The citizen contacted the Lincoln police, saying that her
husband had taken a call on his cellphone from a recorded message
saying they were the Consumer Reports Survey. The message told him
that if he wanted to be removed from their caller list, to press 1.
When he did so, he was then asked to enter his Social Security
number, at which time he disconnected the call.
The number showed
up on his cellphone as 302-268-6660. When the citizen called the
number on her phone, she got the same message, asking for a Social
Please, always remember that for criminals, obtaining your Social
Security number is a key step to identity theft, and it should never
be given out to people you do not know. It is also very seldom if
ever needed in business transactions.
While any business or agency can ask for your number, only a
small handful actually have a right to receive it. Examples of these
would be motor vehicle departments, taxing agencies such as the IRS
or the Illinois Department of Revenue, and welfare and community
service agencies such as Community Action and the Department of
Child and Family Services. Others who are entitled to know your
number are those who are conducting transactions on your behalf
relating to income taxes, such as employers for payroll taxes, and
banks and brokerage firms, tax accountants or preparers.
[to top of second column]
Most other businesses have no legal right to demand your number.
In addition, very few if any of these businesses will ask you to
give that number over the phone, and if they do, you should refuse.
According to Bankrate.com, some businesses that are not entitled
to your Social Security number may refuse to do business with you
without it, but most will instead ask for another personal
identifier or will proceed without it.
[LDN, based on information from Ken
Lincoln Police Department,