Avoid Identity Theft

The United States Post Office sent me a pamphlet from the Federal Trade Commission about identity theft. The pamphlet states, “Protect your Social Security number. Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write your Social Security number on a check. Give it out only if absolutely necessary or ask to use another identifier.”

Take note, Qwest and Comcast. I very nearly dropped my Qwest phone and internet service last week. Internet service had been spotty, and when I called to complain Qwest’s representative demanded that I give him my Social Security number over the phone. When I refused, he suggested that he could also send me to the disconnection department. I hung up.

I had Comcast on the line and was very close to purchasing its services — until its representative demanded my Social Security number over the phone. I told her that was unacceptable.

Fortunately, an employee of Qwest who was sent to work on the problem explained to me what was going wrong with the internet service, how he intended to fix it, and how Qwest does not really need my Social Security number over the phone, in his opinion. Finally, somebody from Qwest lived up to the company’s loudly-touted “spirit of service.”

(If Comcast would stop spending so much money sending me junk mail and simply offer me a reasonable deal without demanding unnecessary personal information, I’d probably sign up with Comcast. But, aside from the jerk that Qwest subjected me to over the phone, I’ve been fairly happy with Qwest, except when I’m trying to watch a video online, which is slower.)

Disclaimer: Nothing in this post should be taken to suggest that I do not still advocate the phasing out of Social Security, the privatization of the Post Office, and the abolition of the FTC.

One thought on “Avoid Identity Theft”

  1. Same for government Need to know only. The IRS has need to know, and so does your employer, for withholding. And that is it.
    Some years ago, Paul Danish (Boulder County commissioner ret.) got involved in a class action suit against state run agencies in Boulder that were denying service to people who wouldn’t give their SSN. The appeals court decided that an agency could ask, but the person could not be required to provide their SSN. In short, services could not be denied for lack of SSN.
    In 03 some of the county clerks around the state would not register voters without their SSN. This has also been beaten. The only state agency that is entitled to know your SSN is the Dept. of Revenue.

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