It is okay to think you can use SSN to buy things on Amazon. However, it’s not possible to use it the way you expected. Your Social Security card is not a credit card or a debit card, it only contains your SSN. Thus, to buy from Amazon, you need an actual credit card or debit card that is linked to a bank account. If you do not have a payment card or even a gift card, you cannot buy from Amazon. Nevertheless, this article explains the get-around you might be interested in.
How to use SSN to buy things on Amazon
Technically, you can buy things from Amazon with just SSN but not in the way you expect. Below are the steps to use SSN to buy things on Amazon:
1. Work for 40 quarters
Anyone born in 1929 or later requires 10 years of work to qualify for retirement benefits. Each year has 40 quarters which means 10 years of work. If you do not have 40 quarters of work, you cannot draw retirement.
Unfortunately, you cannot buy or borrow work credits from another person. You cannot also earn your retirement benefits without reaching 40 quarters of work.
2. Continue paying Social Security tax
The Social Security tax you pay funds retirement, disability, and survivorship benefits. If you do not pay your Social Security tax, you might be subjected to penalties and interests. So, with consistent payment, you could eventually be able to use SSN to buy things on Amazon.
3. Reach the age of 62
Your Social Security retirement benefits are given as early as the age of 62. If you retire before your retirement age, your benefits will be reduced.
4. Apply for your retirement benefits online
You can apply for benefits for retirement, Spouse, Medicare, or disability online. If you cannot apply for it online, visit any of the SSA offices to see if you are eligible for an in-person appointment. If you live outside the United States, contact the Federal Benefits Unit that provides services to the country you reside in.
5. Buy from Amazon with the money
You will receive your Social Security which you can use to buy things on Amazon.
Your Social Security number is not just a number, so do not give it to someone you do not know, except for legitimate uses such as the bank, school, employer, passport application, and the government.
Do not give your SSN to strangers over the internet or phone, you could be giving your information to identity thieves.
Always contact the Social Security office if you think your SSN is compromised.
Can you use your SSN to buy stuff?
The internet has been filled with hoaxes that the Federal Reserve maintains accounts for individuals and that the accounts are linked to the individual’s Social Security number. This information is false, discard it. There is no such account and you cannot access any such account to pay bills, obtain money or buy things on Amazon.
You cannot use your SS card to buy stuff because it is not linked to a bank account or a credit or debit card. Banks typically require your SSN to check your credit, verify your identity and report delinquent payments to your credit. These activities do not convert your SSN to a credit or debit card linked to those accounts.
You could be thinking that payroll taxes paid to Social Security sit in a bank account in your name and that you can access the funds like a savings account. No, this is not how SS works.
Payroll taxes go into one account used to pay the benefits of other people. The SSA will track your earnings and give credit to you for the payments. You can check your earnings history via My Social Security. Thus, you can’t use SSN to buy things on Amazon, or at least not the way you would use a traditional credit card.
When someone retires, becomes disabled, or dies with a qualifying dependent, the person or the qualifying dependent gets the monthly payments according to the amount initially paid. This is different from your traditional bank account where you withdraw funds.
No bank account is linked to your SSN
The Federal Reserve Banks recently received many unauthorized transactions in which consumers tried to use the Fed’s routing numbers and their Social Security numbers to pay their bills and buy on places like Amazon.
The number on the rear of your Social Security card is a Sequential Control Number. It is a combination of alphanumeric characters that has nothing to do with your social security number on the card except in the records of the SSA. Again, the number is not your credit or debit card number or personal account number.
If you continue to use your SSN as a private government bank account to buy things on Amazon or pay bills, you can put yourself in muddy waters. You can be penalized, including late fees, or returned check fees you incur on the payment reversal.
The Federal Reserve Bank warns that any video, text, email, phone call, flyer, or website that describes how you can pay bills with a Federal Reserve Bank routing number or use an account at the Federal Reserve Bank is a scam. This means that any video, text, email, phone call, flyer, or website that describes how to buy things from Amazon with your SSN is fake.
Does Amazon require your SSN?
Amazon does not require your SSN when buying items. You only need your credit card, debit card, Amazon Gift Card, or bank account information to pay for the things you buy on Amazon or to cover shipping costs.
If Amazon requests your SSN while you want to order an item, it is a fake Amazon website. This website cloned the Amazon.com payment page so that you think it is an authentic website.
You can read a similar discussion here on Reddit about a Redditor asked by a fake Amazon website to supply his SSN.
Typically, such fake websites do not use a secure certificate. Instead of https://, you will find http://. The difference here is the missing letter ‘S’ that shows a website connection is encrypted.
As mentioned earlier, SSN is not a credit or debit card, so you cannot use it to buy anything on Amazon. It is used to record your earnings, and some agencies may need it to track your creditworthiness.
However, the US Patriot Act and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations require Amazon to collect your SSN when you open certain account types such as seller account, personal or business account, or work as their employee.
Are you scared that your SSN was stolen?
A stolen Social Security card or number is not quite like your bank account information being stolen. However, the thief can sell your Social Security number online on the dark web or even use it to fake their identity which could affect you.
If your Social Security card or SSN is lost or stolen, report it to your local police and the Social Security Administration.
Read also: cheatsheet: fake Amazon reviews exposed
If you need a card for buying things on Amazon, open a bank account and get a debit card or apply for a credit card. You can use another person’s (family member, friend, etc.) account to make your purchases on Amazon. Do away with the thought that you can directly use SSN to buy things on Amazon.