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Topic: Social Security Numbers and Composition Contests

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Sonare Coeli's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    Social Security Numbers and Composition Contests

    Hello everyone,
    I just have a quick question. Is it normal for composition contests to require that you give your social security number? I plan to enter in a few contests this summer, and all of them asked for entrants to give their SSN and even put the last four digits on the score, but not their name. I found that curious, but the contests seem legitimate as far as I can tell. One is being held by the University of South Carolina, and two others by Ithaca College. All of them asked for it. Is this standard procedure?

  2. #2
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Social Security Numbers and Composition Contests

    Well, I don't know if it is standard. It may be illegal for them to require it. I would not provide it.

    Richard

  3. #3
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Social Security Numbers and Composition Contests

    You may be right Richard that it may be illegal. I would uses caution when asked by anyone for you SSN no matter how legit it may sound. Call the institutions and ask if it is legit.
    Styxx

  4. #4

    Re: Social Security Numbers and Composition Contests

    Anything with a cash reward above a certain amount is required to ask you your SSN for prize distribution if you win, but I don't think they should be asking you at entry time.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  5. #5

    Re: Social Security Numbers and Composition Contests

    I agree with Richard. They do not need it unless you win and can (and should) provide an alternate means of identifying your entry.

    Here is some more information on it, which is particularly relevant as you live in Colorado:
    http://www.ago.state.co.us/idtheft/ssn.cfm

  6. #6

    Re: Social Security Numbers and Composition Contests

    Quote Originally Posted by Skysaw View Post
    Anything with a cash reward above a certain amount is required to ask you your SSN for prize distribution if you win, but I don't think they should be asking you at entry time.
    This is the case for IRS reporting purposes. I, too, agree that it should not be requested for an entry into something. The contest managers should find some other way to uniquely identify the entrants.

    In some states it's illegal for vendors to require the drivers I.D. when making purchases. Social Security numbers open far more vulnerabilities.

    All of the above responses are worth noting.


    Joe

  7. #7

    Re: Social Security Numbers and Composition Contests

    Just so you know, in Canada it is illegal to require the Social Security number for this sort of thing. Unless you have won (and even then.. ) the competition and they are cutting you a cheque and have to issue a T-4 slip for your income taxes. (I'm not even sure exactly there, I suspect that competitions, or at least some types of competition, in Canada are tax excempt... it's a bit different from province to province)

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