Do You Have Multiple Social Security Numbers?

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Did you know that 6.1% of Americans have at least two Social Security numbers associated with their name? A hundred thousand Americans have five or more associated with their name. Those are just two the amazing statistics out of an surprising report by ID Analytics. When you consider that there are 1,000,000,000 possible Social Security numbers, of which over 420 million numbers have been issued since November 1936 (according to the SSA’s FAQ), it’s amazing there aren’t more errors.

I experienced this first hand a few years ago when I discovered a keying error resulted in me having two Social Security numbers. It took a little while to fix the error with the credit bureaus, which I discovered resurfaced just a few weeks ago, but someone typed a 0 instead of a 6 and I was awarded a second number (the bureaus obviously don’t double check this stuff… they probably don’t care).

This underscores the importance of keeping tabs on your credit report, which you can review annually, because that’s really the first place where duplicate numbers can really hurt you. Sometimes the duplicates are the result of honest errors and sometimes it’s fraud, keeping tabs on your credit report will help you fix it as soon as possible.

{ 18 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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18 Responses to “Do You Have Multiple Social Security Numbers?”

  1. FlyFisher says:

    Creepy. What is your overall advice on credit monitoring? Do you advise monitoring services, etc.? If so which ones?

    • Jim says:

      I don’t use it but I think the people that do see it as a way to get peace of mind. I use Credit Karma, pinging it every month to see if my score changes (that would be an indication something fishy is going on) and then review my credit reports regularly.

  2. jsh says:

    I have 2 numbers. When the SSA first sent out the yearly statements, my name was misspelled. I notified the SSA, and the next year my name was correct but my SS number had changed. I talked to someone at my local SS office. She reassured me that the second number wasn’t anything to worry about. I asked about removing the second number, but she said it was better to keep it. You certainly wouldn’t want that number going back into the pool of available numbers.

  3. MB says:

    When I did legal research, attorneys frequently asked me to find individuals or to run back ground checks. It was surprisingly common to see “other social security numbers associated with individual” in search results. Often it was the case that the individual had a name similar to a relative, especially a parent–which might show a common address for two similar names and sometimes, similar social security numbers because parents would obtain numbers for entire family members in one sitting. I regularly saw husband’s reported as having their wives’ number associated with them, children and parents, previous tenants/property owners, and sometimes obvious keying errors. I always told the attorneys that the “subject” probably wasn’t doing anything fraudulent but that the credit bureaus made assumptions and mistakes. Sadly, I saw this on almost every report I generated.

  4. billsnider says:

    This problem goes further.

    I know someone who went on Medicare. When the doctor wanted to bill the visit, they could not locate the person in their medicare files.


    Social Security had entered their birth date incorrectly, which was part of the match code.

    Go figure

    Bill Snider

    • MB says:

      When my doctor’s practice merged with a large Ivy League university hospital, the hospital keyed in my birth year wrong and suddenly no one could find me in the system and insisted that I was a new patient. When we finally figured it out, they told me I had to call records to fix it.

  5. poscogrubb says:

    For a short while my deceased father’s SSN was associated with my name. That had funny effects like organizations believing that I was born 20-some years earlier than I actually was. Why is AARP mailing me stuff about retirement?

  6. Shirley says:

    OT but funny:
    My first husband’s SS # was my actual birth date followed by four numbers in a sequence. My grandson’s is the same as mine with the last four numbers turned upside down. 😉

  7. I actually never thought about the chances of this happening. I know that I have 2 different spellings of my first name out there tied to my one SSN. Not sure if that will ever cause a problem.

  8. Patty says:

    I was recently told by my mother thar I have 2 social security numbers. She doesnt remember it and never used it. How can I retrieve this number? I kno my name is tied to my main one, but i’d like to check and see if this other one has been used by anyone. Can anyone shed some light on this situation?

  9. Chris says:

    I was recently told by my mother thar I have 2 social security numbers. She doesnt remember it and never used it. How can I retrieve this number? I kno my name is tied to my main one, but i’d like to check and see if this other one has been used by anyone. Can anyone shed some light on this situation?

  10. jACK jOHAR says:

    I met with some one. He says every one can have nine ss numbers. This sounded very unreal to me. I dont know is it real or not. Buty the guy says he knows people who got nine ss numbers.

  11. Dan says:

    I was recently told by my father that I have 2 social security numbers.He says it was never used and doesn’t remenber the number. How can I retrieve this number? I know my name is tied to it, but i’d like to check and see if this other one has been used by anyone. Can anyone tell me how to find it ?

  12. Anonymous says:

    you can have 2 social security numbers, i was issued one from my mother when i was a child up to the age of 24 then i lost it and it was stolen and used by others so i reapplied for a new one. so i have earnings on both numbers

  13. SG says:

    I have two SSN. I got my first one as a college student but when I married and became a US Resident Alien, the Department of Homeland Security (USCIS) assigned me a new one by mistake. I went to the SSA office and they said I MUST use the new one. Both numbers are linked and my statements show all the information under both. However, the credit reports only show the info under my newest number so it shows a credit history of only 5-6 years.

    I have tried in the past to get a letter from SSA to send to each credit bureau, but the person did not write one addressed to them. Instead it had my address on the top and was not clear. Does anyone recommend what to do???

    Thank you

  14. nikki says:

    i recently found i have two ssn? trying to apply for a car etc they say i have NO CREDIT score although i have paid off loans etc how do i apply my good credit to my right social this is very confusing..

  15. Anonymous says:


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