Maintaining your Social Security number is something we have all been told to keep close, and to be wary of releasing to companies unless absolutely needed. Your Social Security number are a series of numbers that help identify individuals in the United States as either citizens, permanent residents, or temporary workers, for tax reporting purposes. If closely held, this series of numbers provides an easy way for you to identify yourself for various reasons including obtaining bills, loans, applying for jobs, and when attempting to contact any government agency.
While the internet has provided us with a vast amount of knowledge, it has also provided hackers with a way of obtaining our personal data once entered into a database, for credit card processing, or many of the other reasons we use personal information. A website is recently under scrutiny when they began selling Social Security Numbers for $250 dollars each. The website guarantees that as long as the seeker of the Social Security Number has the correct name, last known address, and date of birth of the person they are looking for, they will provide the correct Social Security Number.
The way in which Peopleinfofind.com, the website behind this scheme is able to claim what they are doing is legal is by stating they they provide this information in order to help debt collectors or those who have forgotten their Social recover it or locate an individual. However, the Better Business Bureau has caught on and is now investigating their website. While it is legal for employers to verify an employee’s Social Security Number with the Social Security Administration, attempting to find someone’s Social Security Number through a reverse lookup should be seriously questioned.
Locating Social Security Numbers of deceased individuals or of children cause particular concern. Newly created Social Security Numbers for children are particularly at risk because they do not find out that their identity has been taken until they go to apply for a loan, credit card or other service that requires credit checks. At this point, someone could have incurred thousands of dollars worth of debt over a course of years.
Additionally, families need to make sure that when a family member is deceased, that proper documentation is filed in order for their Social Security Number to be flagged as that of a deceased individual and thus would warrant concern for use. Thus, never give out your Social Security Number in a public place, to schools, as well as anyone who calls and asks you to verify over the phone regarding your proper Social Security Number.