activate your iphone without a social security number (ssn)

if you don’t care about the story and just came here looking for the short answer: you can bypass the social security number by using the following number instead: 141-11-1111. this is the number at&t uses internally for cases where they want to permit customers to bypass the ssn field. your phone will be registered but you have two options: either you can pay a security deposit of $90 to $1000 ( since they can’t run a credit check without a ssn) or you can register for a pre-paid plan.

for those interested in the story, a friend of mine bought an iphone last week but when he went to activate it (he didn’t want to jailbreak/sim-free it), he ran into a problem: the registration process requires a social security number but because he is an international student, he doesn’t have one. i googled around for a while and all i could find was either alarmist articles on why you shouldn’t send your social security number over to at&t (remember at&t is the company that gave unchecked, back-door access to all your information to the nsa) or articles on why you shouldn’t buy an iphone at all if you don’t have a ssn.

what will apple they do with such sensitive information? will they protect it? do they really need to collect it? these are questions that privacy advocates are demanding answers for–and rightfully so. gone are the days where consumers should just provide such sensitive information because someone asks for it and cannot imagine why apple would need this information–it just doesn’t seem necessary.

anyway, i got on the phone with a customer support agent to resolve my problem. after putting me on hold for 15 minutes, she told me that i could enter the number 141-11-1111 (a number they internally use that let’s you bypass the ssn) in the social security number field and i would be ready to go. the only catch is that if you don’t enter your ssn, you either have to pay a security deposit between $90 and $1,000 or you can sign up for a pre-paid plan.

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19 thoughts on “activate your iphone without a social security number (ssn)

  1. Pingback: jamesyu the blog » How to get a Prepaid Account on the iPhone (as of Sept 9, 2007)

  2. Pingback: How To Activate Your iPhone Without A Social Security Number (SSN)

  3. James

    I wonder what they are going to do for placed in Britain and the rest of Europe. Here we just walk into a shop, put my money on my counter and take phone from employee. We don’e have SSN or anything like that (i don’t think). We can every buy pay as you go sims for £1 from supermarkets.

    I can’t wait till the iPhone comes out here but I hope they don’t screw us about and i hope it comes as pay as you go. I hardly ever use my phone for calls.

  4. emily

    Thanks so much! This seems to be the only easy way to port an existing number to a prepaid iPhone with AT&T. I have also read that putting a fraud alert on your credit score with the credit agencies (experian, etc) will work, but you have to wait a lot longer for that to happen. I was about to do it anyway when I found this article, and it worked great. Thanks again.

  5. spooky

    AT&T is careless with your social security number. Yesterday an AT&T repairman visited my home. After he left I found a piece of paper in the yard. It was the repair order for my phone service. On this piece of paper was my name, address, phone #, e-mail accounts and my FULL social security number.

  6. No SSN for me

    I used the 141-11-1111 number with no problems. In fact, I didn’t even have to pay a deposit. An AT&T rep told me that happens sometimes, but they don’t know why.

  7. DRC

    hi, i have the same problem… i am an international student, i have VISA crdit card but not a SSN! I want to know what ele do i need to activated my iphoe with at&t… and how much deposit amount will i need yo pay for activating it

  8. Geoff Dodd

    I always say, the SSN is your defacto ID number. It’s needed in so many cases it is now an electronic identifier. Through the back door snuck in a National ID card though that wasn’t the original intention at all. They’re out to exercise a tight grip of control following 9/11. Geoff D. Au

  9. Pingback: Social Security number assigned by AT&T Wireless - Anton Zolotov

  10. hahaha

    I just did it, the # works! At first, I was told $750 deposit using my ss#, then I tried the 141 and it went through- NO DEPOSIT! Thanks a million!!

  11. Omar

    Well ima try the number nd see if it works!!! Can i just go to like a target store nd buy it there??? Their gonna know i dont have a social security number!!??


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