Let's say my social security number is "stolen", but I never need to take out new debt and don't use my credit score, have no intention of collecting social security as part of my retirement plan, and I instruct my current bank and investment firms to only allow operations on the basis of username / password, meaning my SSN cannot be used to convince my bank and investment brokers to hand over control of my account to someone else. House is paid for. I'm super rich with cash, liquid assets, and stocks in accounts that only I can access.

What's the worst that could possibly happen? Why should I care? I'm not using it and I can't be held responsible for any of the fraud committed.

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    Explain what you mean by “lose my SSN,” and “stolen.” Are you talking about forgetting it yourself, or are you simply talking about someone else discovering your number? – Ben Miller - Remember Monica May 12 '20 at 0:40
  • someone else discovering it and committing fraud. Opening new credit cards, not paying bills, going to the hospital with it. That sort of thing. – DeepDeadpool May 12 '20 at 0:57
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    What does you never needing to take out debt or having no intention to collect social security have to do with that? – Ben Miller - Remember Monica May 12 '20 at 1:20
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    No US based financial institution is going to do business with someone they don't have an SSN for. That would make it impossible for them to do tax reporting which means the IRS makes very unhappy noises at them. Should we also assume that you don't intend to use Medicare in retirement and will maintain private insurance instead? And are we ignoring the fact that while you might not be responsible for the debt, you'll likely spend a lot of time proving to various creditors that it wasn't you that opened the card? – Justin Cave May 12 '20 at 1:28
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    It's still not clear whether you're asking about a situation where other people have access to your SSN and you don't have your SSN any more (because you've forgotten it and you don't have any records of what it is), or about a situation where other people have access to your SSN but you still remember it too. – Tanner Swett May 12 '20 at 3:45

Unless you plan to instruct EVERY bank and Financial institution to honor your SSN, then you are gonna have a bad time since someone could use it to open lines of credit in your name or impersonate your identity.

I don't exactly see what you are trying to accomplish here.


It's disabling most things that normal people do:

  • you will not be able to (legally) work in the US (they need your SSN)
  • you will not be able to open any checking accounts, investment accounts, IRAs, etc. They all require your SSN.
  • you will not be able to get any credit cards (except prepaid)
  • you will not be able to take any loans, buy a car without paying cash, etc.
  • you will not be able to get a mortgage, so you can't buy a home (unless you pay cash, but having 100000+ in cash will raise some eyebrows too)
  • you will have very limited choice of renting appartments or other places to stay, as most professional landlords will want your SSN to check your credit
  • you'll have difficulties traveling internationally, as paying hotels and rental cars with cash requires uoj to caryry large amounts.

So overall, unless you were born with a piece of land and a basement full of cash, you are doomed - you will have very little ways of making or receiving any money, except illegally.
And if you do have that to begin with, it's still a restricted life in many regards; but yes, it could be that it doesn't bother you much because you don't care for those things.

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