Individuals in the United States use their Social Security number (SSN) to verify their identity when applying for jobs. This unique nine-digit number is also used to track an individual’s earnings.
SSA scammers are reported to contact people and say their SSN for sale has been linked to criminal activity and is suspended, requiring them to pay a fee to reactivate it.
1. It’s illegal
The Social Security Administration states that it is a crime to provide false information about your identity. This includes giving a fake Social Security number to a bank in order to get a loan or open an account. Using someone else’s Social Security number for employment purposes is also against the law.
This is especially problematic for undocumented workers who may be able to work for years without anyone ever noticing that their name and SSN do not match up. This can lead to serious problems in tax reporting and even deportation.
To help combat this problem, the Social Security Office of Inspector General has issued a scam alert that warns employers to watch out for letters from the SSA claiming that the worker’s SSN has been suspended due to criminal activity. These fake letters often closely resemble official letterhead from the SSA and other government agencies. This scam is just one of many that target people by posing as government officials to steal money and personal information. Thankfully, this type of fraud is relatively rare, but it’s important to keep an eye out for any unusual activity on your credit reports or bank accounts.
2. It’s not a good idea
Your Social Security number is one of the most important pieces of information you’ll ever have. It’s also one of the most difficult to verify, making it a target for identity thieves and fraudsters.
If someone uses your SSN, they can open credit and bank accounts, get loans, apply for work, steal your tax refunds, and even steal your government benefits. Luckily, there are ways to protect your Social Security number from theft.
A common way to prevent SSN theft is to check your credit reports regularly and make sure that your Social Security number hasn’t been used by anyone else. You can also set up alerts on your bank accounts and credit card accounts so that you’ll be notified when unusual activity occurs.
You should also be wary of calls from people claiming to be from the Social Security Administration. These scammers often claim that your number has been linked to a crime or that it’s suspended and ask for a fee to reactivate it or issue you a new number. These calls are usually fake and can be reported to the SSA as such.
3. It’s not a good idea for immigrants
Many businesses ask for a Social Security number before providing service. This is because the Social Security Administration collects payroll taxes, a percentage of a salaried worker’s pay that goes to both the employer and employee and primarily funds Social Security payouts.
While it is possible for someone to work using another person’s Social Security number, this is considered identity theft and can lead to a criminal conviction. Under a previous ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court, if a non-citizen commits this crime, they could be deported immediately.
Frank says that people whose numbers are used fraudulently often don’t know they’ve been compromised because the information doesn’t show up on credit reports or annual Social Security statements. This is why she thinks that recent court rulings that diminish punishments for illegal immigrants who use other’s SSNs are dangerous. She argues that this can endanger the rightful owners of these numbers, because they may not realize their identities have been stolen until they are ready to retire and file their taxes. It also exposes employers to the risk of fraud because they may not be able to verify that workers are authorized to be there.
4. It’s not a good idea for US born children
The Social Security number is the key to getting a job and reporting earnings to the IRS. If someone uses a fake number for work, they are likely to be caught. They may be required to pay taxes for income they didn’t earn and their employer might report the fraud to the IRS.
Children are especially vulnerable to identity theft. They usually don’t have credit reports, so thieves can use their numbers to apply for loans and open accounts. This can go undetected for years. Then, when the child is older and tries to get a credit card or a job, they discover that their number has already been used by another person.
Some immigrants may try to sell or rent their US born children’s SSNs, but this is a bad idea. It’s illegal and could harm the child’s future in the United States. It can also hurt their chances of obtaining legal status or becoming a citizen. In addition, it can affect their medical records. The signature on the SSN should match other documents, and it should look genuine.
5. It’s not a good idea for employers
Using a fake Social Security number is never a good idea. While it may not be illegal, it can lead to fraud and identity theft. In addition, it can also impact your credit score.
Employers require applicants to provide their Social Security numbers when they apply for a job. This is because the employer must withhold payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare from employees’ paychecks. Therefore, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has strict rules to protect the integrity of the system.
The SSA’s Office of Inspector General recently issued a scam alert regarding a new type of Social Security number scheme. In this scam, a caller pretends to be from the SSA and claims that your Social Security number has been linked to criminal activity. The caller then asks you to pay a fee to reactivate or get a new number.
Despite the strict rules, there are some people who still use a fake Social Security number. This is because there are a variety of reasons why it might be necessary, including immigration status and work authorization. However, employers should never take adverse action against an employee based on their SSN or name not matching government records.