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What’s Behind The “Numbers”?
Have you ever wondered how your Social Security Number is created?
We all have a nine digit number that is used by the Social Security Administration, IRS, and employers. Created in 1936, the Social Security number was first designed to track your earning history. We all know that it is also used by financial institutions, insurance companies, courts and creditors.
The secrets to the numbers include: The first three digits are the area number – geographic area where your number is registered. Since 1972, the number has been assigned by your zip code. The next two digits is your birth indicator. The last four digits also known as the serial number, completes the nine digit number. These four digits – you will be asked when doing banking, insurance, credit history, and medical.
When I was in college, your social security number was my student ID. With all the issues of identity theft, by taking on someone else’s ID – it was time for colleges to create their own ID system. Even when I started work – the SS number was on travel reimbursement papers, luckily that has changed now. Some businesses – scrub computers to make sure sensitive numbers are no longer stored on computers.
Be careful about sharing your SSN and any other personal information to deter identity theft. For more information: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft
If your name changes, the Social Security provides those services and more for free. To contact the Social Security Administration -www.ssa.gov/ for your local office.
~Susan Taylor, Family Finance Specialist, who always wondered about the numbers on her Social Security card.