Melissa asked on our blog:
“I have a serious question that’s been bothering me when I fill out certain apps. online. Why is it that some companies ask for your social security number before hiring and/or getting an interview; now to my knowledge I've read somewhere if a company ask for your SSN then it’s a SCAM, so can someone please enlighten me if this statement is accurate or not?”
Hi Melissa - Great question. Some companies will ask for your Social Security number to make sure you meet the minimum age requirement for the position. An example of this would be: Must be 18 or older to apply.
You should use your best judgement when applying for a job that asks you for this information. If it is for a smaller company that you have never heard of, do a quick Internet search to make sure the business is legit before providing this type of information. Try calling the company and explain that you are applying to a job with them, and would like to know how they are going to use your Social Security number.
If you are unsure about a posting on our site, send us the employer's information and a link to the posting you are interested in to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll investigate. We do our very best to keep scammers off the site, but if one got though we want to know so we can fix it.
Please note that if an employer asks you to send them any money, chances are it is a scam. If an employer you’ve never heard of, or never worked for, sends you a check, rip it up and cut off communication with them.
Get more tips for a safe job search in our Security Center.