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Clark Howard: Social security fraud

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Updated: 5/09/2013 2:25 pm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- What's the purpose of a social security number? Well, the purpose of it is when you go to get a job they need your social security number, and social security tracks your earnings over the years.

When you reach old age, you then get a social security check. So why is it that everywhere you go, everything you do, forms ask for your social security number?

Any doctor, any hospital, any medical facility at all, they always want your social security number. What's really ugly is that even schools ask for your social security number. 

You shouldn't give it. Here's what I do. Any form that asks me for my social security number I leave it blank. If they then come back to me and say I need to have your social security number, they have to convince me they have a good reason for it. 

You know why I'm so fierce about this? It's because the social security number unlocks identity theft big time.

Over and over again at medical facilities, criminals have used people's social security numbers on forms to then start identity theft. Be careful.

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Watch Clark Howard weekday mornings on Action News This Morning on FOX30 beginning at 7 a.m.
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