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Credit Scoring Blunders:
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Identity Theft:
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Identity Theft Basics
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WHO CAN ASK FOR YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER?
Any business can ask for your Social Security number. However there are only a few sources that have the right to insist on you giving them your SSN. For example, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the IRS and welfare departments can all demand your SSN when conducting business with them. Also, whenever you are participating in any sort of transaction that involves taxes, your SSN is going to be required by the broker, bank or employer that you are working with.

You will also be required to provide your SSN when applying for any type of loan or credit.

Almost every other type of businesses has no legal right to demand your Social Security number.

According to Carolyn Cheezum of the Social Security Administration, "There is no law preventing a business from requesting your Social Security number. However, people don't realize that they can say no.".

A good idea is to request for the acceptance of a different piece of identification. If the business you are working with will not allow this, and you are not 100% comfortable providing them with your SSN,  do not continue your business transaction. Keep in mind that they also have the right to stop refuse your business if you do not provide your SSN.

However, legitimate businesses will continue to do business with you even if you do not provide them with your Social Security Number. For example, LIPA, the Long Island Power Authority, will ask for your SSN when opening an account, but it is not required.

 

Another common place where you will be asked for SSN, but not required to give it, are doctors' offices. You never have to give any doctor or hospital your Social Security number.

Often, companies will utilize a 'question and answer' procedure when people do not wish to provide their SSN. For example, Verizon headquarters in New York says they have a questionnaire that they use to help determine an individual's payment history. The problem with this is the ability for the applicant to be dishonest.

In conclusion, you will be obligated to provide your SSN during any transaction dealing with taxes, as well as dealings with Department of Motor Vehicles, the IRS and welfare departments. Never give your social security number to anyone if you are not 100% certain that there is a good reason to.

You can learn more about how to keep your SSN safe.
 

More helpful information related to identity theft:
Dealing With Identity Theft
Preventing Identity Theft
Computer Viruses


 

 

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