Guarding those precious digits…

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We support reforms to the financial marketplace that protect consumers from unscrupulous banks and lenders.

By Consumers Union on Friday, June 8th, 2007

And I’m not talking about a phone number (which I also hesitate to give out to avoid annoying telemarketing calls), but rather my social security number. Who has it? Who’s asking for it? What do they do with it? Why do people aside from my tax collectors, creditors, investment brokers or employer need it?

Various forms often ask you to provide your SSN, but do you think twice about putting it down? For instance, I had to temporarily store some of my things during a remodel and the storage company’s registration form asked for my SSN. Why on earth would this storage company need my SSN? So, I called them to ask why they would need my SSN. They had no idea. I got them to take this off their registration form.

Which got me thinking…how many other businesses collect SSNs for no reason? What’s been your experience?

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