This social security number trace search is conducted on the applicant’s social security number in order to identify current and previous addresses. This is done only to identify counties where the applicant has lived in, and where the prospective employer may search for felony and misdemeanor records. A social security number trace makes use of “credit header” information, the non-confidential top portion of an individual’s credit history. Meaning each time a person uses their social security number to apply for credit (home loan, student loan, cell phone, credit card, rent, etc.) the address associated with each credit application is tracked and becomes a part of the applicant’s address history. Upon completion of the social security number trace, the employer will then have an idea of which counties they would like to search in for criminal activity. When reviewing the social security number trace, the employer should pay close attention to the reporting dates of each county (employers should not search in a county that was reported older than seven years).
Also, the employer should make sure that a time range has been established in a certain jurisdiction. Other useful information that can be obtained from a social security number trace includes other names associated with the social security number (aliases used such as Bill Grant instead of William Grant, for example). The reason why an employer needs to know other names used by the applicant is that criminal records are stored by a name and date of birth match; therefore, a case may not be associated with William Grant with a date of birth 01/01/1980; however, a case may be stored under Bill Grant with a date of birth 01/01/1980. Employers should also be aware that prospective employees may work in a different county other than the county they reside in. In that event, those counties will not come up in a social security number trace and should be searched for criminal activity.