Last Four Digits of Your Social Security Number

by Radek M. Gadek · 7 comments

A great identity theft prevention feature that many corporation started using is the utilization of the last four digits of your social security number. Your social security number often shows up on your credit reports, billing statements, credit and loan applications, and so on.

Social Security Number Use in The Past

In the past, companies you did business with would prominently print your account number, often your social security number, on your bills or applications. Remember those days? These were the times when identity theft was a novel and unknown concept. Some people would even have name tags with their employee id on it, and yes, it was often their social security number.

Last Four Digits of the Social Security Number Applied More Often

In the recent times, this started to change as identity theft became more rampant. You find very rarely instances of social security number use among the big companies that consumers do business with. Often, they assign a random id number to your file, rather than assigning a full social security number. Some companies tend to use the last 4 digits of your social to verify your identity, and in my opinion, this is a great step forward.

Social Security Number Not Yet Protected By All

However, a lot of smaller companies still use the full social security number to keep records. In turn, those businesses are often not worried, not knowing, or not caring. In any instance, this is a big problem for millions of people who do business with the smaller companies as the risk of identity theft increases drastically. Whenever I have done identity theft assessments the biggest concern of mine was the number of files with full arsenal of identifying information being placed on desks with public access. This happens in all companies alike, but for the most part, it is the smaller companies that lack the prevention initiatives.

Prevent Identity Theft and Social Security Theft

So what can you do to prevent identity theft? Ask the companies that use your social security number to assign a different account number. Make sure it is something that doesn’t identify you to the rest of the world, but something only you and the company know. If they still “have to” use your social security number make certain that they only use the last four digits. Also, when doing business with small and big companies ask them what identity theft initiatives are in place to protect you from identity theft. If they are clueless, send them over to my blog. Perhaps, it might be of good use to them as this blog features business identity section as well.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Hina August 18, 2010 at 5:28 am

If someone knows our Date of birth, name, address and last four digits of ssn, can they retrieve whole ssn or is the information they possess enough for them to carry out identity theft?

Radek M. Gadek November 16, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Perhaps not on a moment’s notice, but they have quite enough information about you for them to WANT TO do so.

ifcgroup March 3, 2011 at 8:05 am

if someone has last 4 digits of social and birthdate, should i be worried?

Anon May 9, 2011 at 8:46 pm

DO NOT give ANY DIGITS of your SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER to ANYONE online!
If you need to give the last 4 be sure the company is large and 100% legitimate.

A conartist (Confidence Artist) can get the first 3 from your location the middle 2 can be brute-forced in 99 tries. SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS ARE HORRIBLE

Sometimes all they need is your ssn name age and address. One scammer has my name age address ssn and what I look like. I have to change my entire identity which could take more than 2 years :-C

mae August 5, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Can someone have the same last 4 digits of a social security number even tho the other numbers are different?

Radek M. Gadek September 10, 2011 at 8:21 am

It’s possible.

Cindy October 24, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Is it legal for a business enterprise to publish a person’s last four digits of their Social Security
Number on Line in offering a Court Case File for sale? This includes Full Name with the Social Security information!

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