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An_252569 posted:
I was just on the phone with the hospital to talk about my bill with customer service. The first time I called the call rep only asked for my birth date. The next time the other call rep asked for my social security number. Now I'm afraid that she will steal my identity. Why would the first one only ask for birth date and the other one ask for soc? It feels sketchy and now i'm about to cry because I feel like my identity is being taken. Is there any way I can continuously check to see if someone stole my identity?
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rohvannyn responded:
I work in customer service for a pharmacy, so I know why one asked for just your birth date and the other one asked for your ssn. In order to find your account in the computer, they have to have some personal information. Some agents find it easier to use the name and date of birth, others find it easier to use the social. It's down to what the agent is used to doing and how they are trained. Personally, I don't ask for the SSN because I feel it is wrong to do that, but more than likely they asked for it just to find your account. HIPAA (the privacy act) prevents them from using your information or writing it down, but it's still best to be safe.

You do have the right to say "I'm not comfortable giving that out, can you look me up any other way?" and most of the time there is another way to look your account up. I get asked that all the time and I don't mind at all.

Here's how to stay safe: always make sure you are the one to make the call. Don't give your personal information like your SSN out to a person calling you, but it's usually safe if you are calling someone and know who you are talking to.

There are credit monitoring servives, such as Life Lock, that will watch over your information for a fee. Ask your bank or credit union if they have such a service, it may be cheaper for existing members.


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