There are times when you must replace social security card especially when you discover someone else is using your card for credit and employment purposes or if you lost the card. Our social security number is currently the primary personal identifier used for approving loan applications as well as processing employment applications including credit and social security background checks.
There are many ways identity thieves can obtain our Social Security Number (SSN) to commit credit and employment fraud such as overhearing our social security number shared loudly in public places as in the doctor’s office, stealing our snail mail or email which include our social security number, stealing our personal information from businesses with which we had shared our information, and stealing or finding our lost social security card.
There are also many ways that we might become suspicious or aware that our social security number is being misused at which point we need to assess if we need to replace social security card with a new number. For example, you might apply for a job and as a result of their social security administration background check, you become aware of someone using your SSN for employment whether under your exact name or another similar name. You might also receive a discrepancy notice from the IRS when you file your annual federal taxes because your reported earnings do not match their records which might also indicate a case of potential employment identity theft.
These days, it’s more common to detect credit fraud than employment fraud because credit monitoring and credit check is a very common practice as consumers have become more educated and aware as a result of increased cases of identity theft. In order to detect all types of identity theft, background monitoring and investigations are necessary beyond our credit reports such as monitoring the social security database and reported earnings.
Individuals interested in monitoring their social security number used for employment fraud purposes or who suspect someone might be committing employment fraud with their social security number must contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) and request a copy of their Social Security Statement (Form SSA-7005), when available, to review reported earnings records and reconcile the records to their own earning numbers.
In extreme cases whereby the employment fraud continues and you feel unable to resolve the misuse of your social security number despite your efforts to contact the person or the employer who has employed the unauthorized worker, you might have to replace social security card and obtain a new number. Although a new social security number will not remove your existing credit or earnings history from your files (unless you have successfully disputed and removed unauthorized transactions), your old social security number will not longer be active and available for misuse by identity thieves. It is extremely important to notify all appropriate parties immediately when you discover a case of identity theft and attempt to correct the affected records and reports. Such parties may include the police, your credit card company, social security administration, FTC, the company where your SSN is being illegally, used and even the person who is using your SSN if the contact information is available. Sometimes when the identity thief becomes aware that his actions have been detected, identity theft stops and damage is minimized while other parties are being notified for investigation and records are being cleaned up.
A social security card can be replaced three times in a year and 10 times during a person’s lifetime, although, card updates such as when changing legal name or citizenship status may not count as replacement occurrences.
The application link below can be used to replace existing card or request a new card with a new number.
To replace social security card, complete and submit the Form SS-5 to the Social Security Administration.