The social security trace report (SSN Trace) as evolved into the industry’s starting point and essential verification tool. The SSN Trace provides an immediate and independent cross-check of key applicant identity factors which are at the core of a background check – validating the SSN, the year it was issued, the state of issue. In addition, various potential identity fraud indicators/warnings may emerge if there is something about the SSN that has triggered a cautionary alert such as SSN used to file a death claim. Chief among the benefits of the SSN Trace, is that it provides a reasonably reliable chronology of the applicant’s residential address history – which is necessary to determine what court jurisdiction(s) to check for criminal records.
The information contained in the SSN Trace report is a product of combined sources including the USPS address change/forwarding, credit bureau name and address headers, public utility records and other public or quasi-public records such as voter registrations.
Industry Notes: The SSN Trace is not a product or service of the Social Security Administration and is utilized for its probative value and not as a definitive standalone screening verification report. Therefore, no part of a hiring decision should be made based on the SSN Trace report. Any perceived discrepancies or adverse information derived from the SSN Trace report, should be researched separately and verified through more direct means – such as visual verification of the applicant’s social security card. (Your EIS service representative can further explain the scope and nature of information contained within the SSN Trace report.)[The core purpose of using the SSN Trace (when crossed-checked with applicant furnished information), is to confirm that we are most likely doing a background check on the person who we believe we’re doing a background check on and that their address history generally corresponds with their apparent life sphere and verified Resume, employment history etc. And while nothing in this report is absolute, there are typical (usual) and non-typical (unusual) SSN Trace results, and trained employment screeners are aware of the nuance that can signal a need for further scrutiny and verification.]