is it legal to ask for copy of social security card? just to run a credit check for a home rental? Or am I being scammed ?

Asked by Yvonne, Temple City, CA Tue Mar 13, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Emily Knell’s answer
Emily Knell, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Sun Mar 18, 2012
Please read my 2 blog postings here on Trulia, you can find them by clicking on my picture, I wrote this (it's a bit long) to protect people who are looking for Rental Properties in the day & age when there are thousands of scammers out there looking to STEAL YOUR IDENTITY or try to rent you properties where they are NOT the legal owners.

Please read " RED FLAGS - RENTAL SCAMS - PUBLIC BEWARE" ----if you have any conversations with or emails to & from the person trying to rent you a property that sound ANYTHING like this, you're chances of being scammed are very high.

Be safe & good luck finding a place.

Shoot me an email if you want to talk about this some more. I don't look back on this same Trulia thread for answers posted after mine.
562-430-3053 c
Realtor Since 1996
Main Street Realtors
0 votes
Helen Marston, Agent, Arcadia, CA
Tue Mar 13, 2012
Hi Yvonne,
For what I know, only your social security number is asked to submit. I rarely heard that the copy of your SS card is required. Please be careful.

Helen Chen Marston, realtor living in Temple City.
Keller Williams Realty
2 votes
my landlord just told my kids dad he cant live with me and our son anymore because he was a few weeks late getting her a copy of his ssi card.we moved from wisconsin to montana recently after his moms death...... and it got left behind so he had to get a new one and he didnt want anyone having a copy of it but they blackmauled him saying if he didnt give a copy he couldnt live with us.and we are all he has and vise versa. so he waslittle late getting it to her and when he did she told him to go stay at a homeless shelter..and stay the hell off her property..she traumatized both him me and my 4 yr old boy he was on the floor crying like a baby when I came home that day it broke my heart. he has a clean record. I always pay my rent...and we live 4 states away from home...we live in low income housing and cant afford anything more..what gives her the rite to try and tear our family apart? now I have to pack and I need back surgery as it is. we dont know what to do. Im devestated.
Flag Fri May 27, 2016
Helen, do you know if administrative staff is required to take a drug test or credit or background check at Keller Williams?
Flag Sat Apr 30, 2016
so what am I going to do, they took a color copy of my social security
Flag Sat Apr 23, 2016
Best Answer;
I agree with your answer Helen
Flag Wed Apr 30, 2014
K. Carring H…, Renter, Fort Myers, FL
Wed Apr 30, 2014
BOTTOM LINE- Do not make copies of your SS Card!!!! Proof of SSN and a valid ID is sufficient. I walked away from an apartment rentor who insisted that I allow her to copy my SSN card as well as my military ID, an absolute no-no!!! As a person who has been previously victimized by identity theft I can tell you that, in the wrong hands, there are several ways that a copy of your SS card can cause a world of financial problems that can take months to years to clear up.
2 votes
Mponepone1, Home Buyer, Temple City, CA
Thu Sep 15, 2016
Copy not necessary or required. Also, ask them for their SS card as well! Tell them you have to run a background check on them! You can't trust landlords either.
1 vote
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Wed Mar 14, 2012
It's legal and it's pretty standard.

However, that still doesn't address whether it's a scam. If the deal seems too good to be true, it's likely a scam. If the "owner" is out of the country, it's a scam. If you have to provide substantial money up front (more than a few dollars to run the credit check), it's a scam. If you're supposed to pay by mail order or wire transfer, it's a scam.

Hope that helps.
1 vote
Zegebreyohan…, Home Buyer, Temple City, CA
Sat Apr 23, 2016
is it legal or safe, I just give my social security card for a job, and he scanned with a color printer????
0 votes
tackystar, Renter, Temple City, CA
Wed Jun 5, 2013
My landlord is asking for a copy of my driver’s license and social security card six months after we have moved in. She claims her bookkeeper needs it for her files. Is this legal?
0 votes
Larry Kennedy, , Delaware
Wed Mar 14, 2012
Sure it's legal. It's also legal to ask you for a copy of your driver's license. It's also legal to ask you for $100 dollars. Doesn't mean you have to do it ! The difference is, it's not required or mandated by law in many states.

As a property manager, I request to see a photo ID to identify the person I'm renting to. You provide a SS# that matches the ID and address and I'll run your credit.
0 votes
John Bender, Agent, Corona, CA
Tue Mar 13, 2012
Yes it is legal. SSN is required to process credit and background check.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Yes, providing the number, but providing a copy of the card?
Flag Thu Apr 30, 2015
Craig Chasta…, Agent, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Tue Mar 13, 2012

That is common, because the landlord/management company would need your SSN in order to process the credit report.

However, always proceed with caution because there are some scam companies out there.

Craig Chastain
Next Level Realty
0 votes
Is it legal to ask for a copy of my ss card before I'm a tenant? Isn't the number along with a copy of my DL sufficient. If they have a copy of my ss card and I find a better deal elsewhere, what's to say they will destroy the copy?
Flag Sun Sep 29, 2013
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Rentals in Temple City Zip Codes

Email me when…

Learn more