Searching for Social Security Numbers

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Navigation:  Appendix A – Effective Keyword Searches >

Searching for Social Security Numbers

You can use the regular expression keyword search below (include the quotes) to find documents containing social security numbers. Unfortunately, it will also return some international phone numbers since their formats look similar to SSNs. We recommend you search for “SSN” and the string “Social security number” as well. If you have images of form data that has been OCRed, the search for “SSN” may be more reliable since the numbers in the OCR may not quite match the pattern due to OCR errors.
 
"##(\d{3}[\.\-])(\d{2}[\.\-])(\d{4})"
 
Will find things like:

 
123-45-6789
123.45.6789
 
Will not find things like:

 
123 45 6789
 
This search string will get all documents that contain SSN or Social within ten words of a social security number:
 
(ssn or social) w/10 ("##(\d{3}[\.\-])(\d{2}[\.\-])(\d{4})")