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  • (01. January 2010., 10:27:49)

Author Topic: Does anyone know any ways to protect social security number?  (Read 5613 times)

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Hello everybody, I have been using my social security number for my taxation purposes. But, I have been recently intimidated by my lawyer that since the crime of identity theft has been on the high I should be careful in using it. I am really concerned about this and need to know whether there are any ways by which we can protect them.

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Re: Does anyone know any ways to protect social security number?
« Reply #1 on: 06. March 2008., 10:01:28 »
Hi Kutan & Welcome to SCF Community. :bih:

Here are a few common protection advices (California, but most of this advices is same for other states):

Should I disclose my Social Security number over the Internet?

When you use the Internet, you may find Web sites that require your SSN when, for example, you apply for a credit card online or seek an insurance quote. We advise that you take extra precautions to determine that your personal data is transmitted securely and that it’s stored safely by the online business. Make sure you have the latest anti-virus and spyware software installed on your computer ( You will find a loot of useuful information, programs etc. here at SCF Board just surf & read! ).  ;)

Only conduct  business transactions with well-known, reputable companies. Look for the closed padlock symbol on the bottom of the page that indicates it is a secure connection. Click on  the padlock to determine if the security certificate is up-to-date.

Read the company’s privacy policy to learn how it safeguards your  personal data. If necessary, call the company and talk  with an individual who is knowledgeable about the firm’s security practices. Do not conduct business with the company if it does not appear to protect its customers’ data. For more online shopping tips, read the our Fact Sheet 23, .

Beware of spam (unsolicited e-mail messages) that asks for your SSN  or other personal information. Many  people receive e-mail messages that appear to be from their Internet Service Provider, (for example AOL or Yahoo), from a government agency like the Internal Revenue Service,  from a bank, Amazon, eBay, or PayPal. The message typically  says that the company or agency is updating its records or has detected fraudulent activity with your account and needs  personal information from you, such as your  Social Security number, account number, password, mother’s maiden name, and so on. It may direct you to an official-looking Web site through a link contained in the message.

Do not respond to such messages! These are called “phishing” scams.  Although they appear to be legitimate, these messages and Web sites are  scams to get your personal information. No reputable company or government agency sends e-mail messages asking for sensitive personal data. For more information, visit the following Web site: .

How can I protect my Social Security number?

Adopt a policy of not giving out your SSN unless you are convinced it’s required or is to your benefit.  Ask them to show you why it is needed. Resist merchants' requests to write your SSN on your checks. Explain  that you could become a victim of fraud if someone were to use your SSN and account number to gain access to your bank or credit accounts or to open new accounts in your name.

Never print your Social Security number on your checks, business cards, address labels or other identifying information.

Do not carry your SSN card in your wallet except for situations when it is required, such as the first day of a new job. If possible, do not carry any items in your wallet that include your SSN, such as insurance cards, except when they are needed to receive healthcare services. Your wallet could be lost or stolen, resulting in your SSN being vulnerable to fraudulent use. 

A California law places restrictions on the display and transmission of SSNs by companies. For more information, read the California Office of Privacy Protection guide on SSN “recommended practices,” at

If you feel that you must carry a health insurance card that includes your SSN or a Medicare card with you at all times, photocopy the original card and cut it down to wallet size. Then blacken out or cut out the last four digits of the SSN on the copy. Carry the copy with you rather than the actual card.

Pay attention to your Social Security Personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement (PEBES). The Social Security Administration (SSA) mails it to you each year about three months before your birthday. Be sure the information in the file is correct. You can also contact the SSA at (800) 772-1213 or to learn how to obtain this free report.

If incorrect information is recorded, contact the SSA immediately. Someone may be fraudulently using your SSN for employment purposes. The Social Security Administration’s fraud department can be reached at (800) 269-0271. Its Web site is

Order a copy of your free credit reports each year by calling 1-877-322-8228 and using the automated telephone system to process your request. If you are a victim of identity theft, the credit report will likely contain evidence of credit or banking fraud committed using your name and SSN. It will also show other SSNs or names associated with you. (See PRC Fact Sheet 6 on credit reporting, For more information on free credit reports, visit

If a private business requests your SSN:
Leave the space for the SSN on the form blank or write "refused" or “N/A” in that space.

Speak to someone in  management or write to the business and explain why you do not want your SSN used to identify you. If you don’t receive satisfaction from the first person you contact, go to someone in the organization with more authority.

Insist that the company document its policy of why they are requiring a SSN. If a written policy cannot be found or too much time is taken looking for one, maybe the business will  allow you to use an alternate number.

Ask why your SSN is requested and suggest alternatives like using your driver’s license number (except if your driver’s license number is the SSN and you haven’t yet obtained a different number from your Department of Motor Vehicles). 

If the company insists on having your SSN, explain that you will take your business elsewhere. If the company persists, follow through on your promise. (In California, utilities cannot deny you service if you refuse to provide your SSN. However, a deposit may be required if you do not provide the information. )
If your employer releases or displays your SSN, explain why you disapprove of this practice. Some employers do not treat SSNs as confidential information. They may be willing to change their policy when they understand the twin dangers of invasion of privacy and potential for fraud. As explained above, a California law places restrictions on the display and transmission of SSNs by companies.

If your bank, credit union or other financial service provider uses your Social Security number as a personal identification number (PIN) or as the identifier for banking by phone or the Internet, write a letter of complaint. Demand to have a different PIN and/or identification number assigned. Explain why the SSN is an extremely poor choice for a password or security code. If you use the last four digits of your SSN as your PIN for ATM and other banking or credit transactions, change it to something else, but not to a common number such as your birthdate, telephone number, or ZIP code.

If your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles still uses the SSN as the driver’s license number, ask for an alternate number. Federal law now requires state Motor Vehicles departments to use a number other than the SSN for the driver’s license number. (See above.)

If you fear your SSN has gotten into the wrong hands, take the following steps to reduce the risk of new accounts being opened in your name:

Place a 90-day fraud alert on your credit reports by calling one of the three credit bureaus: TransUnion (800) 680-7289; Equifax (888) 766-0008; Experian (888) 397-3742.

Monitor your credit reports very closely. Placing the fraud alert allows you to order a free credit report within 90 days.

If you have evidence of actual or attempted identity theft, additional steps are needed, such as notifying the police and the Federal Trade Commission. See our Fact Sheet 17(a) “Identity Theft: What to Do if It Happens to You,” .

If you have a military identification card or receive SSI, MediCal, or MediCare benefits, your ID card displays your SSN and exposes you to the risk of identity theft. Complain to your Congressional representative and to your U.S. Senators and demand that they pass laws prohibiting that practice.

(Copyright by Privacy Rights Clearinghouse/UCAN)

Hope this will help you (red marked things are most important), if you have any additional question we will be glad to help you!?




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Re: Does anyone know any ways to protect social security number?
« Reply #2 on: 07. March 2008., 03:58:09 »
The word you say is absolutely striking. The situations of identity theft are really increasing and it was only a few days that my friend had been a victim of this. That is when he was advised by his well-wishers to enroll for LifeLock. He had enquired with them and the services they offer are really a plus point in making us secure about our personal details. I too assume that his decision is right to go for such a deal as he is now very cautious about his details. I myself will be taking a step in the same way and advice you to do the same.


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Re: Does anyone know any ways to protect social security number?
« Reply #3 on: 07. March 2008., 09:16:07 »
Hi Revoluter,

can you provide us some more information about LifeLock, your experiences?




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