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Does anyone here use an "alternate" social security number for non-fraudulant purposes?

I do frequently, mostly as a privacy issue as I dont wish my government-issued SS# to have every single piece of information about me from my entire life. A recent post on this forums about a car dealership performing a hard-pull on someone's credit, who wasnt even applying for credit, only reinforces my position in using an alternate social security number for certain non fraudulant purposes.

Examples:

Home Phone Service - I gave an alternate SS#. The phone company was unable to verify my SS# and thus required me to pay a $100 deposit for local service and internet service. I get the deposit back when I close my account provided I have paid them in full. It would only be considered fraud if I gave them a fake SS# for the purposes of defaulting on my payments to them. Provided that I pay my bills on time, I am not committing fraud. Also in this situation, the deposit is the amount of 2 phone bills (since I dont have long distance service and cannot possibly be charged more than $50/month for any reason) - after which time if I defaulted, they would keep my deposit and not be out any money. I accrue 5% interest on my $100 deposit which is paid to me at time of cancellation.

Home Electrical Service - I gave an alternate SS#. The electric company required me to pay a $40 deposit which was the average monthly bill at my apartment. Same deal as above with phone company.

Home Cable TV Service - same as above/ same reasons

As far as I am concerned, the only people who have a legitimate need to know my SS# are my employer (to file taxes) and my banking institutions (Savings & credit). Its my understanding that even if I enter into an agreement with someone and default, and they dont know my SS#, that they can still file against me and it gets added to my credit score as a huge negative hit - so this isnt avoiding that. What it is avoiding is (1) having every single personal detail of my life tied to my SS# (2) having hard credit checks done on me without reason (3) decreases my risk of identity theft by giving out my SS# less frequently to people making $7/hour as a CSR.

I believe there is case law that states you are not legally required to give out your SS# to any non-government official, and giving out a fake number (or a fake name for that matter) is not illegal unless done for purposes of fraud. I invite those with access and skill in Lexis Nexis to confirm this for us (I have neither access nor skill in that field unfortunately).

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ProfessorKev (Apr. 07, 2007 @ 9:53a) |

Suppose I broke into a bank and took some money that wasn't mine, an "alternate income source" That would be swell <img ... (more)

clearanceman (Apr. 07, 2007 @ 10:01p) |

<blockquote><hr>made it a felony to<br>…willfully, knowingly, and with intent to deceive the Commissioner of Social Secu... (more)

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Are you sure you're not using someone else's SSN?

ThursdaysChild said: [Q]Are you sure you're not using someone else's SSN?

Good question that I will attempt to answer with a hypothetical situation:

Suppose I was using someone elses SS# and a hardpull was attempted based on that SS# - which in theory would be harmful to the other person if it did put a hardpull on their account.

Lets say my name is John (SS# 1) and theres a person named Rick (SS# 2). Suppose I (John) decide instead of using my SS#1, I write down SS#2.

If the credit bureau get a report that John, SS#2 did something, they will look into their records and say, "Wait a minute, SS#2 is tied to the name Rick, this must not be proper information, so let discard it and not add it to the file."

Heres a test - find a random issued SS# and apply for a credit card with your name and that real SS# thats attached to someone else. Once the credit bureau gets the request to check that SS#, the CC company will know its not real and it wont work. The Credit Bureau isnt stupid. If John gives Rick's SS# to a car dealership who doesnt need the SS# anyway, and the dealership attempts to run it, it will come up as "Not Valid" but it wont matter because the dealership isnt extending John credit anyway. I dont believe a hardpull can occur until the SS# is validated to the dealership. Otherwise the dealership could just do hardpulls on random SS#s for no reason and ruin everyones credit. Before a hardpull or any info can be attached to a credit bureau file, it probably needs to be validated with Name and DOB.

Just like when I gave a different SS# to the phone company. The phone company first has to validate the SS# to my name before they can continue the credit pull/report request. If that request fails, and the phone company decides to charge me a large deposit, then it didnt effect anyone else because nothing happened to their credit report.

SimpleMoney said: [Q]ThursdaysChild said: [Q]Are you sure you're not using someone else's SSN?

Suppose I was using someone elses SS# and a hardpull was done to their score or information was reported based on that SS#.

Lets say my name is John (SS# 1) and theres a person named Rick (SS# 2). Suppose I (John) decide instead of using my SS#1, I write down SS#2.

If the credit bureau get a report that John, SS#2 did something, they will look into their records and say, "Wait a minute, SS#2 is tied to the name Rick, this must not be proper information, so let discard it and not add it to the file."

Heres a test - find a random issued SS# and apply for a credit card with your name and that real SS# thats attached to someone else. Once the credit bureau gets the request to check that SS#, the CC company will know its not real and it wont work. The Credit Bureau isnt stupid. If John gives Rick's SS# to a car dealership who doesnt need the SS# anyway, and the dealership attempts to run it, it will come up as "Not Valid" but it wont matter because the dealership isnt extending you credit anyway. Just like when I gave a different SS# to the phone company. All the phone company first has to validate the SS# to my name before they can continue the credit pull/report request. If that request fails, and the phone company decides to charge me a large deposit, then it didnt effect anyone else because nothing happened to their credit report.

How do you know for a fact that this hard pull doesn't show up on "Rick's" report? Doesn't seem to me that you can prove for certain that the person who owns your "alternate" SS# isn't getting suspicious pulls on their report.

If you happen to be late on your phone bill or electric payments, you may have a hard time convincing people that you didn't give a fake SS# to commit fraud but to protect your identity.

Did you ask if you could just skip the SSN before you lied?

I have a tax id which I use in place of my SSN for banking purposes. All others get told I don't give out the SSN. Last month I was registering as a patient at a doctor's office. The nice office lady kept telling me that her 'system' wouldn't let me register without an SSN. I told her I'd just have to find a doctor who would rather get paid than to have a piece of information that was none of her business. She suddenly 'found' a way to work around the system 'requirement'.

If a subscriber tries to pull your CR using your name and address and a random SSN, they will receive a copy of your CR. (and the random SSN just might find its way into the CRAs database attached to your name) My TransUnion file used to have my SSN as xxx-yx-xxxx when the real number is xxx-xx-xxxx, and it never stopped subscribers who knew my real SSN from seeing my file.

Instead of providing the telephone provider, cable & utility services with an "alternate"/fake social security number, why not be honest with them up-front and explain your concern about providing them your social security number. if you express to them your willingness to pay deposit money in lieu of providing the social security number, wouldn't it be logical to assume you would have arrived at the same outcome?

Just throwing the thought out there. I think you are walking a fine line with providing an "alternate" social security number when the service providers clearly ask for YOUR personal social security number. When you intentionally provide them false information, I would say it's safe to suggest that many would construe that as fraudulent.

...just my two cents

SimpleMoney said: [Q]I dont wish my government-issued SS# to have every single piece of information about me from my entire life.

Think you're being overly paranoid.

TxAggieJen said: [Q]
How do you know for a fact that this hard pull doesn't show up on "Rick's" report? Doesn't seem to me that you can prove for certain that the person who owns your "alternate" SS# isn't getting suspicious pulls on their report.

If you happen to be late on your phone bill or electric payments, you may have a hard time convincing people that you didn't give a fake SS# to commit fraud but to protect your identity.

I would like to believe that a hard pull cannot be applied to someones report until the SS# and identity is valided. Otherwise, couldnt I start a company, and just do hardpulls on every SS# from 000-00-0000 to 999-99-9999 and ruin everyone's credit? I imagine that before a hardpull can be completed, the company needs to provide name and DOB to the credit bureau. The first check would be to see if the SS# is valid to that name and DOB. If its not valid, then a hard-pull likely cant be done.

As for being late on phone bill or electric payments, those companies required a deposit large enough that my service would be disconnected before that deposit amount would be exceeded by my debt to them. But suppose I was late and did go over the deposit - would that be considered fraud? I did use my real name (to make sure that I could get my deposit back and cash the check) and ethically this is no difference than using a real SS# and defaulting. Either way its "fraud" in that you promised to pay for services that you didnt pay back. I know that I will pay back the bills on time and have 6 months of emergency living expenses so its not very concievable that this could occur to me.

SimpleMoney said: [Q]Suppose I was using someone elses SS# and a hardpull was attempted based on that SS# - which in theory would be harmful to the other person if it did put a hardpull on their account.

IF the SSN you use does happen to be someone else's actual SSN, it could be argued that you're committing credit idetity theft.

I would like to believe in Santa Clause myself.

Yes, a credit report can be pulled without complete information. OP likely has his alternate SSN listed on his credit report under 'other SSNs used', as the person who actually owns the SSN has OPs appearing.


SimpleMoney said: [Q] Otherwise, couldnt I start a company, and just do hardpulls on every SS# from 000-00-0000 to 999-99-9999 and ruin everyone's credit?

You seem to think that SSN is a major factor in the CR lookup process. In reality, it's mostly ignored, as it's very common for a nine digit number to get miskeyed. Your name, DOB, and address are more important in finding the right CR in the database.

There's no way to tell if a certain SSN is used or not. But, you know, if in doubt, play it safe.
Another thing to consider: how about after the pull on another person's credit history, your name and data gets added to that report? That way, you will become visible to the other guy and risk ID theft. Or the guy can become PO'd because you ruined his credit and make you an offer you can't refuse?

What if the SS# was miskeyed as suggested above? That would mean a lot of credit reports have multiple names on them. Think about all the number of times a SS# is input into a computer, and even with a 0.001% error rate, its going to be tens of thousands of mistakes per year.

SimpleMoney said: [Q]
It would only be considered fraud if I gave them a fake SS# for the purposes of defaulting on my payments to them. Provided that I pay my bills on time, I am not committing fraud. Also in this situation, the deposit is the amount of 2 phone bills (since I dont have long distance service and cannot possibly be charged more than $50/month for any reason) - after which time if I defaulted, they would keep my deposit and not be out any money. I accrue 5% interest on my $100 deposit which is paid to me at time of cancellation.


On some of the forms you fill, don't you have to sign something stating that everything you filled in was true?

Hypothetically, what if you fall into hard times and was not able to pay all your utility bills for 3 or 4 months? So it is then (when you default) that it's considered committing fraud?

Something doesn't sound right

Just say you will not give it. End of story. None of these companies need the SSN as a 'requirement' as far as I know. In fact, in y first call with my long distance carrier, they asked me if I was ok giving the SSN and I said no. No issues.

I wouldnt use another made up number as it can easily be someone else's number and I dont want to assume that I am not creating any confusion <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif" border=0>

Always be wary of the law of unintended consequences! Honesty is the better policy.

SimpleMoney said: [Q]What if the SS# was miskeyed as suggested above? That would mean a lot of credit reports have multiple names on them. Think about all the number of times a SS# is input into a computer, and even with a 0.001% error rate, its going to be tens of thousands of mistakes per year.
Yes, many credit reports have errors. Just tell them you're not giving your SSN and pay the deposit. Have you checked your report for the fake SSN you've been giving? Do you use the same one or different ones every time?

I've been wondering this same thing for a while. I have decided from now on I am going to give a different SSN when someone really doesn't need it and refuses to do something without it.

Instead of just making one up and possibly screwing/helping someone else's financial life, try using the number of a dead person. FYI, when you die your SSN is no longer a big secret, you can look up any dead persons SSN. Here's a few:

Richard Nixon - 567-68-0515
Ronald Reagan - 480-07-7456
Pat Tillman - 617-10-9060
George Burns - 568-03-7361

I kind of like the idea of using Nixon's SSN.

http://ssdi.rootsweb.com/

SimpleMoney said: [Q]ThursdaysChild said: [Q]Are you sure you're not using someone else's SSN?

Good question that I will attempt to answer with a hypothetical situation:

Suppose I was using someone elses SS# and a hardpull was attempted based on that SS# - which in theory would be harmful to the other person if it did put a hardpull on their account.

Lets say my name is John (SS# 1) and theres a person named Rick (SS# 2). Suppose I (John) decide instead of using my SS#1, I write down SS#2.

If the credit bureau get a report that John, SS#2 did something, they will look into their records and say, "Wait a minute, SS#2 is tied to the name Rick, this must not be proper information, so let discard it and not add it to the file."

Heres a test - find a random issued SS# and apply for a credit card with your name and that real SS# thats attached to someone else. Once the credit bureau gets the request to check that SS#, the CC company will know its not real and it wont work. The Credit Bureau isnt stupid. If John gives Rick's SS# to a car dealership who doesnt need the SS# anyway, and the dealership attempts to run it, it will come up as "Not Valid" but it wont matter because the dealership isnt extending John credit anyway. I dont believe a hardpull can occur until the SS# is validated to the dealership. Otherwise the dealership could just do hardpulls on random SS#s for no reason and ruin everyones credit. Before a hardpull or any info can be attached to a credit bureau file, it probably needs to be validated with Name and DOB.

Just like when I gave a different SS# to the phone company. The phone company first has to validate the SS# to my name before they can continue the credit pull/report request. If that request fails, and the phone company decides to charge me a large deposit, then it didnt effect anyone else because nothing happened to their credit report.

Oh, since it is not a big deal to use someone else's SSN, why don't you give me your SSN? I don't know your name, so whatever I do won't affect your credit.

ontheprowl said: [Q]Just say you will not give it. End of story. None of these companies need the SSN as a 'requirement' as far as I know. In fact, in y first call with my long distance carrier, they asked me if I was ok giving the SSN and I said no. No issues.

I wouldnt use another made up number as it can easily be someone else's number and I dont want to assume that I am not creating any confusion <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif" border=0>

This happened to me a couple of years ago. i forgot what i was trying to get but they asked me for my SS#. i answered "Why do you need that?" and they skipped it.


g10ny said: [Q]There's no way to tell if a certain SSN is used or not. But, you know, if in doubt, play it safe.
Another thing to consider: how about after the pull on another person's credit history, your name and data gets added to that report? That way, you will become visible to the other guy and risk ID theft. Or the guy can become PO'd because you ruined his credit and make you an offer you can't refuse?

use 000-00-0000 or 111-11-1111?

OP since when do you believe that giving out a fake SSN is ok UNLESS you default?

Where do you get this information, and more improtantly , why do you spread this BS, encouraging others to copycat you bc they saw someone post that its OK unless you default

I have had 2 places deny me service for refusing to give a SS#, one was a dentists office that I waited 2 months to make an appointment and drove 1 hour (my insurance wasnt good so this was the closest one) and took a day off work so I had no choice but to give a fake SS# in that case. It was a 5 minute argument with the receptionist after which I decided the easiest route was to invent one - and thats how this whole thing started. The other was less confrontational and I recall just leaving.

The law states that no business can require that you provide a SS# to them, however they have the right to deny you service if you refuse.

If you have a SSN, are you eligible for a TIN that is different from you SSN? TINs start with 9 as I know.

SUCKISSTAPLES said: [Q]OP since when do you believe that giving out a fake SSN is ok UNLESS you default?

Where do you get this information, and more improtantly , why do you spread this BS, encouraging others to copycat you bc they saw someone post that its OK unless you default

I know for a fact that its legal to use any name you want provided it is not used for fraud. I can tell a girl I meet in the bar that my name is Micheal Jackson and not be arrested for it. I can tell the Pizza place that my name is Micheal Jackson and pay in cash and thats legal. It is illegal to tell someone my name is Micheal Jackson and to give me a bunch of money for business pruposes and then not return on promises because thats fraud. Just using a fake name in a business is not illegal. Writers use pen-names all the time. Its not illegal unless fraud is committed.

The SS# is an official government number for the purposes of providing government services (SSI). Private businesses decided they could use this number for the purposes of making money - and are thus there is no law forcing you to provide your SS# to them.

In fact, the government itself is restricted in asking you for your SS# and federal law requires that they tell you what they will use it for and disclose when its required by law and when not. Example the local government library cannot require your SS#.

So how would I take the leap that its OK to use a SS# that isnt mine for a private business? I would argue that its the same as my name. I can give any name I want to a business provided I am not doing it for the purposes of fraud. There has to be intent to commit fraid for that to occur. If the business wants to use my SS# for ID purposes then its just like my name - I can give anything I want unless theres intent to commit fraud.

Its not my fault or responsiblity that private businesses and large corperations got together and decided that to maximize profits, they would use an official government issued number for private business purposes.

Heres how it would be fraud to give a fake SS#:

1) If I have terrible credit because of multiple BKs in my lifetime, and give a fake SS# so I can get a loan at a lower rate than I would get if I used my real SS# - FRAUD

2) If I give a fake name and fake SS# to get home utilities and then not pay forcing them to default and then I just never pay because they dont know my name or SS# and have no consequences. - FRAUD

However if the service provided is the same regardless of my SS# and I fulfill my ends of the obligation, its not fraud. A lawyer might argue that provided the INTENT not to commit fraud didnt exist at the time, then its not fraud even if later the person providing the fake SS# does default. I am not a lawyer and would argue thats unethical regardless of legality and I wouldnt condone that.

How would it be any different other than semantics if I told the utilities company that "I think my SS# is XXX" and they say they cant verify it so they charge me a deposit and then list the SS# given on the account for security purposes - because all 3 of my utilties companies ask for my SS# each time I call. How is it different if I say "This is my SS#" and they cant verify and I get charged a deposit versus "I think this is it but I am not sure" and the CSR inputs it as my SS#. Theres likely not a "box" to check on their computer program to indicate that I said the SS# is probably it, but I forgot. Again, provided I am not intending nor do actually fraud the company, how is this a problem?

Theres only three possibilities here:
1) I give false SS# and hurt the big business (because now they cant track me as well and solicit me with credit card offers)
2) I give real SS# and the big business hurts me (by giving me a hard-pull when one doesnt need to be done)
3) Tell the car dealership you wont give the SS# out and then find a new dealership who might or might not be willing to do business with you (hurts me and hurts dealership due to less business). If its company policy to require a SS# (which I have encountered) then even the local manager wont be able to make an exception in all cases. What if the manager said "its ok just make one up" so that they could complete the deal because it needs to be on the paperwork by company policy. Is that OK? Is there a spot on that dealership application to check off that the manager approved it OK to make a fake SS# up?

SimpleMoney said: [Q]I would like to believe that a hard pull cannot be applied to someones report until the SS# and identity is valided. ... I imagine that before a hardpull can be completed, the company needs to provide name and DOB to the credit bureau. The first check would be to see if the SS# is valid to that name and DOB. If its not valid, then a hard-pull likely cant be done.Just b/c you would like to believe it doesnt mean it is accurate.
You are justifying your action based upon false beliefs.


OP clearly has too much time on his hands. All his opining about what he thinks the law should be are worthless. This isn't a legal forum anyway. In before the lock!<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif" border=0>

I've thought about this before. Now I've seen the feedback. So far so good for SimpleMoney.

It might be OK to not give your SSN to a doctor's office if the insurance doesn't require it.

But if you were to give false SSN, your credibility could be called into serious question if you had to file malpractice lawsuit.

WalStMonky said: [Q]Did you ask if you could just skip the SSN before you lied?

I have a tax id which I use in place of my SSN for banking purposes. All others get told I don't give out the SSN. Last month I was registering as a patient at a doctor's office. The nice office lady kept telling me that her 'system' wouldn't let me register without an SSN. I told her I'd just have to find a doctor who would rather get paid than to have a piece of information that was none of her business. She suddenly 'found' a way to work around the system 'requirement'.

Here is another thought on the subject.

I have the information for a person in CA (I am in PA) because somehow their info got linked with my address. As I built the house I know they did not live here. Regardless, I did a lot of research to make sure it was not an identity theft issue with my SSN. Our numbers are only one off.

From someones typo error... I now have a whole lot of info from someone I do not know. Good thing I am honest or they could be in for a headache. Their credit also sucks... I have half a mind to refer them to the credit sites mentioned here all the time.

If it isn't your ssn do not be fooled that you aren't hurting someone somewhere down the line. You don't want to give them yours... Fine. But don't give them someone elses either.

OP might be the most selfish individual I've met in a while. Don't want to risk your SS so you have the nerve to risk someone else's. I can only hope that you can successfully be prosecuted for identity theft and fraud. Words cannot explain what a low life I believe you are.

faw169 said: [Q]If you have a SSN, are you eligible for a TIN that is different from you SSN? TINs start with 9 as I know.
For an individual, no.

SimpleMoney said: [Q]Does anyone here use an "alternate" social security number for non-fraudulant purposes?
An "alternate" SSN is by itself a fraud, no point discussing its use.

Woolworths. Why that is relevant is left as an excercise to the reader.

This is an incredibly bad idea. All you need to say is "I don't have one" and ask to speak to their supervisor if they balk.

kamalktk said: [Q]Woolworths. Why that is relevant is left as an excercise to the reader.

078-05-1120 LOL! <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif" border=0>

bozo007 said: [Q]faw169 said: [Q]If you have a SSN, are you eligible for a TIN that is different from you SSN? TINs start with 9 as I know.
For an individual, no.

Wrong. Simply wrong. Check www.irs.gov if you are skeptical. There are tons and tons of sole proprieters who have an alternate TIN. They do not necessarily start with the number 9.

BTW, simply lying is not fraud, except in the broadest, most generalized use of the word. The same use of the word that calls telling the hot chick at the bar that you drive a Ferrari and are stupendously rich in order to curry sexual favor fraud. Now, there may indeed be a specific statute stating that lying about one's SSN is a crime. If you know this, I'd encourage you to share.

meditator, a malpractice case which hinged on the credibility of the patient would be a very weak case indeed. So weak I'd think it would be dismissed without too much trouble, if you could even find a lawyer to take the case. But I do agree with the point I believe that you're trying to make. Honesty is always, always the more practical choice in the long run. Sure there might be specific instances when you gain an advantage by lying, like getting that into bed with the hot chick at the bar. But boy can that stuff blow up in your face. This isn't moralism, it's pragmatism.

If you don't want to give someone your SSN, don't give it to them. Just making up a number and representing it as your own is unquestionably unethical in my mind. If that number belongs to someone else it seems to me that you've gone even further and committed identity theft.

Skipping 44 Messages...
[Q]made it a felony to
…willfully, knowingly, and with intent to deceive the Commissioner of Social Security as to his true identity (or the true identity of any other person) furnishes or causes to be furnished false information to the Commissioner of Social Security
CycloneFW Did you even read what it said ?? i dont image he was giving his SS # to the commissoner of social security. i think the power company but not the govt.
And in response to JerseyJay
[Q]Think you're being overly paranoid.
Just because your paranoid doesn't mean that they aren't out to
get you....



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