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Do they have your number?

September 25, 2009

Re "Standing face to face with her thief," Column One, Sept. 22

Earlier this year, someone got hold of my credit card number and used it to order merchandise online from a clothing store. The store knew where it was shipped, but refused to tell me because it said it protects the privacy of its customers -- even if someone else's credit card was used in the transaction. I took my story to the police, where the advice was: Guard your Social Security number.

But since my brush with identity theft, I've been asked to turn over my Social Security number to several clerks. These strangers now know how to mess with my world, financially speaking. I wonder why offices can't let us keep our Social Security numbers to ourselves? I'd like to feel my privacy is as protected as any crook who shops at a clothing store.

Linda Teverbaugh

Toluca Lake

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