Social Security Number Trace
About the Social Security Number Trace
4nannies.com families may have questions about the Social Security Number trace they receive as a result of the pre-employment background check order. The following FAQ will assist in interpreting the report.
- What is a social security trace?
- How do I read (interpret) the SSN trace report?
- Why should we trace a social security number?
- Why is there more than one name with the same social security number? Why does a different name show on the SSN trace results?
- What does it mean when no record is found?
- Where does a social security trace come from?
- What is a social security trace?:
A social security trace is a report that will return all current and reported addresses for the last 7 to 10 years on a specific individual based on his or her social security number. If there are alternate names (aliases or also known as [AKA]) these are reported also. A CONCERN is reported by Verifications Inc. if the name provided by the family to conduct the search does not match the name on file with the credit reporting agency.
How do I read (interpret) the SSN trace report?
The SSN trace report is derived from credit bureau records and follows a standard format. The sources include applications for utilities (telephone, electric), credit checks for loans and/or credit cards, and qualification for rental agreements. Below please find an example. The title line in red italics does not appear in the actual report, and is here for illustrative purposes only. SSN ISSUED provides the date and state where the SSN was issued.
FIONA J MICHAELS
|NAME||ADDRESS||DATE ENTERED IN CREDIT RECORD||COUNTY|
|CA-FIONA J MICHAELS||5761 CORBIN AVE TARZANA , CA 91356||03/2003||LOS ANGELES|
|FA-FIONA J MICHAELS||5987 LAUREL CANYON BLVD VALLEY VILLAGE , CA 91607||04/2001||LOS ANGELES|
|FA-FIONA J MICHAELS||5259 GEARY BLVD SAN FRANCISCO , CA 94121||05/2000||SAN FRANCISCO|
|FA-FIONA J MICHAELS||2072 FRANCISCAN WAY ALAMEDA , CA 94501||01/1999||ALAMEDA|
|FA-FIONA JOHNSON||3640 LAUREL CANYON BLVD STUDIO CITY , CA 91604||05/1998||LOS ANGELES|
A family doing a background check on Ms. Michaels above, in order to do a thorough job, would be advised to order criminal checks in Los Angeles, Alameda, and San Francisco counties. A search in any one of these jurisdictions would not necessarily return any criminal activity that occurred in the others. Additionally, as there was a second name, Fiona Johnson, this name should be included as an AKA or Alias in the criminal search. This illustrates the importance of the SSN trace to determine where the individual may have resided in the last 7 years.
Why should we trace a social security number?
It is imperative to verity the information provided by a candidate concerning her identity and where she has lived. This is the foundation of a solid background investigation. By tracing the SSN history over 7 years, it is much more difficult for a candidate to hide her identity and possible criminal history. The SSN trace provides you the opportunity to cross check name and previous residence history as provided in the job application for possible inconsistencies.
Why is there more than one name with the same social security number? Why does a different name show on the SSN trace results?
The most common reason for MULTIPLE names is that the individual got married or just changed their name entirely. Since a social security trace is based on the social security number only, it will report all recorded occurrences with a specific social security number. Occasionally a SSN trace will return a name (alias) that the family was not aware of when they placed the pre-employment background check order. The criminal records search was done only on the name(s) provided by the employer when the search was ordered. The employer is encouraged to order criminal records searches on all alias(es) This will incur additional costs but is the only way to thoroughly check the candidate’s possible records.
Occasionally, the SSN Trace will report names or addresses unknown to the job applicant. These generally are simply records errors caused by faulty data entry. However, they may signify identity theft. The source of the SSN Trace data in 4nannies.com client reports is CSC/Equifax, one of the three national consumer credit reporting agencies. If there is a discrepancy then the applicant would need to contact the credit bureau to inquire on the necessary procedure to clear the information in question. CSC/Equifax Consumer Assistance Department may be reached at (800) 759-5979.
Occasionally the SSN provided for the background report is simply incorrect. This could be transcription, a typographical error, or simply the candidate who does not have a valid SSN. If a different number needs to be searched other than that originally provided, additional fees will be incurred.
What does it mean when no record is found?
Typically it will mean that the individual has very little or no credit history or the individual may be a recent immigrant to the country. Changes to US law in the last several years prevent individuals under 21 from applying for/receiving revolving credit accounts such as Visa and Mastercard so it is extremely common for these individuals to fall into this category. The credit reporting agencies can only verify that a number is a validly issued SSN. The US Department of Homeland Security’s e-Verify system is the only source that can absolutely verify the name/SS number match and this is only available to US employers (or their agents) and requires the Employer’s Federal Employer Identification Number for e-Verify system enrollment. The US Department of Homeland Security began rolling out employee e-Verify Self Check in the summer of 2011. It is currently only available to workers in a handful of states.
Where does a social security trace come from?
A social security trace is built by utility companies, credit card companies, banks and a host of other private entities when they ask or even require a social security number before a new account can be opened. This information will then be reported to the three major credit bureaus, Trans-Union, Experian (formerly TRW) and CSC/Equifax. They will then record the SSN, along with an individual’s identifying information in the top portion or “header” of credit reports. Unlike the full credit report itself, this information is made freely available and the subject is never notified that this information has been accessed. It is this data that is accessed when a social security trace is run.