There are a variety of reasons that businesses and individuals may need to find a person’s social security number. There are online resources available that can help track down that information, but it is only legal for specific purposes. Before you begin investigating an individual’s SSN, make sure that your reason for doing so is legal, otherwise, you may be prosecuted for identity theft and/or fraud. Most of the cases where it is considered legally permissible involve work-related purposes or legal investigative purposes. A social security number may be searched for official government work, identity theft investigations, an identity fraud investigation, if it is necessary for a civil or criminal investigation or if it is requested by a competent court. These situations are usually for recovery of debt collection, judgment recovery, child support claims, and garnishment of wages. Sometimes, an SSN is also legally required in order to file a 1099 or other IRS tax form. Learn more about this at get or replace a social security card.
If the reason is for approved purposes, then it is perfectly legal. However, it is highly illegal to request someone’s social security number information for fraudulent, illegal or general snooping and curiosity. Unfortunately, common cases of illegal use of a person’s social security number are situations involving identity theft, stalking and other invasions of privacy. As long as you the reason you need to find a social security number is legal, it is often as simple as finding a reputable online company that provides investigation resources. A legal investigative business will take the privacy and protection of people’s personal information quite seriously, so you will need to provide specific information and offer proof of your purpose before you will be given any information. A decent investigative company should require that you talk to them over the phone to help verify that you are doing a legal search. Do not, under any circumstance, try to find a social security number for any illegal purposes. If you attempt to purchase that information and your request is discovered to be for illegal purposes, you can be turned over to law enforcement, potentially resulting in legal prosecution.