How Can I Find Out If My Social Security Number Has Been Compromised – Is it true that the US government assigns social security numbers based on race? I read something from Tavis Smiley in an email that if you are African-American or another minority, the fifth number in your SSN is even and odd if you are white.
The Social Security “middle number” rumor has been around for a long time, claiming that the federal government helps promote racism. Snopes.com reported that the number allegedly identified black and minority people to mortgage lenders, university admissions officers, employers and others.
How Can I Find Out If My Social Security Number Has Been Compromised
The warnings by email are very true; none of the digits in the social security number have anything to do with race. The only information “hidden” in an SSN is where and when it was issued, according to the Social Security Administration’s website and government audit sources.
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Each SSN consists of nine digits, typically written as AAA-BB-CCCC. The first three-digit field (region number) shows which state was registered in the mailing address of the candidate when the number was issued. The applicant’s mailing address does not have to be the same as the place of residence. Therefore, the area number does not necessarily reflect the applicant’s location.
In general, the assigned numbers start in the northeast and move to the west. So people on the east coast have the lowest number and those on the west coast have the highest number.
The second set of numbers (a grouping of two that includes the supposed “race” digits) shows when the SSN was issued, not to whom, Snopes.com reports. It is not directly related to the year of issue: a 42, for example, does not mean that the number is 1942. Different countries pass this two-digit code at different rates, noted by Snopes.com. Government, but maybe not for everyone.
The number of groups ranges from 01 to 99, but they are not assigned in order. For administrative reasons, the issued group numbers are initially composed of odd numbers from 01 to 09 and then also numbers from 10 to 98, and each area number is assigned to a state. After all the numbers in group 98 of a given area have been issued, the even group 02 to 08 is used, followed by the odd group 11 to 99.
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Snopes.com knows that the odds are 10-to-1 that everyone’s SSN group code is an even number. Considering that the five odd group numbers are issued first, it’s almost a stretch that the SSNs of most people you meet will contain an even group code.
The last four digits (serial number) run consecutively from 0001 to 9999, unique to an individual and is issued in chronological order in each area and group number. So if two neighbors apply for SSNs in the same year, the first five digits of both numbers will be the same. If the application goes to the Social Security Administration at the same time, there will be a one-digit difference, such as 3456 vs. 3457.
Although the numbering system may seem confusing, it can all be summed up simply: The first five digits of the SSN represent the state and year of issue. The last four digits are specific to the individual customer, but are entered randomly, with factors determining when the document is processed. Other than the state of residence at the time of application, nothing about the SSN holder’s identity is encoded into the assigned number.
Even Sécurité Sociale says on its website: “It is true that the application form for an SSN asks for identifying information such as date of birth, place of birth, names of parents and (optionally) the applicant’s race. But none of this identifying information is encoded in the SSN itself – not the person’s date of birth, place of birth or race. Your area,” which tries to remind readers of the importance of keeping an account on websites like the Social Security Administration, the IRS and others before criminals do it for you. The key concept here is that this service only allows one account per social. Security number – which for better or worse is the de facto national identification in the United States. But recently discovered that this is not the case with all federal government sites that are built to help you manage your identity online.
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A reader who recently fell victim to unemployment insurance fraud said he should create an account on the Department of Homeland Security’s MyE-Verify website and place a lock on his Social Security Number (SSN) to minimize this possibility. ID thieves can misuse their identity for future employment fraud.
According to the website, approximately 600,000 employers out of more than 1.9 million employers use E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of new employees. E-Verify’s consumer-facing myE-Verify portal allows users to track and manage work requests made through the E-Verify system. It also developed a “Self Lock” to prevent misuse of the SSN and E-Verify.
Enabling this key assumes that for the next year, if an unauthorized individual attempts to fraudulently use the SSN for work authorization, he or she will not be able to use the SSN in E-Verify, even if the SSN is a work authorization. individually. But in practice, this service actually does little to prevent ID thieves from impersonating you to potential employers.
At the request of a reader who reached out (and in the interest of following my own advice to plant his flag), decided to register for a myE-Verify account. After verifying my email address, I was asked to choose a strong password and select a form of multi-factor authentication (MFA). The most secure MFA option offered (a one-time code generated by an app like Google Authenticator or Authy) was already selected, so I chose that.
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The site asks for my name, address, SSN, date of birth and phone number. I was then asked to choose five questions and answers that I would be asked when I tried to reset my password, such as “In what city/town did you meet your partner”, and “What is the name of your company. paid first work.” I chose a long answer that has nothing to do with the question (yes, this password question is next to useless for security and often the cause of account takeovers, but we’ll get to that in a minute).
Password reset question selected, the site proceeded to ask four, multiple guess “knowledge-based authentication” questions to verify my identity. The US Federal Trade Commission’s primary page on preventing employment-related ID theft says that people who have placed a security freeze on their credit file with the major credit bureaus should lift or unfreeze the freeze before successfully answering these questions at myE-Verify can answer. But I can’t find it, even though my credit file has been frozen at the major bureaus for years.
After successfully answering the KBA questions (every answer was “none of the above”, by the way), the site declared that I had successfully created my account! Then I can see that I have the option to put a “Self Lock” on my SSN in the E-Verify system.
To do that, I have to choose three more questions and challenge answers. The site didn’t explain why it asked me to do this, but I assumed it would prompt me for an answer if I later chose to enter my SSN in E-Verify.
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After selecting and answering this question and clicking the “Lock my SSN” button, the site generated an error message that something went wrong and it could not continue.
Also, logging out and back in showed that the site was actually running and that my SSN was blocked. Enjoy yourself.
But I need to know one more thing: Is there someone else who pretends to be me and creates another account with my SSN, date of birth and address, but on a different email address? With a different browser and internet address I continued to find.
Imagine my surprise when I was able to create a separate account and I just used a different email address (again, the correct answer to all KBA questions is “none of the above”). Upon logging in, I noticed that my SSN was indeed locked in E-Verify. So I chose to open it.
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Does the system answer any of the challenge questions I created earlier? No. Just reported that my SSN is now unlocked. Logging out and back to the original account I created (again on a different IP and browser) confirmed that my SSN is not locked.
Of course, if the E-Verify system allows multiple accounts to be created with the same name, address, phone number, SSN, and date of birth, this is less than ideal and somewhat defeats the purpose of creating one for protection purposes.
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