Cape Girardeau, MO asked in Estate Planning, Collections, Identity Theft and Internet Law for Missouri

Q: Is it legal for a lawyer to ask for a SSN online through an email address?

My boyfriend has some inheritance coming in and can’t touch it unless he’s married... he has asked me to pretend to be his fiancée in order to get his inheritance and to contact his lawyer and I emailed his lawyer but I never met his lawyer in person... his lawyer emailed me back and wanting the following information: name, address, occupation, driver’s license, and then it said SSN.. not like the last 4 digits but the full thing and I’ve been hesitant about it because I never met his lawyer and we only been dating for a week... I want to make sure his lawyer is legit before I even think of giving out my number like that because I asked my mom and she said once I do... I’m done for. And it had me thinking..” do most lawyers ask for the whole SSN right away? Or do they usually ask for the last 4 digits.? Any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated because I’m lost and I wanted to help but I also don’t want to get my identity stolen and all this identity theft. Thank you in advance!!

2 Lawyer Answers
Ronald J. Eisenberg
Ronald J. Eisenberg
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Chesterfield, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: Two things.

1. I suggest you ask the lawyer why he is requesting this information. Perhaps he needs it for the work to be done. Perhaps he wants that information so that if you and your bf hire him and then don't pay having this information will make it easier to collect a judgment against you. Various public records databases already make part of your SSN available.

2. Don't lie.

Joseph John Piatchek
Joseph John Piatchek
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Springfield, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: My biggest concern is the first sentence of your question - why would he have to be married to get an inheritance? I have been doing this about 15 years, and have never seen anything like that, sounds a bit like the plot to a Hollywood movie, "must be married, so I must pretend to be his fiance to get the money" - in any event, pretending to be his fiance would not be the same as even pretending to be married, which is what is required (to be married) according to your question... the whole things sounds fishy, if I were you I would want to know a whole lot more before doing anything! Also agree with previous attorney's answer, don't lie!

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