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Should I give them my SSN#?

 
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A recruiter (U.S.)said he needed my SSN# because it was requested by his client company. I am wondering if it is ok to give my SSN# to him. What is the risk? Why do they need SSN# ? I understand the company need SSN when they offer you a job. But why they need it before even an interview?
Please advise,
Richard
 
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See this thread.
 
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There are stories of pseudo-recruiters using this technique to commit identity theft, notably via monster.com.
There's absolutely no reason I know of that requires a recruiter to ever know your SSN, and especially not to forward on to an alleged potential employer. Only if they're actually a staffing agency who will be paying you directly should they need this info.
 
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In the UK for a defense related job they will ask for your National Insurance number for security checks, but there is no way I would give it to an agency . I would only ever give it to a well known company at their official address.
 
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Only an employer needs your SSN, and *NOT* during the interview process. They are required by law to have it when they hire you, so they can require it of you after you accept an offer of employment.
The only exception to this I know of are positions that require a security screen. The SSN might be just one of many things they ask you for, but again, this should only happen after they tell you they are serious about hiring you (in effect, they've extended you an offer that is conditional upon successfully passing the security screen).
 
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