I'm an artist, and I got a message through my website the other day asking if I could create a vector version of an illustration for an ad campaign. After a brief negotiation for payment, I accepted the job and finished it.

One of the people I'd been in touch with for this job asked me to sign an NDA and send over my SS number for payroll processing. Since I don't have a registered business (with an ID number to use instead) I have to use my SS, so I sent it over. I did a bit of research on the company this person represents before sending over this information, and it seems legit. Moreover, this contact's email address comes from the same domain as the company's site, so things seem nominally okay there.

Now though, the same person is asking for my DoB, which I don't believe is something I've ever had to supply for other contract jobs I've done. I'm getting concerned about being scammed, and questioning sending out my SS number now.

Does this seem legit/scammy to anyone else? I really don't know what to do.

I've considered just putting a freeze on my credit and then sending over the information, and seeing what happens. I really don't want to have to go through an identity theft thing - but to me, it seems like the DoB isn't as important as the SS number, so I'm just not sure if it even matters at this point.

Is it normal, in any circumstance, for someone to need a SS and DoB for payment processing with a contract job?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  • 1
    Look them up in the 'phone book, call the number and ask to speak to HR, after which you can probably give them your details. Or pop along to visit, if that is feasible
    – Mawg
    Nov 9, 2016 at 18:27

1 Answer 1


Is it normal, in any circumstance, for someone to need a SS and DoB for payment processing with a contract job?

Assuming you are in the US, this is completely normal. This information is needed to report your work payment to the IRS. You also need to specify your full name and address.

If you were simply selling an image to the company other payment methods would be appropriate. But since you were contracted to do work, the IRS needs to know, and these are normal details for reporting.

Remember, you can always ask a potential customer why they need specific information from you, if you are suspicious.

If you pursue contracts in the future, learn what you need to provide before accepting the contract. If there are any items requested that you don't want to provide, don't accept the contract.

  • 1
    Thanks for the reply, Joe. I am indeed in the US - sorry I didn't mention that earlier. I do contract work for a living, but usually people just have me submit an invoice, and then I just get a 1099 in the mail at tax time. I asked here because this was a little out of the ordinary for me. I appreciate the quick response though - I feel better about it now.
    – Marty
    Oct 5, 2015 at 19:23
  • 2
    @JoeStrazzere Where would the DoB be used in reporting to the IRS? Date of birth isn't required on form W-2 or form 1099-MISC, for instance. (Though all IRS reporting forms of course require SSN to unambiguously identify the taxpayer/recipient of payments.)
    – recognizer
    Oct 5, 2015 at 20:25
  • I see no reason for a company in the USA to ask a contractor for their DOB. The W-9 form that they would have to fill out does not ask for it.
    – NotMe
    Sep 20, 2017 at 14:19

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .