is stash safe to give ssn

Opening an account with Stash has been one of the simplest things I’ve ever done online. However, one major downside to opening a brokerage account with Stash was that they required my Social Security Number. I wondered if it was safe to give my SSN to Stash.

Is Stash safe to give SSN: Stash is a legitimate company that uses your social security number for identity verification purposes, in fact, they are required by law to do so. While Stash vouches to safeguard your personal information, they are prone to data leaks and hacks just like any other private company is.

In this article, I’ll go over the reasons Stash wants your social security number and whether it’s safe for you to comply with that request. I’ll also cover how to open a Stash account with an SSN and whether you should be giving out your SSN to stock brokers in general.

is stash a legitimate company

According to Consumer Affairs, Stash is a legitimate way to investsource 

Why does Stash ask for your SSN?

Reasons why Stash may want your SSN:

ReasonExplanation
Identity VerificationStash mainly uses SSN to verify identity
Credit ChecksStash claims not to use SSN for credit checks, but may conduct background checks
Downside ProtectionSSN gives Stash legal leeway to recover lost funds in case of account overdrawn or liquidation
Fraud AlertSSN verification can help identify scammers, but a scammer could have stolen your SSN

While there are several reasons that a company may want to know your social security number, Stash mainly uses it for verifying your identity, at least that’s what they say they do. Once your SSN is in their hands you have no control over how Stash uses your personal information.

Here are some of the reasons why Stash may want to collect user’s social security numbers:

  • Identity Verification: As mentioned before the most common reason for checking users’ social security numbers is to verify their identity. Needless to say that a different form of ID such as your driver’s license or passport should be sufficient to open a brokerage account.
  • Credit Checks: While Stash claims not to use your SSN for credit checks, it seems likely that they would conduct some form of background check on their potential clients. After all, Stash is a for-profit company that has no legitimate interest in taking on clients who do not meet their requirements.
  • Downside Protection: Should your account be overdrawn or liquidated due to a margin call, your SSN gives Stash more legal leeway to recover any lost funds. Typically, this option is never used as accounts are liquidated before Stash incurs any losses.
  • Fraud Alert: Scammers who may have stolen some other form of ID can sometimes be sorted out by verifying the social security number. However, this argument falls apart if you consider that a scammer could just as well have stolen your SSN.

These are just some of the reasons why Stash asks for your SSN. Potentially, there may be others that I am not aware of and that Stash is not telling you about. However, verifying customers’ SSNs has, unfortunately, become a very common practice among stock brokers and financial services companies in general.

Before moving on, let’s look at how safe it actually is to give your SSN to Stash!

is stash safe?

As mentioned earlier, Stash is a legitimate company that is registered with the SEC as a broker/dealer. However, all of that legal mambo-jumbo does not do much for you if their security systems fail or your social security number gets into the hands of the wrong employees.

Let’s look at some of the risks you face when giving your SSN to Stash:

  • Data Leaks: Data leaks of any kind occur regularly with large companies. Most of them are covered up quickly so for customers do not worry about their data. These leaks can occur due to technical difficulties or simply due to human error. Leaked data frequently becomes available on the dark web.
  • Hacks: Revealing customer data has become a popular pastime of hackers. Larger companies that deal with financial transactions have become especially prone to such attacks. Customer data – including the SSNs – are often sold to the highest bidder and used for nefarious purposes.
  • Malevolent Employees: While technical risks may be one category, the other significant risk of giving your SSN to Stash is that you may encounter employees who collect and sell customer information as this can be a lucrative source of revenue for them.

All of the above reasons could present a case for not giving your SSN to Stash. However, truth be told, you face the same risks with any major financial company and they are not particular to Stash.

In fact, the only way to avoid giving out your SSN to financial services is to not use them at all! But, can you actually open a Stash account without your SSN?

How to open a Stash account without SSN

It is not possible to open a Stash account without giving them your social security number. Your application will be stuck in the verification process and Stash will not accept any other verification documents except your SSN.

Should I give my social security number to a stock broker?

While giving out your SSN online should always be handled with the utmost care, it has become common practice for brokers to ask for clients’ SSNs. In fact, opening a brokerage account in the United States without revealing your social security number has become nearly impossible. The only way to avoid this is to open a brokerage account abroad, for instance in the United Kingdom. 

While it can generally be considered safe to give your SSN to major financial organizations, always make sure that the site you’re providing the number on is SSL-encrypted. Open as few accounts as needed to minimize exposure.

Verdict: is stash safe to give ssn?

Stash asks for your SSN just as any other US-based stock broker. Generally, it is safe to give your SSN to Stash, however, it is important to be aware of the risks involved, such as data leaks, hacks, and fraud.

FAQs

is stash app safe

Stash uses the latest security measures to protect its customers, including 256-bit encryption, biometric authentication, and other cutting-edge technologies. Deposits to Stash bank accounts are FDIC-insured up to $1,000,000 through their partner banks. Therefore, it can be said that the Stash app is safe. u003ca href=u0022https://www.forbes.com/advisor/investing/stash-review/u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 data-schema-attribute=u0022about mentionsu0022 rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022u003esourceu003c/au003e

is stash safe to give sSN

Stash requires your Social Security number (SSN) to comply with the Patriot Act, which requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record identification information for each person opening an account. Stash uses your SSN for identification purposes only and never performs credit checks. Generally, it is safe to give your SSN to Stash. However, as with any financial institution, there is always a risk of data leaks, hacks, and fraud.

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