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Social Security Number

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BUSINESS
July 5, 2013 | By Martin Eichner
Question: My family and I moved to our apartment two years ago. We have paid our full rent on time, every month. Last week, the apartment manager said the ownership has a new policy that requires me to give her my Social Security number. She said if I failed to do so, she would terminate my tenancy. I don't have a Social Security number. My husband and I are undocumented immigrants from Mexico, and we aren't authorized to get Social Security numbers. I pay taxes using my taxpayer identification number.
ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
March 22, 2014 | Ricardo Lopez
If the IRS is calling and demanding you pay up or else, it's probably not the IRS. In what officials in Washington are calling the largest of its kind, a sophisticated phone scam has swindled 20,000 people nationally out of a combined $1 million. Scammers are armed with enough information and technological know-how to bilk taxpayers, often convincing unsuspecting victims because they can recite the last four digits of their Social Security number, officials said. The call that comes in appears to be -- at least on caller ID -- from the Internal Revenue Service.
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BUSINESS
November 21, 1987 | DEBRA WHITEFIELD
QUESTION: You said in a recent column that the IRS now requires children to have a Social Security number. Do I have to go to a Social Security office to get one for my 6-year-old? Or is there any easier way?--H. U. ANSWER: You can do it by mail if you prefer. Pick up an application--Form SS-5--from your local Social Security office or have them send you one.
BUSINESS
January 16, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
Neiman Marcus Group offered more details Thursday about the data breach it disclosed late last week, saying that although credit and debit card information was stolen, customers' social security numbers and birth dates were not. And because the company doesn't use PIN pads in its stores, the identifying numbers that are usually punched into the machines appear to be safe, Neiman Marcus said. And, as of Wednesday, the company said accounts linked to its Neiman Marcus card aren't showing signs of fraudulent activity.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 1998 | AL MARTINEZ
The old Buick was up on a rack and Chuck Rose was standing beneath it, waiting for the last of the motor oil to drip into a container. The car's front brakes were shot, he was saying, and its rear brakes were going. He would finish changing the oil, put the tires back on and tell the owner. "It's actually in pretty good shape," he'd say later, listening to the hum of the engine. New oil had been added by then and the radiator and windshield wiper fluid checked.
BUSINESS
December 22, 2002 | Liz Pulliam Weston, Special to The Times
Question: My 86-year-old mother-in-law has been using her deceased husband's Social Security number since he died in 1978. She has several certificates of deposit at a local bank as well as savings accounts and a checking account. She has not filed taxes for the last 10 years or so based on advice from a tax advisor at her senior center. In addition, her Medicare number, and I'm sure all her doctors, have the wrong Social Security number.
NEWS
July 21, 2000 | ROBERT A. ROSENBLATT, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Congress, trying to curb a rash of "identity thefts," is moving to ban states and companies from trafficking in one of the most ubiquitous forms of American identification: the Social Security number. If a bill making its way through the House becomes law as expected, stores no longer would be able to require a customer writing a check to give his or her Social Security number. States no longer could make public driver's license files with Social Security numbers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 1998 | HILARY E. MacGREGOR, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Declaring his Social Security numbers the modern-day equivalent of the biblical "mark of the beast," a Ventura County sheriff's deputy has gone to court demanding that the county rid him of the cursed number. Deputy Patrick Dain, 42, is asking his employer to delete the number from his records--something the county has refused to do for four years--and pay him more than $25,000 in damages for money lost in his time-consuming battle.
BUSINESS
February 12, 1988 | S. J. DIAMOND
The 1970s were characterized by great fears for privacy. What if files were being created by both government and private business under everyone's Social Security number? Didn't the use of such identifying numbers, plus the new computer technology, encourage public and private agencies to snoop into each other's records? The 1980s are cooler about such concerns.
BUSINESS
April 28, 2002 | LIZ PULLIAM WESTON, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Question: You've written before about how important it is to protect your Social Security number to prevent identity theft. But it seems like every form I fill out these days asks for my number. When do I have to reveal my number, and when can I keep it to myself? Answer: If taxes or credit decisions are involved, you'll usually need to divulge your Social Security number.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 10, 2013 | By Kate Linthicum
Two years ago, an American named Victor Guerrero applied for a job as a prison guard with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He passed a written and physical examination, then submitted to a background check. It asked whether the applicant had ever used a Social Security number "other than the one you used on this questionnaire.” Guerrero, who was born in Mexico and came to the United States at age 11, truthfully answered "yes. " At age 15, he explained, he took a job in a restaurant using a Social Security number that didn't belong to him. Guerrero says he used it for about seven years, until he became a legal permanent resident of the United States in 2007.
BUSINESS
November 25, 2013 | By Chad Terhune, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
In a departure from most medical privacy cases, Anthem Blue Cross said it accidentally posted online Social Security or tax identification numbers for about 24,500 California doctors. [Updated 1:03 p.m. PST Nov. 25: An Anthem spokesman said Monday that 24,500 doctors were affected, up from the previous 5,900 figure issued by the company. ] Anthem, a unit of insurance giant WellPoint Inc., said the private information was mistakenly included with its online provider directory for about 24 hours late last month.
BUSINESS
September 5, 2013 | By David Lazarus
My recent column about cable, satellite and phone companies demanding people's Social Security numbers as a condition for service got Jeffrey thinking. He wants to know: When did our Social Security numbers become our personal identification numbers? They weren't intended to serve this function. In fact, people's Social Security cards carried a warning for decades that they shouldn't be used for ID purposes. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions But every time there's been talk of creating a national ID card, Americans have shot it down, worried about too much personal information being concentrated in one place.
BUSINESS
August 26, 2013 | David Lazarus
Here's a hard-and-fast rule: Don't give your Social Security number to anyone unless it's absolutely necessary. More than 12 million Americans fell victim to identity theft last year, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. Losses topped $21 billion, with the costliest data breaches involving fraudsters gaining access to people's Social Security numbers. With all that in mind, it's hard to imagine that any business nowadays would ask consumers to part with their Social Security number except for the most important of reasons.
BUSINESS
July 5, 2013 | By Martin Eichner
Question: My family and I moved to our apartment two years ago. We have paid our full rent on time, every month. Last week, the apartment manager said the ownership has a new policy that requires me to give her my Social Security number. She said if I failed to do so, she would terminate my tenancy. I don't have a Social Security number. My husband and I are undocumented immigrants from Mexico, and we aren't authorized to get Social Security numbers. I pay taxes using my taxpayer identification number.
TRAVEL
June 23, 2013 | By Catharine Hamm, Los Angeles Times
Question: I read with interest the articles concerning the use of magnetic stripe and Chip and PIN cards in Europe and, as a result, have just obtained a Chip and PIN card. The customer service representative added one caveat: "Bad guys" in Europe have a device that can read the PIN from some distance from the location of the transaction and can then fraudulently use it for their own purposes. She strongly advised the purchase of a protective sleeve that can thwart this illegal use. Albert P. Taylor North Tustin Answer: Every transaction carries some risk, security experts agree, but the agent seems to have conflated a couple of security concerns.
NEWS
May 25, 1999 | From Associated Press
The Constitution doesn't guarantee the right to drive a car, so California can deny a driver's license to a man who won't disclose his Social Security number for religious reasons, a federal appeals court ruled Monday. Donald S. Miller, an Oakland attorney who had been driving for 23 years, was denied a license in 1996 when he refused to provide his Social Security number to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
BUSINESS
June 20, 2013 | David Lazarus
Ed Stoecker's brief, unintended and unhappy stint as a telemarketer occurred recently when he spent several days receiving angry calls from people who didn't appreciate his bothering them. "They all saw my number on their caller ID screen," Stoecker, 58, told me. "They were upset that I seemed to have called them and then hung up just as they picked up the phone, like I was a robo-caller. " Needless to say, he wasn't the culprit. Stoecker was a victim of a growing problem called spoofing, a telephone sleight of hand that allows a scammer, telemarketer or debt collector to trick a caller ID system.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 2012 | By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
Federal officials have opened a criminal investigation to determine whether confidential information was obtained illegally on hundreds of patients who rode in Los Angeles Fire Department ambulances, a high-level city lawyer said Wednesday. The Fire Department has begun informing past patients that personal records, including Social Security numbers and birth dates, were accessed "deliberately and maliciously" by an employee of the company that provides ambulance billing services to the city.
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