H&R Block Mails Customers Their Own SSNs… On The Outside Of The Envelope

from the oops dept

Tax prep firm H&R Block is apologizing today for sending out copies of their tax preparation software to customers, while using customers’ social security numbers as part of the tracking numbers found on the package. The social security number was apparently mixed in as part of a 47-digit tracking number, leading H&R Block to claim that it would be virtually impossible for identity theft to result from this mishap, as it would be quite difficult to decipher which digits within the 47 digits were the SSN. It’s not clear, however, from the story if it was the same set of digits in each tracking number. Still, it does raise serious questions about how the company is using supposedly private SSNs for other purposes.

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Comments on “H&R Block Mails Customers Their Own SSNs… On The Outside Of The Envelope”

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Bob says:

Re: The outsourced this task

Yes I read somewhere that most tax returns of this sort today are outsourced to India, those accountants are probably lucky to get a mere penny to do your return.

They have no concept of Americans preoccupation with SSN privacy, so it was a non-issue for them, which is likely the reason it happened at all.

anonymous says:

Re: they're BLOCKheads!

Letter is ‘dated’ December 22 but there is no ‘postmark’. I got my (first class mail) January 4th. I have YET to see the (third class mail) package. Can’t WAIT to see what the actual thing looks like. Anybody who’s interested in grabbing SSN’s probably already has enough knowlege about which numbers in the 47 are lickely to be the lucky ones and now knows what to look for. BTW the letter? Mostly an advertisement for H&R Block. Oh oh oh – and I distinctly remember telling them (when they were doing my taxes, that I DIDN’t WANT marketing stuff. I’ve already asked them (via phone) for a rebate for the fees I paid them – and I’m backing it up with a certified letter cc’s to my attorney general.

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