Should I Put My Social Security Number on a Job Application?

job interview 150x150 Should I Put My Social Security Number on a Job Application?You’ve been laid off. Your full-time job now is looking for a full-time job. Naturally, you turn to the Internet.

Wow, there’s something in your field on Craigslist. It’s recent. The salary looks good. All you have to do is email them…and provide your social security number.


First, check out the company. Go to trusted websites like or Google this company’s name and the word “scam,” “fraud,” “rip-off” or “government action.” Go to domain name registries and search for the company. Check with your Secretary of State and other business licensing entities.

Remember: Until someone is about to hire you, they have no need for your social security number. If they say they need it for a background check, the job offer can be made contingent on a clean report.

The BBB suggests that the safest option for job-seeking consumers is this: Never provide your SSN on a job application until you have a verifiable job offer from a company you trust.

Thanks to Bruce Gadansky of the Louisville, Kentucky BBB for this blog idea! Bruce, we love how you always use the word “knucklehead” when describing scammers.

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About Holly Doering

Holly Doering has worked for the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Washington, North Idaho, and Montana for half a decade. Her areas of expertise include the CORE Values Program (Character, Optimism, Respect, Ethics) for Teens and Charity Review as well as writing and editing. Prior to that, she has written for two newspapers, a local magazine, and taught English at the community college. She is the proud author of a short story in ZYZZYVA literary magazine and has had good luck publishing lots of poetry. Each year she rolls up her sleeves and wades into the autumn Nanowrimo writing madness and has several unfinished novels to her credit.