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Giving SS# to access account information...


maddison66
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I'm a customer service rep for a public utility and my BIGGEST pet peeve :evil::evil::evil: is when customers call in to get account information and give me their ss# to access their account.

First of all...you don't know who you are talking to. Yes, your SS# is on your account and as soon as I pull it up I can see it, but why be so free in giving out something that your life is tied to?

Secondly, how hard is it to have your account information available when you call creditors?

In this day and age of identity theft, SS#'s should be protected at all costs. If it is not necessary for you to give your SS# to set up service, then do not give it. If you currently have it on any of your utility accounts, call and ask them to remove it and use some other type of identifying information (maybe your driver's license number). If you know you need to contact your creditor, have your account number with you, it makes your life easier and ours as well...

That's my gripe for the day....8-)

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That is a great suggestion but, this is the number that identifies who you really are. Driver license numbers are easier to access than social security numbers. Some utility companies set up accounts by pulling credit reports - where they need to have your social security number to be able to tell if you have ever had a collection account with another utility company, etc.

I don't know what the best answer to the question of using something different than a ss# but it is clear something needs to be done about checking for ID theft and better verification from creditors on who is actually applying for credit.

DNA????? Fingerprinting????:smile:

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  • 2 months later...

This practice of using SSN's as a national ID needs to be stopped and it needs to be stopped at the FEDERAL level. Banks, utility companies, doctors offices, virtually ANY company you deal with or have some kind of account with wants your SSN. It drives me nuts when the bank asks for it as proof of my identity and I tell them that I object to it's use as such. They don't care - yet.

There is current law that says you cannot be denied services or goods because you refuse to give your SSN out - and that needs to be enforced and people need to start objecting to it's use !

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I'm a customer service rep for a public utility and my BIGGEST pet peeve :evil::evil::evil: is when customers call in to get account information and give me their ss# to access their account.

That would probably be because every time I call my cable company, water company, electric company, or cell phone carrier one of the first things they ask for to verify my identity is my SS#.

Maybe our gripe needs to be directed to them, not consumers constantly bombarded by requests for this information.

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  • 3 weeks later...
That would probably be because every time I call my cable company, water company, electric company, or cell phone carrier one of the first things they ask for to verify my identity is my SS#.

Maybe our gripe needs to be directed to them, not consumers constantly bombarded by requests for this information.

My response to them when they ask that is .. may I have yours ??? .. " No"

"then why do you think I would give you mine"

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And then they tell you that if they can't verify your identity they can't speak to you about your account. For a short time I worked in the help desk for my local cable company, and that was the policy. Simply knowing the phone, address, or even account # wasn't good enough (I guess they figured someone could have lifted a statement from the trash).

Like I said, the change needs to occur at the company level. They need to stop taking, recording, and asking for this information. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening.

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  • 1 month later...

It angers me when I have to give my SS# to get water service!! What does the monthly bill come to? $10? "I'll give you a $20 deposit" doesn't work. It's absurd.

Something as simple as a pin number on your SS# would work, maybe???...

My ATM card ain't worth much without the pin.

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  • 1 month later...

I agree! I think a PIN number attached to your SS# would be a great benefit. It would be a great deal harder for identity thieves to continue ripping consumers/creditors off! There is a PIN number attached to your bank card for that very reason. Why hasn't anyone in the govmnt implemented that?

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Actually the idea was yours, Houdino! I was just repeating what a great concept it is! It's funny, I never thought of that scenario. When you mentioned it, a HUGE light bulb went on in my head! It's one of those major "AHA!" moments on something that seems so obvious!

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This practice of using SSN's as a national ID needs to be stopped and it needs to be stopped at the FEDERAL level. Banks, utility companies, doctors offices, virtually ANY company you deal with or have some kind of account with wants your SSN. It drives me nuts when the bank asks for it as proof of my identity and I tell them that I object to it's use as such. They don't care - yet.

There is current law that says you cannot be denied services or goods because you refuse to give your SSN out - and that needs to be enforced and people need to start objecting to it's use !

That is interesting. I was not aware of that law. I thought you just had to use your ssn#.

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