This re-run is from June 2012
Identity theft is a common problem in today’s digital age. Once someone steals your identity he can drain your bank or brokerage account and take out credit cards with your name and your credit rating and use them to the max. Getting out from under identity fraud is a long, arduous and expensive task. You may never get your credit rating back. Experts constantly warn that the most important advice to avoiding identity theft is to never give your Name, SS #, or birth date to a stranger, except:
To your Doctor’s receptionist – assuming you want to see the doctor.
Your Investment advisor’s secretary or your bank’s manager – Assuming you want to make an investment or open a checking account.
Your motor vehicle clerk – assuming you want a driver’s license or need to register your car.
Your insurance agent or representative – assuming you want health, car or life insurance.
Any store that you are applying to for credit – assuming you want to buy stuff.
Hardly a day goes by where some legitimate entity doesn’t demand to know my name, birth date, and social security number.
But then what is to worry about? Why would a doctor’s receptionist want to take my information and sell it to someone looking to steal my identity? Don’t doctor’s receptionists get paid huge salaries? Why would they need extra money from selling my information? Drugs? How would a doctor’s receptionist get access to drugs? No worries Ms. Snediker, you seem like a nice person do you need my bank account too?
Why shouldn’t I trust any secretary, clerk, doctor or lawyer? These people never have money problems, divorce, gambling or drinking issues. They could have no incentive to sell my sensitive information could they? Here take all my information…no problem!
Years ago, I volunteered to be a little league manager or coach. I was told they would need my social security number. “Why?” I was told so they could run a security check on me, but not to worry, no information would be given to anyone but the Little League national organization. It was all perfectly safe.
Two years later the same person who assured me the information was safe, the President of the local league, was arrested for stealing from his neighbors because his business went bankrupt, he couldn’t pay his mortgage and didn’t want his wife to find out. Fortunately my personal information which could have been used to steal my identity was untouched.
What the Hell am I worried about?
My name is Cranky Oldman. I was born September 31, 1946. My social security number is 555-fuc-kyou.