Generally, in the “Scam of the day” I warn you about the latest scams and identity theft schemes, however, I am happy to report that today’s “Scam of the day” is to inform you about a new bill just signed into law by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that will take effect four months from now that prohibits businesses and services from requiring people to disclose their Social Security numbers in order to business with the particular company. There are some legitimate exceptions for bank and credit related purposes and other similar services, but generally this will prevent companies that have no legitimate need for your Social Security number from requiring that you give them your Social Security number or refuse to provide goods or services to you if you do not provide it.
Unfortunately, most states and the federal government still permit companies to refuse to do business with you if you refuse to provide them with your Social Security number. If you are dealing with a company that requests your Social Security number although they do not need it, you should suggest using another identifying number such as your Driver’s license number. Some people have gone so far as to obtain Richard Nixon’s Social Security number by using the Death Master Index of the Social Security Administration that provides access to the Social Security numbers of anyone who has died. The more places that have your Social Security number, the greater your risk of identity theft if their data security is breached so whenever possible limit the places that have it.