What Do You Do When 80 Other People Are Using Your Social Security Number?

from the good-luck dept

With so many data leaks these days, whatever little belief you had that your social security number was private should now be completely shattered. It's a joke that anyone still uses SSNs for any form of identification -- and yet it's still considered the standard. Perhaps a few more cases like the following one will help rectify that. A woman who had not worked in a few years was surprised recently to receive a note from the IRS about taxes she owed. As she tried to get to the bottom of the situation, she discovered that her social security number was being used by at least 80 individuals around the country to help them get jobs. What happened after that demonstrates just how screwed up the system is. While she continued to run into various problems due to others using her SSN (including being held at customs because someone using her SSN was wanted for a felony and having trouble getting a new job), the IRS basically told her that she was going to face the same set of problems every year, and there was basically nothing she could do about it (other than get a new SSN, which she eventually did). In the meantime, can someone explain why Social Security Numbers are still being used for identification at all?

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  1. identicon
    Kelly, 22 Jun 2006 @ 3:25pm

    Momma's name

    Your mother's maiden name is not necessary either. I don't bother and even tell the clueless bank clerk that I have made up a "name". Hint - make it one word; ie. Van Dam wasn't working on most computer systems as I had to guess what they did to the space. I did make sure my spouse knew the "security" word.

    SSN upon employment applications has a purpose -- to check out your credit rating. It says a lot about you - or so the HR departments believe. They used to just make sure you parked in the special visitor spot and sent someone out to check out how messy - or not - you car was during your interview.

    Stand up for your selves people! I have survived refusing the hospital and the insurance company the right to have my SSN or my spouse's. Doctors ask only because that might help get them paid faster. But I really put up a stink when the soccer team wanted my kids' number to verify that the right juvenile was on the field. I chewed them up and down over that one and told them to make up a fake number. Then they offered me the security job!

    Jeff - I'm studying British history - good one about America being the homosexual second-cousin. FYI I was in Mexico and just getting hit on all the time. I picked up an "American" magazine for the flight home. Same mag as next to the check out in the grocery store gets published with nude photos of the models-outside the borders. So that is the image they have of us - sex crazed.

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