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Monday, June 23, 2014

IDENTITY THEFT - a cranky re-run

IDENTITY THEFT

This re-run from June 2012 received almost no visits. 
The three people who commented seemed to really like it,
So I'm giving it a second chance.  Hey, that's what re-runs are for.


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.

15 comments:

  1. Nothing is sacred. My entire Blogger dashboard has been hijacked this morning; yours is the only post available. It's going to be a long summer.

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  2. I really try to stay vigilant but there are a whole lot more of them than there is me. We almost got caught when Jim thought he was talking to the bank and gave out his info. We immediately headed for the bank and got everything changed before anything happened but it was close. You really think you are smarter than that but it happens so easily.

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  3. You are so right. We have to live with blind trust these days that the "legitimate" sorts that have our info can't be bought. Toes crossed.

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  4. Like Joanne, my entire Blogger dashboard has been hijacked this morning. But I figured you'd posted and picked you up on my Blog Roll. Would you believe I don't know my credit score? I have one credit card which I use for gas and identification purposes, but other than that we pay cash for everything. I guess I'm one of the fortunate ones.

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  5. I love the IRS the best. Write your SS numbers on your quarterlies. Yes indeed. That way everyone can see your SS numbers.

    I so agree that too many people ask for our SS numbers. Those are the very people we should worry about too.

    Have a fabulous day. :)

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  6. First, to Joanne and Stephen: The Blogger dashboard issue is mine too, as well as many others. (See Blogger Forum)
    However, I am now receiving email notices of COM (and others) again!
    That's valuable info you've provided. I had a call from IRS years ago. I had written my husband's SSN in place of my daughter's on our return. Shocked that I made the error, I started rattling off her number. The agent had to stop me; "DON'T TELL ME!!!! - I will tell YOU what you provided us." And I always thought I was one of the smart ones out here!
    But there's more!
    Had a problem with AOL and started rattling off my password before being intercepted by the employee again!
    Finally, I hope this comment posts. The last 5 or 6 I wrote on WP blogs just disappear!

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  7. You must be blogger powerful, since you showed up on my list at one point, and no one else did.

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  8. I missed it the first time ...prolly wouldn't've said anything anyway.

    The Googleplex seems to be on a "we haven't fixed anything that's not broken" kick.
    Google Maps are all upside down... not literally, just figuratively.

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  9. They can get most of your bank stuff off your debit or credot card as they walk vy you with a nifty little device you can buy on Amazon. Bastards

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  10. I got one blog today--& it wasn't yours!!

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  11. Hey! I am a hijack victim like Joanne and Stephen...except the only post I have showing is from Stephen. AND I can't get there from the dashboard. My sidebar links still work, though.

    As for identity theft, been there, done that this past tax season, because my son Genius had his identity stolen at college. Did you know the IRS has a lengthy list of procedures for how to respond to each complaint? The one for identity theft goes through about six steps, each merely putting off the inquirer for six weeks at a time, telling where to send info, then stating that was the wrong address, and giving another one. I cracked their little secret with my BFF Google, and skipped right to the last step after roundaboutly finding the main identity theft address in Texas. Got my refund after only a couple months instead of a year-and-a-couple-months.

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  12. I think the recent Target credit card security debacle of last year proves that no matter what we do, the bad guys are a step ahead of us. Bastards!

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  13. Every once in a while, when I feel rebellious after someone asks for my social security number, I ask, "Why do you need it? Will you make contributions to my retirement account?"

    From January 1946 until January 1972, social security cards expressly stated that people should not use the number and card for identification - ha!

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  14. Nothing is safe anymore. I guess it's best just to buy all that fraud protection stuff that they sell these days? I mean, the SS number thing is just not sacred anymore. EVERYONE asks for it. When you enroll you kids at school, when you enroll them for Little League, when you make your kid a doctor appointment, when you make your kid a dentist appointment, when you sign your kid up for college, for camp, for anything...they want your social security number. It's no longer a "secret" number. It's used for everything. On our medical card, my husband's SS number is our ID number! I mean, come on! It's not a secret number anymore. It used to be such a taboo thing to say...you would write it down or whisper it whenever someone asked you for it. But these days? Might as well have it written on our foreheads.

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