The only way to legally search for and obtain someone's Social Security number is with that person's written consent. Social Security numbers are protected by law under the Freedom of Information Act. Businesses have access to verification systems to verify an employee's information, but the business does not have the ability to search for someone's number.
People need to keep their Social Security numbers safe and protected to prevent identity theft. The Freedom of Information Act outlines the certain types of government records that are available for the public to gain access to, but sensitive information such as Social Security numbers are protected under this act.
Providing ways for individuals to gain access to a Social Security number can result in identity theft. A thief uses Social Security numbers to file false tax returns, among other things. If someone believes that someone else is using their Social Security number for tax or wage purposes, he should contact the IRS. People should review their Social Security statement to ensure there is no misuse of their numbers. People are also advised to check their credit reports for inaccuracies. If someone suspects an identity theft crime has taken place, they should contact their local police department.