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Using a different SS number to prevent Identity Theft


Vladimir

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It seems everybody wants your social security number and birth date. The only two items that are really needed to steal your identity.

 

In the past several years we have had new credit cards issued every six months or so due to thefts from the US Government, Target, Home Depot, and several others.

 

When you buy a fishing and hunting license they want your SS number and birthday. I can understand the birthday, but the SS is only there IF YOU DEFAULT on your support for your children from a divorce. Yep, in that case the FEDS will use your SS number to track and \ cancel your fishing and hunting license. That will get you to make your child support payments!!

 

Anyway, we have all been asked to give our SS number when the business or agency really did not need it. In fact, on the Social Security website they clearly state that you can refuse to give your number to a business. The business can also refuse to do business with you.

 

Now giving a false security number is NOT against the law unless you intend to defraud. See this link: http://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/courts-using-anothers-ssn-not-crime-f6C10406382

 

You really don't want to go around making up numbers....that might complicate life for an innocent person.

 

However, there are "invalid" SS numbers: http://www.hashemian.com/articles/2015/using-a-fake-social-security-number.htm

 

Since most businesses are clueless about this....it would work in almost all cases.

 

Thoughts????? I don't like doing it, but I also don't like fixing things because a corporation did not care enough to protect sensitive information.

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From what I read in your article, if you don't have an SSN then you could use another's number. But if you have an assigned SSN and you use a different number then you are committing fraud, especially on any document you are signing and attesting the information you are giving is correct. Seems like a very bad gamble to me.

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Vladimir,

 

Whenever we fill out a form that had a spot to enter a social security number, we have left it blank. Most of the time, we weren't even questioned about the blank entry. If we were asked for the number, we asked why and were insistent about not giving it out.

 

Of course, I'm not talking about legal documents like contracts but forms such as patient forms for doctors, dentists, labs. They are the forms that we have encountered the most that request a SSN.

 

Connie

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Vladimir,

 

Whenever we fill out a form that had a spot to enter a social security number, we have left it blank. Most of the time, we weren't even questioned about the blank entry. If we were asked for the number, we asked why and were insistent about not giving it out.

 

Of course, I'm not talking about legal documents like contracts but forms such as patient forms for doctors, dentists, labs. They are the forms that we have encountered the most that request a SSN.

 

Connie

 

Unfortunately when you become eligible for Medicare, you will use your SS# on all sorts of forms for physicians, dentists, labs - because your SS number is your Medicare # with the addition of a letter.

 

Barb

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Normally I just leave it blank, but some folks really insist on having it.

 

Thank for the comments. This issue came up because I just came back from the southwest after three months and started going through my mail.

 

Pretty quick I noticed that lots of people had my social security number.

 

For example, my doctor and dentist. I don't believe I ever gave it to them, but they had it. Probably got it from my insurance company. I can understand now, why they were fine with me leaving the box blank!!

 

My wireless company.

 

I got a fishing license. They have it. Do you really think Fish and Wildlife Department servers are secure. Do they even realize that the SS number, date of birth, and address is in their databases??

 

Then there was the flood of 1099's all with my social security number on it!! It just went on and on.

 

For a long, long time I was really unworried about identity theft. They would have to learn how to pronounce my name and learn to spell it!! Well, it doesn't work that way nowadays.

 

Check my first link in the original message I was shocked that the Supreme Court of the United States thought it was fine for somebody to use my SS number if there was no intent to defraud. You can cost an innocent person time and money and it is ok as long as the intent was not to defraud!!!

 

We have a vacation rental home that has a landline without a answering machine. Now those phone numbers are very popular!! It seems collection agencies and other keep calling and calling and nobody answers so they just assume their gone for the day and they keep missing them. Then I get up there....and the phone keeps ringing all day long looking for this person or that one!! I would be interested in knowing just how that number got out and about?? Clearly, there is a large demand in this country for "valid" numbers.

 

Just writing down a random number means somebody will have to deal with it. So that is the attraction of giving INVALID SS number. A business that needs your number probably knows the numbers that are not valid. Those that don't probably don't need your SS number. They are just collecting because somebody thought it would be a good idea.

 

I do feel uncomfortable about giving out a INVALID number.

 

My plan B is to give them my Social Insurance Number from another country. When they ask for one from here...I will just say....well, I don't have a social security card. This is the only card I have. Which is totally true...I have no idea where my original Social Security card is!!! BTW...Washington state is one of the few states that will give a drivers license to ANYBODY so it is no longer accepted as ID by the Federal government.

 

Plan B is going to lead to longer and more interesting discussion than Plan A. Which I am hoping to avoid.

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Unfortunately when you become eligible for Medicare, you will use your SS# on all sorts of forms for physicians, dentists, labs - because your SS number is your Medicare # with the addition of a letter.

 

Barb

 

Yeah, I just found that out!!

 

I got my Medicare card and promptly took a black sharpie to all the numbers and left the letter. First doctors office looked at it and said "why did you black out your number?" I laughed and said...."because I know it by heart and you don't!".

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I got my Medicare card and promptly took a black sharpie to all the numbers and left the letter. First doctors office looked at it and said "why did you black out your number?" I laughed and said...."because I know it by heart and you don't!".

 

And they then accepted it for proof of Medicare eligibility without the actual number? I doubt that many medical facilities will do so, since I'm sure that they won't get paid without it.

 

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No...I gave them the number.

 

I am NOT going to carry a card with my social security number in my wallet. That is asking for trouble. Even the social security administration recommends NOT carrying it with you in the wallet. I wasn't sure how Medicare worked....so blacked out the number and kept the letter id and card in my wallet.

 

I have NO problem with giving out my social security number for legitimate and legal purposes.

 

The reason most businesses want your social security number is for a credit check. So when did the social security number be required for a credit check? There is no LAW requiring that you supply the number for a credit check!!

 

I have not been a victim of identity theft. But one time, I was working on a fire in the county. My wife called and said that I got a letter from county auditors office asking if I was voting in Wenatchee or in a small orchard town north of Wenatchee. The card said pick one and vote there. I called the auditor's office and they said thanks....we will cancel your registration in the orchard town.

 

Washington has motor voter registration and NO CHECKS on getting a drivers license. So he had my phone number, address, and probably said hey I will just use his name on the drivers license!! And he registered to vote...otherwise I would have NEVER known. So I went to County Deputies that I knew and they were working the fire with me. Hey, there is no law against USING your NAME. Come back to us when he steals some money from your accounts.

 

I think all he wanted was the drivers license. I don't believe he used for anything. Probably all his Mexican friends just started laughing and saying your using a RUSSIAN name for a fake ID!!! Little did he know that I was born in Latin America....it would have all fit for him! But he did not know that.

 

Famous Latino's named Vladimir: https://www.google.com/search?q=Vladimir+Guerrorro&oq=Vladimir+Guerrorro&aqs=chrome..69i57.5263j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

 

I tell people he is my brother from a different mother.

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It makes for an interesting thread. I may be naive but while I do take some protective precautions, it really isn't something that I spend much time or effort on. I can tell you the reason that so many places prefer the SS number, rather than your name. There is only one person in existence, dead or alive who has your SS number and it is something which never changes. That makes it not only less complicated to keep your records, it also means that there is less chance that your records/facts will be mixed in with those of other people or that you will get the credit or blame for the activities in the records of another person.

 

Is this accuracy and permanence of one's records a good thing or a bad one? My answer is yes.

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I had my first identify theft this winter right after having a ultrasound(Oct. 2015) done at at large hospital. They have 6 locations within 30 miles of my winter spot.

 

They must have been new at identify theft as the first CC came to my mailing address. Called the fraud department and had it canceled.

Then right away I put a Alert put on all 3 Credit reporting agencies.

 

A few weeks later another CC company called me after getting a application. And not being able to check my credit record.

 

So far nothing else has happened. But every 90 days I have to put a new Alert on the Credit reporting agencies.

Too get a permanent Alert on them. You need a police report sent to them. The catch 22 on that.

Is the police wouldn't make a report for me without a letter from the CC company stating all the CC numbers on it. :(

The CC company will only send a letter to me that has only the last 4 numbers of the account. :rolleyes:

 

It is probably not if, but when identify theft happens to you.

If it happens WHAT TO DO

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Anyone can obtain a TIN ; tax id number - and use it in lieu of their social security number.

The TIN is a unique identifier used by the feds and businesses but can also be obtained and used by individuals.

Using a "fake" SS seems ludicrous.

 

I don't think the government will issue you a TIN, if you already have a social security number.

 

You can get a number for your business, but not yourself.

 

I believe I am correct. I did look into it at one time.

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..... It is probably not if, but when identify theft happens to you.

If it happens WHAT TO DO

 

I agree. Pretty much anything about your private life is on a computer somewhere - pretty much every computer seems to be hackable - pretty much everything about us is probably for sale on the "dark net". If you have held a high level government security clearance you can assume EVERYTHING about you is for sale:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/06/10/records-from-government-data-breach-surface-on-darknet-says-expert.html

 

---ron

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If you have held a high level government security clearance you can assume EVERYTHING about you is for sale:

 

 

I held high level security clearances for many years and, of course, my information has been compromised. So I received a letter from OPM (Office of Personnel Management) telling me that I had free access to one of those monitoring services like the credit bureaus sell. Only this one was from one of the credit bureaus and must have been the low bid outfit when they were looking to put out a contract. The data it reports to me is often incorrect when checked against the actual credit bureau records and most of what the service sends me are "alerts" to let me know about sex offenders in my area, only they are reporting them for the city in SD where our mail forwarding service is rather than where we are! ;)

 

I agree that identify theft is a real issue. I had mine stolen some 25 years ago before it even had a name. Getting it resolved took many months and lots of hours on the phone on my part. Not something I'd like to do again. :ph34r:

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Identity theft is a problem. Even medicare is going to change to a different number than SS. How ever, we need to use our real SS number for the things it is required. Banking, licenses, medical treatment, investing, taxes, the list is long. A false number is not acceptable to use in those situations. It is fraud. In situations acceptable to use a false number, we don't have to supply any number. So I don't need a false number.

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Identity theft is a problem. Even medicare is going to change to a different number than SS. How ever, we need to use our real SS number for the things it is required. Banking, licenses, medical treatment, investing, taxes, the list is long. A false number is not acceptable to use in those situations. It is fraud. In situations acceptable to use a false number, we don't have to supply any number. So I don't need a false number..

 

If you are using a deception to protect yourself and not to secure unfair or unlawful gain, or to deprive a victim of a legal right it is not fraud.

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Another very attractive source of information for identity thieves is the IRS. I ran across this today in a weekly Seeking Alpha article:

 

 

The Ugly

The IRS is especially vulnerable to hackers (Robert Hackett, Fortune). Few know that the IRS has about one million cyberattacks per day! One IRS employee, charged with helping those whose identity had been stolen, actually helped the hackers.

Is it time to refocus priorities? Perhaps increase appropriations? My sense is that many government computers are old and vulnerable.

The full blog with links that are active can be found here:

http://seekingalpha.com/article/3965793-weighing-week-ahead-time-sell-news?ifp=0&app=1

----ron

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"Banking, licenses, medical treatment, investing, taxes, the list is long. A false number is not acceptable to use in those situations. It is fraud."

it is illegal to use false ss number when the number is required by law.

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Congress needs to pass a law stating that the credit and personal information on YOU belongs to YOU. That you have a right to see the Costco database as well as Safeways. And of course, ALL the credit information.

 

The second is to allow consumers to put a CREDIT FREEZE on their credit reports. Basically, this means that NO CREDIT information will be shared without your written permission to unfreeze the credit report. If somebody is looking to steal your identity and has your SS number and birthdate.....but cannot get credit in your name they have nothing.

 

It has been well over a decade, almost two, since I applied for credit. I have been notified in the past two years of potential identity thefts over a dozen times!!! A good portion of those were thanks to working for the Federal government. IF the Feds cannot protect your private information?? How well do you think the private sector is doing protecting your information.

 

Basically, all of us are spending time and money dealing with actual or potential identity theft so businesses can offer "instant credit" and thereby increase their sales.

 

Passing those two little items at the start of this post into law will greatly diminish the identity theft game.

 

BTW....Google has better security on my Blogger account, that anybody that has my credit information.

 

This might be worth reading: http://www.equifax.com/help/credit-freeze/en_cp

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"Banking, licenses, medical treatment, investing, taxes, the list is long. A false number is not acceptable to use in those situations. It is fraud."

it is illegal to use false ss number when the number is required by law.

 

I think the ONLY legal requirement is for Social Security purposes and Medicare. Do you have a list you can share??

 

Even for the IRS if your an illegal alien or a business you can get a Taxpayer ID number.

 

BTW...I have seen a couple of IRS letters asking about income not reported. As Kirk, noted, having a "unique' identity number for everything is really POWERFUL. "They" who have access to that "number" know everything about you!! I don't mind as long as I get to see it and correct it.

 

In this entire debate about identity theft notice that there is little discussion of giving the individual the right to see their data.

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