For most international coming into the U.S wonder what the Social Security Number stands for and what it does. Most of the incoming citizens and a majority of those born and raised in the United States do not appreciate the importance of the Social Security Number (SSN) and its role in the prevention of identity theft.
What is Social Security Number?
The Social Security Number has nine digits and it is issued to all citizens who reside and work in the United States, the temporary and the permanent residents. Primarily, the SSN is given with the aim of tracking a citizen’s income for taxation. The social security number is in the format of XXX-XX-XXXX, where the first three digits indicate the area of issuance, the two in the middle are for administrative purposes and have a specific pattern, the last four are the serial number.
Why Is It Important?
The SSN is a vital component in the identification of any person living and working in the United States. It should, therefore, be kept private and only given for reasons such as:
Registering and filing tax returns
Enrolling for Medicare
Getting a driver’s license
Applying for a passport
Getting certain types of public assistance
Calculating social security benefits
Opening an account in financial institutions
When applying for a federal loan among other things
Quick Note: Non-citizens who lack social security number are exempt from giving the SSN in various instances or situations, such as getting a driver’s license, that may typically require the social security number.
SSN can be used in identify theft hence why the personnel of the organizations and institutions that require employees to submit their social security number are expected to keep such details private. The law deems the action of such individuals, the distribution or use of the social security number under their stewardship, as fraudulent.
If asked by asked to give your SSN, it is wise to state the last four digits only, which are your serial number used to identify you. The full social security number should be private. It should not be given to anyone other than the legally recognized organizations and financial institutions.
The social security number is used to track the personal information of US citizens, especially the immigration and financial-related data like rental history, credit records, and driving history. Given such facts, the social security number is a necessity because it is part and parcel of the life of anyone working and residing in the United States. The government will rely on the SSN to identify and track different details of a citizen.
Scrupulous individuals out to profit from the sweat of others can steal an individual’s identity if they know their Date of Birth and their Social Security Number. For instance, with such information, they can call a bank and give it claiming to be the valid owners of that information and request to transfer or withdraw money. The same tactic can be used for other fraudulent reasons that have far-reaching implications. As such, the SSN should be kept private and guarded; as such, it is not advisable to always have the Social security card around with you. Visit here to know more on SSN.