Re: You don't need SSN for obtaining Credit Cards

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Posted by Chuck on September 07, 1997 at 02:58:25:

In Reply to: Think It's OK to Use SSN for ID, for obtaining Credit Cards posted by Charlie@Sterling Invstigations on August 18, 1997 at 15:41:35:

: Hi,

: I won't use my old SSN for any gov't purpose any longer, but what about when I am asked to give it for other purposes? Any suggestions on where to draw the line?

: Charlie Charpentier
: Sterling Investigations

I have, I believe, two credit cards that I obtained in a lawful manner without the SSN. The only way I have succeeded in this is to request the cards by phone. Written applications are returned with "You left your ssn off the app. Please supply it and we'll process the app." (I paraphrase here) I learned what to do when I received a credit card solicitation a few months after I started studying privacy as it relates to SSN use. I went through the whole app, answering the young lady's questions with concise answers, and at the very end of the questions, she said, "And last I need your Social Security Number." I replied, "I don't give that out." And very quickly, as if she was reading from a prepared statement, she said, "I understand if you have objections to giving that information out over the phone, but I can provide you with my phone number and extension and you can call my supervisor and verify my employment. Now sir, I do need that information to process you application. May I have you Social Security Number?"
Now, I really only had a cursory knowledge of the USC and CFR at the time, so I winged it: "No, I don't. Under the Privacy Act of 1974 and Title 5 of the USC, my SSN is priviledged information, and that number is between me and the SSA. Furthermore, under the Privacy Act, you cannot legally request that information, nor require it as a condition of doing business. Ok?"
Without missing a beat or showing ANY kind of consternation, she said, "Ok, sir, I can process your application without that information."
And she thanked me, read the necessary disclosures, and hung up. And Chevy Chase Bank issued me a $10,000 gold Visa.
A written application was rejected by Advanta because I had left my SSN space blank. I have three more apps out in proces land right now, and I filled the SSN space with "none" or "N/A." Lets see what happens.

Hope this helps...You have to know your laws, both federal and state, and where you don't you have to be a good "social engineer."


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