Don’t Give Out your Social Security Number Just Because Someone Asks

Posted on 02. Oct, 2017 by in Community, Community Education & Awareness, Information & Referral, News


According to the Social Security Administration, you are not required to give out your SSN except to employers and financial institutions, which use them for tax reporting purposes.

“Giving the number is voluntary even when asked for the number directly,” SSA  If requested, the Administration suggests that consumers ask why and how the number is needed, what happens if they refuse to provide it, and whether there’s a law requiring them to give it.

“The answers to these questions can help people decide if they want to give out their SSN,” The decision is theirs. However, they should know that refusing to give the number might mean doing without the purchase or service for which the number was requested.”

The obvious problem with this, however, is that now another identification system needs to be put in place to replace the SSN. That new system would also need to be secured and will likely face similar challenges.

But new technology like blockchain could provide a solution. Estonia, for instance, has established a digital identity system for its citizens. For now, though, it is important to practice good credit hygiene and utilize on a regular basis. Experts recommend pulling one credit report every four months to make sure nothing fishy is going on.

Ethan Wolff-Mann