Criminal Law

5 Things You Should Do If You Lose Your Birth Certificate or Social Security Card

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There are certain documents that you should always store safely due to the nature of the information that they carry. For instance, your birth certificate and your social security card contain information that can easily be used to commit crimes if they fall into the wrong hands. Unfortunately, sometimes things happen, and you end up losing them. So what do you do in such a case? To help you stay safe, here are 5 things you should do if you lose your birth certificate or social security card.

1. Report to the police

It may sound trivial, but this is the most important step you should take in case you lose any of these two documents. That’s because, if someone uses them to commit a crime, the authorities would trace it back to you. Therefore, by alerting the police that you have lost these documents, you will actually be protecting yourself from legal issues that have the potential to ruin your life for good.

2. Seek a replacement

Once you notice that you have lost any of these two documents, you should take it upon yourself to apply for new ones. After all, these are documents you need for different transactions, especially the social security card. Luckily getting a replacement card for social security is free. It is also a straightforward process that can be done online. The same process applies to the birth certificate. In short there is no excuse as to why you should stay for long without a replacement of these essential documents.

3. Put a fraud alert with the credit-reporting agencies

One of the greatest risks you face after you lose your social security card or your birth certificate is that of identity theft. Cyber fraudsters can use your information to transact as well as acquire credit card debt in your name. That’s why it is important that you alert the credit-reporting agencies. This will ensure that before any credit is availed to your card, extra verification measures are put in place. You don’t want a fraudster putting you in unnecessary debt that you aren’t in a position to repay.

4. Contact your credit card issuer

Identity thieves usually use your information to spend money from your credit card. That’s why it make sense to inform your credit card company immediately after you lose your documents especially the social security card. By alerting them, the credit card companies can suspend any transactions on your card, or issue you with a new one.

5. Alert passport services

We live in a time where issues like global terror are a reality.  Terrorists would not waste a chance to impersonate you using your birth certificate to create a fake passport. That’s why once you discover that your birth certificate is missing, it is important to alert passport services. This way, they can stay alert in case someone tries to use your identity to acquire a passport document.

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Aaron Gordon is a writer for various blogs.

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