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Social Security Number Scan/Trace

Social Security Number Trace
A Social Security Number Scan reports names and addresses associated with a particular Social Security Number. The report also may show if a Social Security Number is invalid.

A Social Security Number Scan may also be referred to as a SSN Trace or a Person Search.
Why Do a Social Security Number Scan/Trace
A Social Security Number Trace is a great research tool. It provides an independent third-party source of name and address history that can be used when running criminal record checks. Applicants (especially those with something to hide) often do not disclose all of the names they have used or give a complete address history. This makes the Social Security Number Scan critical to any Comprehensive Background Check.

This report may also indicate whether an applicant has provided an invalid Social Security Number, is using someone else's number, etc.

What are the Sources of a Social Security Number Scan?
The primary source of information for a Social Security Number Scan is the header information from credit applications submitted to a Credit Reporting Agency. The name, address, Social Security Number, and employer (no credit information) listed for each credit application are placed into a separate database for later searching. The scan finds all names and addresses in the file associated with a specific Social Security Number.

What are the Weaknesses of a Social Security Number Scan?
The name and address information obtained from credit header records is only as reliable as the information reported to and entered by the credit agencies. Names can be misspelled, social security numbers can be wrong, and addresses can be entered incorrectly. The errors can be mistakes or false information on the original document, misreading of an individual’s handwriting, or data entry errors. Also, if other individuals (such as spouses, parents, children, roommates, etc.) jointly apply for credit, these other names and associated address histories may appear under one social security number on the Social Security Number Scan.

How Far Back Does a Social Security Scan Go?
The information reported in Social Security Scans usually goes back 3 to 10 years. Older information may be reported on a Social Security Scan report. For a more complete discussion about how far back a background check goes, see How Far Back Does A Background Check Go.

How Long Does a Social Security Number Scan Take?
A Social Security Number Trace is usually available the same day the order is entered into our online tracking system. To protect the confidential nature of this information, Social Security Number Scans cannot be viewed online by our clients. They must be faxed or mailed.

Can I See a Sample Social Security Number Scan Report?
Yes, click Sample Social Security Number Scan.

Is a Social Security Number Scan the Same as a Social Security Administration Work History Report?
No. A SSA (Social Security Administration) Work History Report is a report of earnings and estimated Social Security benefits. For a SSA link about this report, see our Applicant Background Check Resources page under Social Security Work History and Earnings History Reports.

Should a Social Security Scan be Used to Verify a Social Security Number as Required by the Government?
No. A Social Security Scan is only intended as a research tool. For a more complete discussion about how to verify a Social Security Number, see How to Verify a Social Security Number.

What is Our Recommendation for a Social Security Number Scan?
We strongly recommend that a Social Security Number Trace be run as part of every Background Check.

Why do other names appear on a Social Security Number Scan?
Reasons names other than the applicant's appear on a Social Security Scan report include: 1) The applicant has jointly applied for credit, 2) More than one person has used the social security number, 3) The applicant has used more than one name and 4) Errors occurred in the data collection and data entry process. For further information see Why Other Names May Appear on a Social Security Number Scan.

What if I Find Errors on My Social Security Number Scan?
You will need to contact the Credit Reporting Agencies directly. See Credit Bureau Contact Information.

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