Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

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Trivia Question of the Day: What is the most misused Social Security Number of all Time?

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | February 2, 2012

No. 807

For the answer (which is quite interesting) click onto the blog Tax Girl.

When I was in basic training, the military decided to replace service numbers with Social Security numbers.I already knew that number, of course, because it had been my student ID number in college.

And so it went until the era of identity theft.

Bonus Question:  Where can an identity thief find a treasure trove of identities to steal, complete with authentic SSN’s; AND (this is great!) where the victims won’t complain?

Give up?  Oh, you knew!

Just look up the record of any estate filed with the Department of Court Records in Allegheny County or the Register of Wills elsewhere in PA.  Yes, they still require you to fill in the decedent’s SSN on official documents.  And not the last four, either.  The whole number. [Don’t tell identity thieves.]

When will the United States run out of 9 digit SSN’s?  By my count, assuming they don’t start reusing them, any day now.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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