Q: I got an email that says it’s from Social Security, but I’m not so sure. They want me to reply with my Social Security number, date of birth, and mother’s maiden name for “verification.” Did it really come from Social Security?
A: No. Social Security will not send you an email asking you to share your personal information, such as your Social Security number, date of birth, or other private information. Beware of such scams — they’re after your information so they can use it for their own benefit. If you have any questions about correspondence you receive from Social Security, contact the local Social Security office or call 800-772-1213 (TTY 800-325-0778) to ask if the agency needs information.
Q: I have my own small business and I’m hiring a few employees. How can I recognize a valid Social Security card?
A: There are more than 50 different versions of the Social Security card, all of which are valid. Although there are several versions of the card in circulation, all prior versions of the card are valid. The number is what is most important. The best way for employers to verify a name and Social Security number is to use the free Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS). Once you register for Business Services Online at www.socialsecurity.gov/bso, you can start using SSNVS. It allows quick verification whether a person’s name and number match Social Security’s records.
Send questions to Robert Fenn, Social Security Administration, Second Floor, Federal Building, 2 S. Main St., Akron, OH 44308. Fax: 330-375-5616 or email: Robert.Fenn@ssa.gov.