Just say 'no' to sharing your SSN

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Identity theft is on the rise. There were over 15 million cases reported in 2016. (KFSN)

Identity theft is on the rise. There were over 15 million cases reported in 2016.

But protecting nine little numbers assigned to you can save you and your wallet from a lot of pain.

Below are some places where you should never give out your social security number.

It started as a way to track income to determine social security benefits in retirement, but today your social security number is tied to your identity.

You need it to work, to file your taxes, and even to apply for a credit card. But do you need it at a doctor's office? The answer is no. Your doctor may ask for it on patient forms for billing purposes, but it is not a requirement. Your insurance company bills you by your policy number, so your doctor does not need your social security number.

You won't need your social security number to attend school. All children in the US are entitled to attend public school. If proof of identity is required, a birth certificate or passport will do.

Other times where you don't need to give out your social security number: applying for a job, purchasing items at stores and purchasing travel.

You will need your social security number when applying for state and federal benefits and applying for a driver's license.

If you are in a situation where you are not sure whether you should provide the information, try leaving it blank.
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