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Can Social Security Block Your Social Security Number

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Check If Your Child Has A Credit Report

Social Security scam calls 2019: Can your social security number get suspended?

Generally, a child under 18 wont have a credit report unless someone is using his or her information for fraud. A good way to find out if someone is using your childs information to commit fraud is to check if your child has a credit report. To do that, contact the three credit bureaus and ask for a manual search for your child’s Social Security number. You may have to give the credit bureaus a copy of

  • your drivers license or other government-issued identification card
  • proof of your address, like a utility bill, or a credit card or insurance statement
  • your childs birth certificate
  • your childs Social Security card

If youre not the childs parent, you may have to give the credit bureaus a copy of documents that prove you are the childs legal guardian.

When Your Child Turns 16

When your child turns 16, you may want to check if theres a credit report in his or her name. This could help you spot identity theft, since children under 18 usually dont have a credit report. If theres inaccurate information in your childs credit report, youll have time to correct it before he or she applies for a job, a college loan, a car loan, or a credit card, or tries to rent a place to live.

Tip : Be Careful Sharing Through Electronic Devices

There are risks in sharing your Social Security number by email, text, voicemail, and fax. For example, your SSN could get intercepted and read after you send your information. There are sometimes ways to help keep your information safe for instance, by using a VPN on an unprotected Wi-Fi network. But the safest way to share may be face to face with someone you know and trust.

Your Social Security number is a big responsibility and a vital component of your identity. You may not be able to control whether its exposed in a data breach. But theres still plenty you can do to help keep it safe.

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Tip : Memorize Your Social Security Number

Knowing your Social Security number by heart can be handy. Its there when you need it. Plus, you probably wont be tempted to carry your Social Security card with you or to jot down the number on a slip of paper.

This might seem like a small thing. But if youre not carrying your card with you, or youre not writing it down on slips of paper, youre far less likely to drop that paper or card on the ground or leave it behind at a local bank or government office. This means its less likely, too, that thieves might get their hands on your number.

Recommended Reading: What Do You Need To Apply For Social Security Benefits

Tip : Monitor Your Accounts And Be Aware Of New Accounts Being Opened

If someone obtains your SSN, you may find evidence of unlawful use in your bank, credit, or other accounts. Consider setting up alerts with your financial institutions to flag unusual activity, such as withdrawals or purchases over a certain amount. Watch for changes in your credit score. And check your credit reports. Youre entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Go to

Tips For The Best Identity Protection

How Scammers Get a Hold of Your Social Security Number ...

The best solution for a stolen identity is to prevent it from happening to you in the first place. You should always monitor your credit closely. You can accomplish this by enrolling in a service that alerts you to any changes or activity associated with your Social Security number.

In addition, check all of your current accounts frequently for suspicious activity. Be very cautious when releasing your Social Security number never give it out over the phone or email unless you initiated the contact with a known entity. Be skeptical of requests for your information. Many people become victims of identity theft after falling for a scam.

Be suspicious of anyone contacting you, even if they say they’re from a company you trust. In addition, be careful to shred all your mail containing account information or other personal data. Check your mailbox, and be sure to shred all credit offers. Whatever you do, always safeguard all personal information, and take action as soon as you suspect that something is wrong.

Also Check: How To Get An Activation Code For Social Security

How Service Canada Protects Your Sin

Service Canada stores personal information requested to apply for a SIN in the Social Insurance Register. This information includes your name, date of birth, place of birth and your parents’ names. Dates of death are also recorded in the Register.

Service Canada protects your SIN in the following ways:

  • we store your personal information carefully on our premises and in computer systems that are only accessible to authorized employees who have a “need to know”
  • we provide guidance about how to protect your SIN and your personal information

How To Keep Other People From Knowing Your Social Security Number

When the Social Security number was first devised, skeptics warned it would become a national identification number, used by non-governmental organizations to keep track of people.

That hasn’t completely happened, but many businesses and organizations do ask for Social Security numbers when they shouldn’t. Such practices make it harder for individuals to be sure their SSNs don’t get into the wrong hands.

The fact that companies regularly ask for SSNs is a “real challenge for individuals,” said Suzanne Barber, director of the Center for Identity at the University of Texas at Austin.

As a general rule, if the Internal Revenue Service isn’t involved, you can refuse to provide your Social Security number. But while government agencies still have to provide services if you don’t hand over your SSN, private businesses don’t have to.

That means consumers can be strong-armed into disclosing their SSNs, said Bryan Hjelm, vice-president of product and marketing at CSID, an identity-theft-protection provider in Austin, Texas.

In such situations, Barber said, it might be best to ask the business why a Social Security number is necessary.

“Ask them, ‘What other data could help you feel confident about my identity without giving my SSN?'” Barber said. “If you want to get tough, ask, ‘Are you willing to ensure that you will cover liability and even my losses in time and money if the SSN you collect is compromised?'”

Read Also: How To Name Change On Social Security Card

When You Don’t Have To Provide Your Sin

Some private-sector organizations may ask for your SIN. This practice is strongly discouraged, but it is not illegal.

Here are examples of when you don’t have to give your SIN:

  • proving your identity
  • completing a job application before you get the job
  • completing an application to rent a property
  • negotiating a lease with a landlord
  • completing a credit card application
  • cashing a cheque
  • applying to a university or college

Its Ultimately About Trust

Four times you shouldnt give out your Social Security number

Employers primarily run background checks as a baseline for establishing trust with a new employee. While a social security number does not tell the whole story, it provides a crucial foundation for verifying identity and building critical trust, without which any background report is essentially unreliable.

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A Exception For Disclosures Required By Federal Statute

Federal, state, and local agencies may deny an individual a right, benefit, or privilege provided by law because of such individuals refusal to disclose the individuals social security number if the disclosure is required by federal statute.

A key statute that requires the disclosure of social security numbers is the Social Security Act , which expressly permits a state agency to use social security numbers for the purpose of identifying individuals in the administration of any tax, general public assistance, drivers license, or motor vehicle registration law within its jurisdiction, see 42 U.S.C. § 405 . The SSA also permits a state agency to use social security numbers to issue birth certificates and to enforce child support orders, the Secretary of Agriculture to use social security numbers in administering the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, and the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to use them in administering the Federal Crop Insurance Act. See 42 U.S.C. §§ 405, , , .

No Thats Not The Government Calling Threatening To Suspend Your Social Security Number

If you get a call threatening to suspend your Social Security number for alleged illegal activity or a unpaid tax bill just hang up. Its a scam every single time.

The IRS has issued a consumer alert recently about an uptick in a scheme in which crooks pretend to be calling from the Social Security Administration . In fact, a number of government agencies are concerned about what they call impostor scams. The goal in this con is either to scare people into revealing personal information or swindling them out of money. With your personal information, identity thieves can do a lot of financial harm. They can apply for credit in your name, open utility or mobile phone accounts or even get medical treatment using your health insurance.

Taxpayers should be on the lookout for a surge of evolving phishing emails and telephone scams, the IRS said in its July 2 warning.

In April, the Office of the Inspector General for the SSA issued a fraud advisory warning people about spoofing phone calls in which the caller-ID screen displays the agencys toll-free fraud hotline. But its not the agency calling. In May, the OIG posted another advisory about scammer calls this time displaying the Social Security Advisory Boards telephone number on the caller-ID.

To trick people to pick up the phone, crooks also spoof numbers with local area codes to hide their true location. Its even possible that your neighbors will get a call with your number being used to make them answer.

Recommended Reading: How Much Have I Put In Social Security

B Exception For Laws And Regulations In Effect Before January 1 1975

Federal, state, and local agencies may deny an individual a right, benefit, or privilege provided by law because of such individuals refusal to disclose the individuals social security number if required under statute or regulation adopted prior to January 1, 1975, and used to verify the identity of an individual.

A second exception to the general provisions of section 7 is set out in subsection 7, which grandfathers statutes or regulations in effect before January 1, 1975, and provides that the prohibition on denying a benefit because of an individuals failure to provide a social security number does not apply to those statutes and regulations. SeeSchwier v. Cox, 439 F.3d 1285, 1285-86 grandfather exception did not apply to Georgia voter registration procedures), affg 412 F. Supp. 2d 1266 , remanded by 340 F.3d at 1288-89 McKay v. Thompson, 226 F.3d 752, 755 s exception for systems of records in existence prior to January 1, 1975, where disclosure was required under statute or regulation).

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Complete IDs Social Security Number Monitoring service notifies you of all current and new names or aliases associated with your SSN, and provides clear instructions on what to do next.

Remember, no one can ever be 100% safe from Social Security identity theft. These simple steps can help safeguard your Social Security number and keep you informed. Complete ID can do the monitoring for you for as little as $8.99 per month per person for Executive Members*. .

This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal issues or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

Also Check: How Old Before You Can Collect Social Security

Drawbacks Of Locking Your Ssn

It might not make sense to lock your Social Security number if you dont have reason to believe that your identity has been compromised or that youre at serious risk of identity theft.

  • When your Social Security number is locked, you cant use it either
  • You cant use it to apply for a new job
  • You cant use it to apply for credit
  • Potential lenders wont be able to access your credit report or credit score

How To Change Your Social Security Number

To change your SSN for any reason, you must apply in person at a local Social Security office. You can find its address and phone number using the Social Security Office Locator.

Note that the SSA closed all of its offices for face-to-face business effective March 17, 2020. You can still reach the SSA online and by phone.

After providing a statement explaining why you need a new number, you must provide credible, third-party documentation of your reason, including medical, legal, or police documents regarding identity theft, abuse, or harassment.

You will need to fill out a new Form SS-5, the same one that you may have filled out to apply for a Social Security number and card in the first place. It asks a series of questions, including whether you or someone acting on your behalf ever filed for or received a Social Security number and card before and, if so, under what name.

In addition, you must provide documentation of your U.S. citizenship or legal residency, age, identity, and current SSN. If you changed your name legally in the past, you’ll also need to provide supporting documentation of that.

Read Also: How To Check Your Social Security Earnings Record

Disclosure Of Social Security Number

It shall be unlawful for any Federal, State or local government agency to deny to any individual any right, benefit, or privilege provided by law because of such individuals refusal to disclose his social security account number.

theprovisions of paragraph of this subsection shall not apply with respect to

any disclosure which is required by Federal statute, or

the disclosure of a social security number to any Federal, State, or local agency maintaining a system of records in existence and operating before January 1, 1975, if such disclosure was required under statute or regulation adopted prior to such date to verify the identity of an individual.

Any Federal, State, or local government agency which requests an individual to disclose his social security account number shall inform that individual whether that disclosure is mandatory or voluntary, by what statutory or other authority such number is solicited, and what uses will be made of it. Section 7 of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, 5 U.S.C. § 552a note ).

Although this provision applies beyond federal agencies, it does not apply to: any disclosure which is required by federal statute or any disclosure of a social security number to any federal, state, or local agency maintaining a system of records in existence and operating before January 1, 1975, if such disclosure was required under statute or regulation adopted prior to such date to verify the identity of an individual. See Sec. 7-.

What Information Does The Number Not Provide

VERIFY: Calls about your Social Security number being suspended are not legit

Most significantly, and perhaps surprisingly, criminal records are not tied to SSNs. An individuals criminal charge may or may not include their SSN, so a clean criminal record check using SSN alone is not particularly meaningful. Its a start, but its by no means the whole story. However, using information gleaned from an SSN check that includes names and aliases as well as former addresses, skilled background screeners can search criminal records databases to find evidence of an individuals criminal history. So, while your SSN by itself will not reveal a criminal history, its nonetheless very difficult to run a thorough criminal background check without the additional information provided by a thorough SSN trace.

Also Check: Where Was Your Social Security Number Issued

How To Protect Your Social Security Number

ByFahmida Y. Rashid07 May 2014

Your Social Security number is what an identity theft wants most. Here’s how to protect your SSN, and who doesn’t need to know it.

In 2011, agents from the Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service, along with state and local police, launched Operation Rainmaker, a coordinated effort to bust a criminal ring operating in the Tampa, Florida, area.

Dozens of people were arrested, some of them well into the following year. Jewelry and luxury cars were seized. Many of the suspects were former drug dealers who’d found a more reliable, less risky way of making money identity theft.

The scheme was simple: Gang members and accomplices obtained strangers’ names and Social Security numbers from genealogical websites, medical bills and business records. They electronically filed false tax returns in the victims’ names, and collected the tax refunds before the IRS knew what had happened. An estimated $135 million in refunds was stolen.

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Your Social Security number is the linchpin of your identity. It’s what an identity thief most wants to steal, and the hardest piece of identification to replace. The Social Security Administration re-issues a new number only under extreme circumstances.

For an identity thief, obtaining a stranger’s Social Security number is “like winning a lottery ticket,” said Scott Olson, vice-president of product at Portland, Oregon-based fraud-protection company Iovation.

How To Know If Someone Is Using Your Childs Personal Information

In addition to taking steps to safeguard your childs personal information, keep an eye out for warning signs that someone is using your childs personal information. Here are a few:

  • Youre denied government benefits because someone is already using your childs Social Security number to get those benefits.
  • Someone calls you and says your child has an overdue bill, but its not an account you opened for the child.
  • You get a letter from the IRS that says your child didnt pay income taxes. This could happen if someone used your childs Social Security number on tax forms for a new job.
  • Youre denied a student loan because your child has bad credit. This could happen if someone used your childs Social Security number to get a credit card, open a cell phone account, or set up a utility service and has not paid the bills on time or at all.

Signs of Child Identity Theft

  • Turned down for government benefits
  • Letter from the IRS about taxes your child owes
  • Childs student loan application is denied

Also Check: How Can I Get My Child’s Father Social Security Number

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