Guard This With Your Life

Guard This With Your Life

There is a nine digit number that is so important. Of course, I am talking about your Social Security Number (SSN). It seems like more people are asking you to give them your SSN. The people seem valid, so you may not have a problem giving them your SSN. In fact, you may think that you have to give them your SSN. However, you do not always have to give your SSN just because someone asks for it. With identity theft on the rise, you may not want to give out your SSN. Read more about identity theft here. We are going to discuss when you do not have to give out your SSN.

1. Doctor's Office

Completing forms is a common request when we visit the doctor. A request for your SSN is also common. However, you do not need to give your SSN. Your doctor should have all they need when you give your name, address, and information related to your medical insurance provider. The exception is if you have Medicare or other federally sponsored health care. Otherwise, you can leave that space blank.

2. College Applications

Colleges require that you complete an application for admission. However, they cannot require you to provide your SSN to prove your identity. If it is necessary to prove your identity, you can use your birth certificate and/or your passport. It's a different story if you are applying for financial aid, loans, and scholarships. You will be required to provide your SSN for these because it will help to confirm your income and/or credit score.

3. Retail Stores and Supermarkets 

Rewards cards have become very popular in retail stores and supermarkets. They can be used to get discounts on various items. Retail stores and supermarkets rewards programs do not need your credit score. Therefore, you do not need to provide your SSN in order to enroll in a rewards program.

You will to need to provide your SSN when applying for a credit card, completing tax returns, signing up for state and federal benefits, and applying for a driver's license. If you are asked to provide your SSN, but you are not comfortable doing so then you should ask these questions:

  1. Why do your need it?
  2. What will you use it for?
  3. Do you accept any other identification?
  4. What will happen if I do not provide my SSN?

Make sure you keep your Social Security card in a safe place and make sure you guard your SSN. This will help to protect your identity and to guard you from unnecessary pain and suffering related to identity theft. You cannot be too careful when it comes to protecting your identity. All the best!

Note: Was your information part of the Equifax data breach? Even if you are not sure, click here to find out if it was and how to file a claim and get at least $125 as part of the settlement. 

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