Do not use your SIN as identification in the United States

Fall 2012 CSANews Issue 84  |   Posted date : Jul 29, 2013.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
Dear Bird Talk,

I always enjoy the articles and timely tips, but must admit that one article in the recent Bird Talk section raised huge red flags. I refer specifically to the one from V.C. in Lloydminster, AB, where he suggested how to adapt your SIN to facilitate a U.S. credit card application.

Having been the victim of identity theft, I have learned through Phone Busters (RCMP) and even Human Resources Development Canada that we should never divulge our SIN to anyone other than an employer, our banking institution or an investment firm, as they issue T-4s, T-5s, etc. I realize that the American credit card company may not issue the requested card without it, however I can assure you that the loss of the perks from not having the card would be more than outweighed by the aggravation of having to deal with all the frustration of identity fraud.

Carolyn H.
London, ON

Response:
Ed: Huge red flags is correct. This letter is to caution people again to never, never try to use their Canadian SIN number as U.S. ID or on any kind of U.S. form. It can be interpreted as fraud, misrepresentation, identity theft and impersonation. These are all serious crimes anywhere. You could possibly circle it and write beside the number that it is a Canadian SIN, but I would not do that either. Placing “Not Applicable” in the box is best.

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