Who Can Ask About Your Social Security Number?


There is a dramatic expansion in identity theft, and everyone is aware of it, and this has resulted in several changes to the list of businesses and people who are entitled legally to request a social security number.  Earlier people used never to hesitate to provide their social security numbers. Still, now the scenario has changed, and you must take precautions and must know when it is the right condition to provide your social security numbers.  People with the wrong intentions are taking full advantage of the naive, and as a result, they are becoming the victim of identity theft.  Even the federal government has taken precautionary measures and making people aware of how to avoid identity theft. In the year 2006, the identity theft force has been assigned to look into the matter seriously. The first recommendation is a decrease of using your social security number unnecessary. There are several other steps taken to make unnecessary use of a social security number by overcoming the habits and old procedures.

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Who can ask your social security number?
As a responsible citizen, you must know everything about who can ask your social security number and to whom you must provide it so that you can eliminate the risk of identity theft.  According to the federal government and mandatory laws
  • State department of tax authorities
  • Motor vehicles
  • Financial institutions

Other governmental agencies can request your social security number as an identity proof. The privacy act of 1974 also needs all the government agencies at the federal level and state level disclose to every individual whether it is essential for them to submit your SSN and details on the utilization of the information, and what authority or law needs its use.
Also, it is essential to put into consideration that no government institution will ever deny an individual with the government benefit or service to provide your social security number until a law specifically needs it
There are no restrictions to provide your social security number legally to any business unless
You will be participating in any financial transactions that need notifications to the IRS
You are initiating any transaction which is subjected to government customer identification program rules.
If an individual is not willing to provide his/her social security number, then the business can refuse to do business with you. Still, no law present prevents any company from asking your social security number. Thus, you need to be alert and react wisely. Businesses that need your SSN for legal purposes including
  • Credit card companies
  • Financial institutions like banks
  • Insurance companies

There are many others like credit reporting agencies and any company that sells services and products that needs to provide notification to IRS, including real estate buy, investment advisors, automobile purchase, and others. It is also essential to keep in mind that once any business has your SSN, then there are not many restrictions on what they can do with your social security number. This means you must only share your social security information when it is required. Also, you must be careful when and why you are asking it because one wrong move can make you a victim of identity theft. 

When to avoid using your SSN?

According to Federal law, anyone can ask you about your social security number, but this does not mean that you have to provide it to anyone who is asking for this significant number. To prevent any identity theft, you must infrequently use the social security number. It would be best if you always asked questions to the people who are asking you with this critical and sensitive number. You must ask who they are and why they are asking you with your social security number. It would help if you also double-checked who and why they need a social security number.
For instance, the majority of medical providers ask people with a social security number. Still, you can leave the column blank in your medical paperwork, and no one will ask you why you have not filled this column. There is information that can be used for verification, and to keep the records, it is not always necessary to provide your social security number.
Also, you must not carry your SSN card with you unless it is essential for you. You must only take it when it is required because losing it can be great trouble for you. For instance, you are going for an interview, and it is essential to show your social security number as proof of the United States citizen. Though it is not necessary to reveal your SSN, your passport can also be used if you are not comfortable providing your social security number. Many people keep their social security cards in a locker because they know its importance and fear losing it. Once a thief gets hold on your SSN, he can use it in many, and illegal activities, which will put you in horrible situations and consequences are not going to be in your favor. This hassle can be prevented by knowing when and why you must use your SSN. Your social security number is not just a number. Still, all your details are linked with it, and anyone can use it to apply for a credit card,  get a job, get a loan or receive healthcare in your name or potentially a massive identity theft problem can be created using your nine digits social security number.
Now you know the importance of your social security number, so make sure that you keep it in the safest place in your house. Also, you must retain all the documents secure that is having your social security number on it. Also, safeguard any electronic material on your devices, especially when you are carrying it around or traveling. These are the situations when people lose their devices as well as their essential documents.