|Valid Social Security Numbers
|Invalid Social Security Numbers
|987-65-4320 to 987-65-4329
|002-28-1852, 078-05-1120, 128-03-6045…
|123-xx-xxxx, xxx-45-xxxx, xxx-xx-6789
|0000-xx-xxxx, 666-xx-xxxx, 650-xx-xxxx…
|Clear printing with no smudges
|Any inconsistencies or smudges
In the ever-evolving landscape of identity theft, the need for a robust defense against fraudulent activities is paramount. One crucial aspect of this defense is the ability to identify fake Social Security cards. Understanding the nuances and patterns within these cards is essential for safeguarding against potential threats.
Step 1: Decoding the Numbers
The first step in spotting a fake Social Security card is to decipher the numbers. Genuine Social Security cards use a specific range: 987-65-4320 to 987-65-4329. Any deviations from this range should raise immediate red flags.
Here are some examples of invalid numbers that should never appear on a legitimate card:
These examples serve as a stark reminder that vigilance is key when scrutinizing Social Security numbers.
Step 2: Understanding the Number Sequence
Moving on, it’s crucial to understand the sequence of numbers on a legitimate Social Security card. The current format comprises a 9-digit number, divided into three sections:
- Area Number (123-xx-xxxx)
- Group Number (xxx-45-xxxx)
- Serial Number (xxx-xx-6789)
Serial numbers follow a straight numerical sequence from 0001 to 9999, with 0000 never being used. Be wary of any deviation from this pattern, such as all-zero fields or the infamous “666” area number.
Step 3: Scrutinizing the Details
A meticulous examination of the printed numbers and the cardholder’s name is the final step. Use a magnifying glass if necessary. Legitimate Social Security cards have clear and aligned numbers and letters, without any smudges or irregularities.
Consider this scenario: John, a vigilant employer, recently encountered a job applicant with a Social Security card claiming the number 212-09-9999. Recognizing this number as invalid, John saved his company from a potential case of identity fraud.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Are all Social Security numbers with “666” invalid?
Yes, the “666” area number has never been and will never be used on a legitimate Social Security card.
Q2: Can valid Social Security numbers have repeated digits?
Yes, valid numbers may have repeated digits, but certain patterns, such as all zeros, are invalid.
Q3: What should I do if I suspect a fake Social Security card?
Report your suspicions to the relevant authorities, such as the Social Security Administration or local law enforcement.
Q4: Do legitimate Social Security cards have holograms or special features?
No, Social Security cards do not have holograms or intricate security features. The focus is on the authenticity of the information printed.
Q5: Can a genuine Social Security card have typos in the name or numbers?
No, legitimate cards undergo thorough verification processes, minimizing the chances of typos or errors.