THE CURMUDGEON’S CORNER: ...AND I’LL JUST NEED THE LAST FOUR DIGITS OF YOUR SOCIAL, PLEASE.
by Sean Jaeger
I’d tell you my favorite number. But then I’d have to kill you.
Raise your hands everyone who is tired to death of being asked for any digits in their social security number, the last four, the first four, the middle one, any one.
When I got my Social Security Card they warned me sternly not to tell any one the secret number, not even under torture by a North Korean prison camp guard in North Korea. I was eleven years old. The Korean War and M.A.S.H. were real. I had just gotten my first job, as a pin boy in a bowling alley. I hate to think how many laws you would be breaking today but paying an eleven year old kid to sit on the wooden divider between alleys at the business end of a bowling alley, with pins flying around, and balls rushing around on tracks at your back and crashing at your feet. It was the most fun I ever had before I noticed girls.
But it is a different story now.
My son wanted to buy an iPhone. He had to give his Social Security number to every one but the taxi driver parked out front even though he rode a bike to the Apple Store.
Because I was the one with the family plan he was dumping I had to give the last 4 digits of my social security number to my wireless network to find out my account number and to somebody else at the network to let my son move his number and I had to give the whole number to the Apple Store guy.
The cable guy also wants my Social Security number before he puts in my cable. Then when I call to check the bill he wants the last 4 digits of before they can discuss my bill with me.
I got so tired of it that for years my password for my wireless company was “give me the last 4 digits of your social security number.”
They hated it. After years of complaining they said the password couldn’t contain more than 6 letters and made me change it. Ahole has only 5 letters but they said the computer blocked that word.
You ever notice that all of these people who want the last 4 digits of your Social Security number won’t tell you their name.
“What’s your name?”
My name is Mary.”
“What’s your last name?”
“We’re not allowed to tell you that.”
“Where are you?”
“We’re not allowed to tell you that either.”
That’s because her name is Harini and she is in a Mumbai call center.
Then there is the manager of the big box store, like Target.
He says his name is Donald.
“What’s your last name?”
“We don’t give out last names.”
This is the person who wants to see your driver ’s license because you are trying to return a $10 Chinese steam iron that leaks.
Every time you go on the internet and actually want something the site wants your name, address, phone number, and date of birth. Then they want a password, which makes password number 437. Then they give you a secret question, in case you forget the password.
“What is your Mother’s maiden name?” is the default...
Now with all that information and your Social Security number your ID, your bank account, your credit, and the deed to your house are up for grabs for anyone who wants to take them.
Ask any financial advisor and they tell you never write down your Social Security number if you can help it. Don’t even write your credit card number on checks to pay your credit card bills.
But the IRS wants you to write your Social Security number on your checks to Uncle Sam. Everybody and their brother in the bank gets to read your check and write down your Social Security number.
Thieves don’t need to steal our identity...we’re giving it away everyday!