The happenings "inside" the Wisconsin State Treasury and across the street at the State Capitol

Why We Ask For Your Social Security Number

We had an unscientific poll yesterday asking about attitudes towards giving your social security number online. It’s important to understand why we here at the State Treasury need your social security number.

For almost every financial transaction you have ever been a part of, whether it’s opening up a checking account, renting an apartment and starting utilities, getting insurance or buying stocks or bonds, you had to give your social security number. If these businesses (we call them Holders) returned money to you and you never cashed the check, they turned that money over to us with all your information…including your social security number.

When we ask for your social security number, it’s for us to verify that you are the person that is owed the money we are holding. We already have your social security number in our system…you are just letting us know that you are who you say you are! This is why our Fast track option is so wonderful! When you input your social
security number into the system, and your claim is $2,000 or less, the system instantly verifies it is you, approves your claim and sends you a check 10 days later!

Now…let’s say the Holder didn’t report a social security number to our office with your abandoned “property”. By entering your social security number our claims specialists can search for all your past addresses using software we have in the office. If the social security number you provide matches the address provided by the Holder, we know the money is yours and send you the check.

Understandably, you should be weary of giving out your social security to anyone. But, rest assured, entering it on our website or giving it to us on your written claim is completely safe.


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