Do not give out your social security number unless you have asked why it is required. Challenging the request will often mean you do not have to give out the information.
Do not carry your social security card in your wallet or purse.
Never give out your social security number (or credit card or bank information) to someone who calls you for that information. There are many scams along the following lines:
“Mr. Smith, please verify that you live at 123 ABC Road, and that your phone number is XXXXXXXX. (They got that from the phone book or other directory.) We believe that someone is using your credit improperly. We are investigating for X agency. We need you to verify your social security number so we can catch the criminal. If you do not give us this information, your account will be frozen.
NO LEGITIMATE BANK, POLICE DEPARTMENT, OR AGENCY OF THE GOVERNMENT WILL EVERY TELL YOU TO GIVE THEM THIS INFORMATION OVER THE PHONE!
As of January 1st, 2006, in Michigan, a business that asks for your social security number must have a privacy protection policy. MCL 445.84.