Having your wallet stolen can be a harrowing experience all by itself. After the fear has subsided that’s when the panic will set in because you’ve lost your drivers license, credit cards, some of your favorite photos, and what about your stolen Social Security card? Your drivers license isn’t worth a whole lot because it’s doubtful that the photo looks like anyone else, especially a thief. And those credit cards can be canceled with just a phone call, plus, hopefully you have online copies of your photos. But that Social Security card could lead to a stolen identity which could really mess up your credit and some other things, let’s take a look.
If The Thieves Apply For Work With Your Stolen SS Card
This can get a little tricky, depending on exactly where your stolen card ends up, and what they decide to do with it. If an illegal immigrant applies for work and gets hired, they will then be paying into your Social Security account for as long as they have a job. That sounds great, doesn’t it? They will then be adding to your account boosting your entitlement for when you retire, what could possibly be wrong with that?
Well, plenty, just to get started. If they take a job that reports income on a 1099 form and doesn’t subtract their taxes and pay into the SS account, you may end up owing taxes on their income. Another possibility is that they do take a wage earning job but since they know they’ll never collect on your retirement, they fill out their withholding form and exaggerate how many dependents they have, like 10 or so. This reduces the amount that gets withheld for both taxes and Social Security to near zero and it’s possible, again, that you could get stuck holding the bag.
Another scary scenario is when the thieves take all of your stolen ID and go apply for a loan in your name using your stolen Social Security number. You might not know about it until they take the money and run, then the bill collectors start calling you asking for payment. You’ll then have to prove that it wasn’t you, you didn’t apply for the loan, and it might take years to clear up the mess.
Protect Your Credit Rating By Calling The Credit Bureaus
There are three major credit reporting agencies and they have the ability to put what is called a fraud alert on your Social Security number. The three companies are: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian, and you’ll want to call them right away to let them know what’s happened. The fraud alert typically lasts for 90 days so you should call them again and extend it, especially if there has been some suspicious activity on your accounts.
The most important thing that they will do is insist on government issued, photo ID in order to recommend any credit get issued to someone using your SS number. This will be a huge hassle for you, but the alternative is far, far, worse. In most cases, once the thieves find out that your number has been blocked, they’ll throw the card away so as not to risk getting caught. However, they are just as likely to sell the card to another thief for a few dollars as well.
If you’re having problems with a stolen SS card or number and want to get a replacement ss card, contact the appropriate authorities immediately. Then take action to block your credit, and then call the Social Security Administration and report the loss. Then, next time, keep your card locked in a safe in your home and don’t carry it with you on a regular basis.