Social Security Number Trace (SSN Trace)

Get a more effective background check using powerful criminal locator tools.
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The Truth is in the Details

There is no single source of truth for criminal record screening in the U.S. In fact, with more than 3,500 separate possible places to look for criminal records in the U.S., insight into where to search is vital. Sterling’s criminal locator services are three distinctly different tools used for locating criminal records; when layered together, they uncover more meaningful places to search for a candidate’s potential criminal history.

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Why do a background check on a Social Security number?

An SSN trace, also known as as Social Security background check, returns information related to a Social Security number. This information can include when and where the SSN was issued, as well as any associated names like aliases and maiden names.

When used together, Sterling’s Criminal Locator services uncover tens of thousands more criminal records than database searches alone.

The Foundation for Quality U.S. Criminal Checks

Sterling’s SSN Trace is the first step in the criminal locator services; it is the foundation for quality criminal history research and an important part of any effective, efficient background check. When you use the SSN Trace together with Sterling’s Enhanced Nationwide and Locator Select criminal locator services, you are positioned to have a much clearer picture of your candidate’s potential criminal activity across the U.S.
True or False?
An SSN Trace does not verify a person’s identity.
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An SSN Trace does not verify a person’s identity or ensure the SSN belongs to the person who supplied it.
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Powerful Criminal Locator Tools

The SSN Trace is just one of three powerful criminal locator tools Sterling clients can use to cast a wider net. Leveraging these tools allows you to identify the most likely places to search for criminal records in a background check for employment.
Using the Social Security Number and an extensive database of 10,000+ sources, Sterling identifies where a candidate has resided and the alternate names they have used (if requested) so records can be discovered in places where they have lived. Using an SSN Trace results in criminal searches with a scope that includes records found in past locations of residence beyond what the candidate has disclosed. Alias names also may be identified upon request.
The Enhanced Nationwide Criminal Database expands the search for criminal records to include State, County and Corrections records from across the nation; these added incarceration records help by locating additional places where a candidate may have committed a crime. Before any findings are reported, possible convictions and pending cases are validated against primary source court records to verify the current record details.
Locator Select checks over 2,400 jurisdictions across the U.S. for arrest records and relevant criminal activity. Locator Select examines most of the incarcerated population in the U.S., adding the discovery of arrest records to the scope of your criminal background search and further expanding the identification of places where a candidate may have criminal history. Before any findings are reported, possible convictions and pending cases are validated against the primary source court records to verify the current record details.

Top Reasons to Conduct an SSN Trace

Candidates don’t always provide all past addresses

Candidates may not view their time at a location as significant, or it is possible they’d rather you just not know they had history in a particular location. An SSN Trace identifies address information associated with the provided social security number, which can be used to conduct a more in-depth search of criminal records and provide an even more extensive background of the candidate.

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People use aliases to hide criminal history

Up to 50,000 people change their names each year, usually for different, legitimate reasons including:

  • Correcting a birth certificate error
  • Taking the last name of a spouse
  • Converting a name to English after moving to the U.S. from another country

Whether a name change is for legitimate reasons or not, an SSN Trace can help identify different names associated with the provided social security number so that your searches more accurately reflect the candidate’s name history.

Did You Know?
The results of an SSN Trace should never be used for making an employment decision, or as the only method for performing a background check during the hiring process. An SSN Trace’s intended use is to help locate relevant places and names associated with the Social Security Number for criminal search purposes.
An SSN Trace is an essential tool for helping locate criminal records and is a dependable resource for expanding the scope of a background check to include locations where a person has lived and other names they may have used.
Adding additional Criminal Locator services to your background search expands the search for criminal records nationally, providing you with a more complete picture of your candidate’s potential criminal history.

Get Started with a Social
Security Number Trace

Add a Sterling SSN Trace to your background check program to improve screening effectiveness. Click the option that best describes you.

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