The World Wide Web has become an effective tool in helping people find out information on their family, track down long lost friends or family members, and even allow them to search for a person’s public records and other information. Due to the fact that in most cases it is legal to search for public records (I.E. date of birth, residential location, phone number, marriage/divorce records, etc.), you may be concerned that someone may be able to find out one of your most personal forms of identification online – Your Social Security number (SSN). lost social security card while traveling
Firstly, before you work yourself into a state of panic, you should know that it is illegal to provide someone’s SSN in the search results of an online people finder investigation. Furthermore, a Social Security number is not considered public record information. It is illegal for anyone to sell SSN information.
In fact, because of many instances of identity theft that have occurred in the past few years, a legislation was introduced in the U.S. Congress to forbid the commercial sale of Social Security numbers. That said, simply because selling SSN’s is against the law, this does not mean it doesn’t happen, and that thieves will stop attempting to seek out these numbers to carry out their own nefarious purposes by assuming the identities of others to commit fraud.
Unfortunately, once someone has your Social Security number, it is not difficult for them to assume your identity and access your credit or bank accounts, and any other personal information. In addition, an identity thief can create new bank and credit accounts in your name, or use your number for other purposes such as medical care or employment.