No, You Cannot Have My Social Security Number

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Adam's Apple, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    From paid subscription site 10/18/06

    QUESTION: Some merchants ask for my Social Security number when I pay by check. Do I have to provide it to them? What if the payee is a government agency?

    ANSWER: Generally speaking, you are not legally obligated to furnish your Social Security number to private businesses. However, there is no law that prevents businesses from requesting your Social Security number, and if a business requires it and you refuse, the business does not have to complete the transaction with you.

    Credit card applications typically require Social Security numbers. If you apply for a credit card online, you should take extra precautions that your personal data is transmitted safely. Read the company's privacy policy, and if you want further confirmation about the security of your data, call the company and ask to speak to a manager in the security department.

    Some government agencies, including tax authorities, welfare offices and bureaus of motor vehicles, can require your Social Security number under federal law. The Privacy Act of 1974 requires all federal, state and local government agencies that require Social Security numbers to provide a disclosure statement on the form explaining how the number will be used and under what authority it is requested.

    The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse offers these strategies for keeping your Social Security number safe:

    1. Adopt a policy of not giving it out unless you are convinced it is required or is to your benefit. Ask vendors why it is needed.

    2. Never print your Social Security number on checks, business cards, or any other identifying information. Do not carry your Social Security card in your wallet. Resist merchants' requests to write your number on your checks.

    3. Pay attention to your annual Social Security Personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement. If information on the statement looks incorrect, someone may be fraudulently using your number for employment purposes. Contact the Social Security Administration's fraud department at 800-269-0271.

    4. Order a copy of your credit report each year; if you are a victim of identity theft, the credit report may have evidence of credit or banking fraud committed using your name or number. It will also show other Social Security numbers associated with your name.
     
  2. fuzzykitten99
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    fuzzykitten99 Senior Member

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    Another thing you don't want to put on checks is your DL #. That number is another one that ID theives can use.

    Whenever a merchant asks for my DL number and tries to write it down on my check (if I pay that way), I stop them. I tell them that I will gladly show ID, but they are putting my personal information at risk by writing the number down on paper that can be traced. I have had tiffs with a few managers, but in the end, they give in, because I won't. My license matches my check info, so no need to write my number down.

    When I worked for the bank, when we would have a customer order/reorder checks, not only did we let them know that their DL # is an ID theft risk, but our check-printer had us read a required disclosure if the customer insisted on it. Most customers were thankful to us for telling them the info.
     
  3. Abbey Normal
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    Abbey Normal Senior Member

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    My daughter is taking the PSAT today. The letter we received detailing what she needs for the test said that she should be prepared to enter her SS#. I told her to leave it blank, and if it is mandatory, she doesn't have to take the test. People can ask for it, but rarely do we really need to give it.
     
  4. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    I wouldn’t give my daughters ss # to anyone all through school. But on the sat….
    I didn’t like it but she did it. I don’t know how they deal with it if you won’t give it to them. Colleges match it on the app to the sat report as far as I know, so it could be a problem.
     
  5. Abbey Normal
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    Abbey Normal Senior Member

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    Thanks for the heads-up. I guess we will have to deal with that on the SAT, but as far as I know, the PSAT results aren't reported to colleges.
     
  6. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    You're right. My fault I missed the "P" sorry.
     
  7. Abbey Normal
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    Abbey Normal Senior Member

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