Social Security Number Verification: A Crucial Tool for Protecting Your Business-12-02-2010

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (December 2, 2010) - The Federal Social Security Act was instituted in 1936 as part of the New Deal. The system of numbers was originally intended as a way to track workers income, but since the programs inception, Social Security numbers have developed into a widespread identification system for most Americans.

Social Security numbers are used to identify taxpayers, keep records of federal- and state-paid unemployment benefits, and track what has previously been termed as old-age assistance benefits. Today, Social Security numbers are the most widespread form of identification that Americans have. While not every American has a drivers license, a passport, or credit cards, almost all Americans have a Social Security number.

Why You Should Verify SSNs
Social Security numbers are linked to very private personal information, and while some laws have been instituted to protect people from the misuse of their private information, theyre not always fail-safe. Because of the ubiquitous use of Social Security numbers as a piece of identification, the numbers often appear on documents, such as bankruptcy and divorce filings, that eventually become part of public records. Furthermore, employers and financial institutions may store the numbers in electronic databases that may be vulnerable to hacking.

A recent BankInfoSecurity.com article entitled ID Theft: SSN Is Key to the Kingdom highlights the danger that exists for individuals whose Social Security numbers are made public. As Mari Frank, author of The Complete Idiots Guide to Recovering from Identity Theft, points out, "All [an] impersonator needs is a Social Security number to create a credit profile to establish loans and credit to commit fraud. Clearly, most people — even judges — don't understand how vulnerable we all are if someone impersonates us with only the theft of our Social Security number[s]."

Why You Should Consider EVS
While it may be impossible to prevent every vulnerability in record-keeping, organizations can perform their due diligence to ensure that the Social Security numbers they receive are verified and the individuals submitting them are authenticated. According to the Federal Trade Commissions (FTC) Red Flags Rule, a Social Security number verification tool can be used to pinpoint Suspicious Personal Identifying Information as part of a larger compliance effort. This can reduce financial losses due to fraud and government penalties associated with noncompliance.

Because of these concerns, EVS pioneered the development of a four-digit Social Security number verification process. With this innovative approach to confirming user identities, EVS can provide an integrated product set that uses a customers name, address and last four digits of his or her Social Security number to verify the information. The four-digit process is less intrusive than one requiring the full nine-digit number, thereby offering a less cumbersome approach to ensuring sound business transactions. This gives your business the security it needs without turning off sensitive customers and employees from the purchase or application process.

Without a vigilant approach to monitoring your business activity, your organization is prone to fraud. Installing a Social Security number verification piece into your current screening process can help you avoid this damage. And, when you choose to work with EVS, you will gain all the advantage of a state-of-the-art identity verification system with 24/7 support to meet all of your fraud prevention and compliance needs.