ID thief at work
Everyone and their cousin asks for your Social Security Number. But you only need to give your social security number in the following circumstances:
*your are involved in a transaction that requires you or the counter-party to notify the Internal Revenue Service of said transaction. Most financial transactions are reported in some way to Internal Revenue. Therefore, it is legitimate for financial firms to request your social security number.
*state and local governments can legally request your social security number.
*credit card companies and credit reporting agencies
This is part of something called the “Customer Identification Program,” which is part of the so-called “Patriot Act” which eviscerated many of our personal liberties guaranteed by the US Constitution.
If a merchant requests your social security you can say, “NO.” There is no law which prevents them from asking. But remember, you don’t have to give to them. They can refuse to do business with you at that point so just walk away.
Once someone has your social security number they can steal your identity in a flash.
(photo courtesy of Huff Post)