Steps To Recover Your Identity
If you have a lost or stolen social security card the process of replacing it is fairly simple: just call your local social security office and they will be glad to tell you what steps you need to take in order to get another card.
But, if you have a stolen social security card the process of undoing all the damage that may have been done by identity thieves is decidedly more difficult and time consuming.
This is the main reason that you should never carry your social security card in your wallet. The truth is, you simply don’t need it for very many things. In most cases, just knowing the number is all you need.
If you do have to take care of something where you will need to actually show your card, put it in your wallet for that one thing and then write yourself a note and leave it where you will see it, that reminds you to take the card back out and put it back in a safe place.
But what is a safe place? Simple, a safe. It can be a safe deposit box or it can be a fireproof, waterproof safe you keep in your home. If you do get one of these kinds, try to bolt it to the floor, if possible, for maximum safety. These types of safes are available at office supply stores and big retailers like Wal-Mart.
I just bought one myself and it was around $20 so it isn’t expensive.
So, now that we’ve covered your social security card, what do you do to protect other documents that may have your social security number on them but that you do need to carry around? What about things like Medicare cards or prescription drug cards that have your number right on them, how do you protect them?
Well, the good news is that more and more companies and even the government are becoming aware that using your social security number as an identifying number for other documents is a dangerous practice and they are starting to do away with it. But, still sometimes some documents do have your social security number on it, so what do you do with them?
One of the things I heard someone do is to make a copy of their identification cards for medicare or insurance. They will make a copy of both sides of the card and then they will either cut out or black out the last 4 digits of their social security number. Then, they will paste the two sides of the card together, or just put both the front and back side of the card on one sheet of paper and carry that with them.
This is an easy, yet effective, solution for protecting your social security number even on documents that you need to carry (as opposed to your social security card which you don’t need to carry).
Until all government agencies and companies totally phase out the use of social security numbers as identification numbers, we need to get creative to protect ourselves from a lost or stolen social security card.