Prevent Identity Theft by Not Carrying Social Security Card
EDINBURG – Carrying your social security card in your wallet or purse every day may prove to be a big mistake.
“For seven years, they put a halt on all of your credit information so you can’t buy a car, you can’t buy a house. You can’t get anything on credit because it’s frozen,” Daisy Marin said.
Marin told CHANNEL 5 NEWS those were the most difficult seven years of her life.
She spent those years repairing her credit after she became a victim of Identity theft. Marin said she was forced to pay off an $8,000 loan taken in her name. Now she’s extra careful with her social security card.
“I keep everything until at the moment I need it. Everything is kept in a safety deposit box in the bank,” Marin explained.
Dolores Salinas, president of the Better Business Bureau, says Marin has the right idea.
“On a normal day, we shouldn’t carry those in our purse or in our wallet simply because there is always the risk that if you lose your purse or wallet that identification is out there,” Salinas said.
She told CHANEL 5 NEWS once identity crooks get your social security number they can open up credit card accounts and apply for loans in your name. That can all have a devastating impact on your credit.
She explained if the thieves get a hold of your actual card, well things can get even worse.
“What they can do is they can alter it to put a different name on it. You need to remember that people who do this are sophisticated and they have ways of altering originals to look authentic,” Salinas told CHANNEL 5 NEWS.
Salinas explained with that card in hand, thieves can receive medical treatment at your expense. She said they can even commit a crime with your identification. Try explaining that mix up to authorities.
Marin told CHANNEL 5 NEWS she will continue to keep a watchful eye on her identity.
We reached out to the Social Security Administration Office. They explained anyone whose social security card becomes lost or stolen can request a new card free of charge online, through the mail or in person at a local social security office branch.
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