Most people don't know what to do when their bank cards, credit cards, Social Security card, and other valuable financial information is stolen. The process of taking care of your financial information after it is lost or stolen doesn't make the experience of being robbed any better but it has to be done.
So, what should you do if your financial information is stolen?
* Take inventory of what is missing. Making a list of everything that was stolen.
* File a Police Report.
* Call your bank and credit card companies to report the information stolen. The bank or credit card company will either place a hold on your financial accounts or close them and issue you new information.
* If your Social Security card was also taken, you will need to contact the Social Security Administration. Replacing your SS card is free, so that isn't an added worry. Go to the SSA's website for information on what to do to replace your stolen (or lost) SS card. You can also call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 from 7am to 7pm Monday-Friday to speak to a representative.
According to the SSA website, you should:
Complete an Application For A Social Security Card (Form SS-5);
Present a recently issued document to show your identity;
Show evidence of your U.S. citizenship if you were born outside the United States and did not show proof of citizenship when you got your card; and
Show evidence of your current lawful noncitizen status if you are not a U.S. citizen.
Your replacement card will have the same name and number as your previous card.
What should you do to protect yourself if this should every happen to you?
* Keep a list your your financial information (numbers to call, your account number, and any other information that might be important), in a safe place.
* Keep track of your bank and credit cards.
* Keep your bank information in a safe place (a lock box works great!).
* Carry your money and ID in your front pocket (wise advice from my dad).
* Check your credit report to see if there has been any fraudulent activity under your name and ssn.
* Most importantly, be smart and safe about where you keep your information, who has access, and how you protect your information.
Be SMART with your money and your money will WORK for you....