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When should I provide my Social Security number?

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Your employer and financial institution will likely need your SSN for wage and tax reporting purposes. Other businesses may ask you for your SSN to do a credit check, like when you apply for a car loan. Sometimes, however, they simply want your SSN for general record keeping. If someone asks for your SSN, ask the following questions:

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  • Why do you need it?
  • How will it be used?
  • How do you protect it from being stolen?
  • What will happen if I don't give it to you?

If you don't provide your SSN, some businesses may not provide you with the service or benefit you want. Getting satisfactory answers to your questions, though, will help you to decide whether you want to share your SSN with the business.

www.consumer.gov

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