I have been recently looking around for an apartment to rent as a tenant. They ask for Social Security Numbers and Driver License IDs. Can someone steal all of my money in my bank using a 'Bank Wire Transfer' with all the information they ask for? If a criminal did steal my money, what protection do i have as a consumer who is a victim of such fraud?
Timing is EVERYTHING in such an event. If you discover money leaving your account without authorization then you MUST report it immediately to the bank. The Bank may ultimately be liable but you must act quickly. The best thing you can do is inform the bank that no wire's will go out of the account and that the account should be restricted. To the extent you do receive or issue wires, you may want to have a separate account for just that purpose. Good luck.
Social Security Lawyers
You always want to be careful when providing anyone with your Social Security or License number. Doing so carelessly can lead to identity theft. It is rarely if ever a good idea to give this information to someone over the phone or the internet.
As for your protections from identity theft and bank fraud, I would direct you to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection (link below). The Division's website has lots of good information about identity theft in your state and provides steps you can take to keep your personal information safe. If you are really concerned about it, you can also contact your individual bank for information about protection options.
Honestly though, being careful in how and with whom you share your information to help prevent identity theft is your best bet.
Social Security Lawyers
I am not seeing a valid reason for a SS# to be provided until and unless you agree to a credit check, which I probably wouldn't do unless and until I had a conditional offer of renting the place - and know what that condition it.
I am also not sure why they want a DL, except it may be solely to confirm you are not pretending to be someone else.
I don't see on THIS info that the could make a wire transfer, since they don' have your bank account information and presumably can't pull that out of thin air (and I wouldn't give them to them). But it certainly seems to be true that with ACH/EFT etc., a lot more can be done, even if illegally, so as my colleagues have pointed out, you only want to agree to provide delicate info when you are dealing with a reputable company.
Stephanie O. Joy, Esq., is an attorney licensed in New Jersey, while currently practicing federal Social Security Disability law. Answers to questions both in NJ and elsewhere are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship, nor do they constitute legal advice. Rather, they is for general informational purposes only.