity. It mandates that the freeze be lifted every time credit is applied for, and the freeze can only be lifted by you.

You can place, lift and remove security freezes as many times as necessary. Thankfully, its free.

Identity theft services guarantee around-the-clock monitoring of your credit to keep malicious parties away from your information and credit.

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How To Take Your Name Off Of A Joint Account

Your U.S. Social Security number is a government-issued identifier that is used in conducting a number of financial and life transactions. Your Social Security number is typically applied for at birth or when U.S. citizenship is granted. You will use your number when filing taxes, applying for jobs and government services and to verify your identification for various purposes. If you lose your Social Security card, you should get it replaced as soon as possible.

What To Do If You Find A Lost Social Security Card

  • Immediately call the Social Security Administration to report the lost card. The SSA will cancel the lost card and issue a new one.
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit report by contacting one of the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. This will help prevent someone from using the lost Social Security number to open new accounts in your name.
  • Keep an eye on your credit report for any suspicious activity. You’re entitled to a free credit report from each bureau every 12 months, so be sure to check them regularly.
  • Place a credit freeze on your report. This can be done at no cost to you by contacting the credit bureaus listed above or by visiting their websites.
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    How To Protect Your Social Security Card Moving Forward

    In general, these are some best practices to protect yourself from identity theft, particularly regarding your SS card and your SSN number:

    TIP: One identity theft protection service known for its discounts is LifeLock, which you can read about in our LifeLock review. Learn more about LifeLocks Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals or LifeLocks free trial.

    You Can Request Your Card Online Today

    How to Replace a Lost or Stolen Social Security Card

    Sign in or create an account to submit your request

    You can replace your card online and receive it in 14 days. You can also use your account to check the status of your request and manage other benefits you receive from us.

    Trouble signing in?

    Start the application online and visit your local SSA office for additional guidance for completing your application.

    Prefer to talk to someone?

    Contact your local SSA office.

    You can start your Social Security number card application online. Once you’ve submitted your request, visit your local SSA office for additional guidance for completing your application. You will need to give us some of the information you provided again.

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    What Are The Dangers Of Losing My Social Security Card

    Scammers can use your SSN to apply for credit cards or loans in your name, or commit account takeover fraud and steal or access additional personal information. One of the fastest-growing COVID-19-related identity theft crimes is tax fraud and identity theft, whereby thieves file a phony tax return in your name, hoping to snag a refund before you catch on. If your Social Security card is stolen, be sure to report the loss to the Internal Revenue Service. Another recent COVID-19 scam that cruelly exploits job losses involves filing phony unemployment claims using your SSN, birth date, name, or address.

    Even if your Social Security card is not stolen or lost, you need to remain vigilant for scammers who call you claiming theres a problem with your SSN or account and try to get you to divulge personal information. If theres a legitimate problem with your number or account, the Social Security Administration will mail you a letter with your Social Security number. To learn how to respond to unsolicited robocalls or calls using caller ID spoofing, visit this SSA webpage.

    Submitting Your Application By Mail Or In Person

    The final step is to submit the SS-5 form and your original or certified documents to your local Social Security office or card center, either by mail or in person. You can find the address online using the Social Security Administration’s Field Office Locator.

    If you apply by mail, the office or center will mail your original documents back to you along with your new Social Security card.

    One advantage of going in person is that you eliminate the possibility that sensitive or difficult-to-replace personal documents, such as your original birth certificate, driver’s license, or passport, will get lost or stolen in the mail. If you have any questions, you can also call that office beforehand and ask which documents you need to bring with you.

    Generally, the Social Security Administration says, it will take two to four weeks to process your application and send you your card.

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    How Thieves Can Profit From Your Social Security Card

    That being said, if your SS card has fallen into the wrong hands, you may be at risk of identity theft. Thieves can use your SSN to:

    • Apply for credit in your name and then not pay the bills, which can damage your credit score1

    If you live in any of the above states, go to the next section .

    NOTE: Was your drivers license or ID card issued by a U.S. territory like American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands? If so, you cant request a new SS card online you must do it either over the phone or in person.

    If you live in an eligible state, there are a few more requirements to request a new SS card online:

    • You are a U.S. citizen age 18 or older.
    • You have a U.S. mailing address, which includes APO, FPO, and DPO addresses.
    • You arent requesting any changes to the card, just a new card.
    • Your drivers license or state identification card is from one of the 50 U.S. states or Washington, D.C.

    After you request a new card, you should get a replacement within 10 to 14 days.4

    How Long Do You Have To Wait For A Replacement Social Security Card

    Social Security card caution

    Unless youre applying online, the short answer from the SSA for standard applications is 10-14 business days. This assumes that all the required documents have been provided and that there is no backlog of replacement card requests already in their system. If there is a backlog, the waiting time may take up to four to six weeks.

    So, what do you do if you lose your Social Security card and you need some sort of proof that you have it? If you need the card quickly for employment or a legal matter, request from the SSA a letter stating the replacement application has been filed and the letter can be used until the replacement card is received.

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    How To Receive Federal Benefits

    To begin receiving your federal benefits, like Social Security or veterans benefits, you must sign up for electronic payments with direct deposit.

    If You Have a Bank or Credit Union Account:

    • Call the Go Direct Helpline at .

    If You Don’t have a Bank or Credit Union Account:

    Make Changes to an Existing Direct Deposit Account:

    On Go Direct’s FAQ page, learn how to make changes to an existing direct deposit account. You also may contact the federal agency that pays your benefit for help with your enrollment.

    What Are The First Signs Of Identity Theft

    Identity Theft Warning Signs: 9 Unexpected withdrawals or expenses. Medical bills for practitioners youve never seen. You didnt apply for any new credit cards. Your credit report contains errors. collection calls or notifications for unidentified debt. Your credit card or credit application has been rejected. absence of mail or email.

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    What If I Cant Apply For A Card Online

    If you cant apply for a Social Security card online, then you will need to show the required documents in person at your local SSA office. The documents needed will depend on your current citizenship status and your age.

    Different documents are needed if you are an adult and a U.S.-born citizen, a foreign-born U.S. citizen, or a noncitizen. Also, if you are replacing a Social Security card for a child, youll want to check the SSA website to determine which documents you will need.

    Things To Do If I Lost My Social Security Card

    Need to Know How Do I Replace My Lost Social Security Card? Find out ...

    During the coronavirus lockdown, local Social Security offices have reduced hours and are only helping people with their most crucial issues. Generally speaking, getting a replacement card is not considered a crucial issue. So, if you have a lost Social Security card, its best to wait until the agency is up and running as usual to apply.

    The fact is, as important identification documents go, the Social Security card gets little attention. Yourenot supposed to laminate it or carry it in your wallet, but those may be the most notable things about a Social Security card as a form of identification. Unlike a Passport or driver license, you rarely need to produce the card itself just knowing the number is enough for people to find you in many systems. Employers sometimes ask new employees to provide a copy of the card, butits seldom necessary. Keep in mind,you can only apply for a replacement card three times a year or 10 times in a lifetime. But if do lose your card and want to get a replacement or if you think it might be being used by someone else here are some steps you should take:

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    What Do I Do If Someone Stole My Identity

    If you have identity theft insurance, file a claim with it. Notify businesses that your identity has been stolen. Submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission. Make a call to the police agency in your area. Placing a fraud warning on your credit reports is a smart idea. Put a hold on your credit. If a credit monitoring service is available, sign up for it.

    Driver License Or Identity Card

    If you wish to replace a lost or stolen Texas drivers license or identity card or change the address listed on your card, you can do so online. Alternatively, you can visit any Texas Driver License office and submit a completed Application for Renewal/Replacement/Change along with proof of citizenship or legal residency and two forms of ID . In either case, the fee for a replacement card is $11. An additional fee of $1.75 may be charged if you do not have access to the audit number listed on your driver license or ID card. Additional information on replacing your Texas driver license or identity card can be found on the following website.

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