We applaud the recent effort by Derek Schmidt, Kansas attorney general, to work with a bipartisan group of 43 states to help stop identify theft.
Schmidt sent a letter to the Social Security Administration asking for the implementation of a new data base to help stop identify theft. Congress passed a new law this year directing the SSA to develop a revamped data base that would verify consumers’ information at the time it is requested, with consumer consent. In the letter Schmidt says he sees the negative impact that the exposure of Social Security Numbers can have for consumers.
We agree, but we wonder – since when did it become so commonplace to pass out social security numbers as freely as we pass out candy on Halloween?
To borrow a phrase from Nancy Reagan, just say “no.”
We do.
It’s inconvenient, to be sure, but when asked, “what’s your social?’ we say, sorry.
Most recently we were handed a blank form by a state employee and told to fill it out – complete with social security number and a blank consent form to have a background check run. We said, “no, not unless this form is completed and we know who it is going, too.”
The answer was met with shock. It often does, but we’re old school here. We were told never to carry a social security number, and not to give it out.
There are legitimate reasons to provide a social security number, but there are other forms of identification that could be utilized — a state drivers’ license number for example.
It should be acceptable for routine ID such as utilities, phones, etc.
And if your state ID is hijacked, it can be replaced and your social security number remains intact.
We support any efforts to protect against identify theft; including limited use of social security numbers.