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Dave.G's profile

Teacher

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17 Messages

Monday, February 2nd, 2015 7:49 PM

When will AT&T stop the unnecessary credit checks for no-contract accounts?

I recently set up a new AT&T wireless account, and chose a Mobile Share Value plan over GoPhone because of a nice corporate discount and the possibility to add family members in the future. The Mobile Share Value plan seemed a good option: I brought my own unlocked phone, and I appreciated the freedom of a no-contract plan. I had been told (incorrectly) that I would not need to provide my social security number (SSN) if I brought my company ID and W-2 form to my local AT&T store.

 

Given the recent AT&T data breach, it was very frustrating when I found out that I would in fact need to provide my SSN and date of birth in order to start a Mobile Share Value plan. I offered to set up automated payments, and to pay ahead of each month's service. Neither was acceptable; I was told that to start the Mobile Share Value plan I was required to have a credit check, even though I own my phone and my service is non-contract. In the end I gave my SSN -- only because I had canceled my service with my previous provider and I needed a phone -- but I would never have switched to AT&T if I knew that I would have to put my personal information in the hands of a company that has shown itself to be incapable of protecting its customers' identities. 

The only bright side is that I don't have a contract, so I will be leaving AT&T at the end of the month.

Teacher

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17 Messages

9 years ago


@Busternutt wrote:

But Dave, for a credit check you have to have some unique identifier (more than just a name). If companies switch to something other than SSN, then that is what the ID thieves will go after. They aren't going to go away just because SSN are no longer used.

 

SSN is a U.S. identifier. Are you saying ID theft is not a problem in other countries that don't use an SSN?


Busternutt: your logic is faulty. A unique identifier is not necessary. As I explained above to Deena, credit checks can be done using an individual's address. Your question then boils down to how a person can prove his/her identity, then an official document like a driver's license would suffice.

ACE - Sage

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118.3K Messages

9 years ago

I'm still waiting for you to answer this question:
How do you perform a credit check without a social security number?

Teacher

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17 Messages

9 years ago


@deenalove08 wrote:
The only reason that it is "Everyone does it" is because it is the only way to do it.

Deena, that is clearly wrong. I have already explained to you how a credit check can be done without using a SSN. If a person needs to prove his/her identity, then a driver's license or other government-issued document would suffice.

 

One thing I hope we can agree on is that once the credit check is completed, there is absolutely no need for AT&T to keep any part of your protected information on file.  

Teacher

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17 Messages

9 years ago


@lizdance40 wrote:
I'm still waiting for you to answer this question:
How do you perform a credit check without a social security number?

Lizdance40: it seems that AT&T removed the link I provided in an earlier comment. Try googling "credit check without SSN." 

Professor

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3.2K Messages

9 years ago


@Dave.G wrote:

@Busternutt wrote:

But Dave, for a credit check you have to have some unique identifier (more than just a name). If companies switch to something other than SSN, then that is what the ID thieves will go after. They aren't going to go away just because SSN are no longer used.

 

SSN is a U.S. identifier. Are you saying ID theft is not a problem in other countries that don't use an SSN?


Busternutt: your logic is faulty. A unique identifier is not necessary. As I explained above to Deena, credit checks can be done using an individual's address. Your question then boils down to how a person can prove his/her identity, then an official document like a driver's license would suffice.


A unique identifier is necessary. Your address is a unique identifier. And it is a lot easier to find your name and address than your name and SSN. I can go online to the tax assessor's office and find the name and address of every property owner in my city.

 

If you use your DL, they will copy down the DL number. If that then becomes your unique identifier, that is what the thieves will steal to continue to do their business. Any number you can come up with will be the number they go after.

 

Your argument is circular. Whatever you use will be what is stolen by the identity thieves.

 

Teacher

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17 Messages

9 years ago


@Dave.G wrote:

@lizdance40 wrote:
I'm still waiting for you to answer this question:
How do you perform a credit check without a social security number?

Lizdance40: it seems that AT&T removed the link I provided in an earlier comment. Try googling "credit check without SSN." 


For example, try the site: 

landlordology DOT com SLASH do-landlords-need-social-security-numbers

 

This site lists Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax as three tenant screening services that do not require a SSN. Surely something similar could be instituted for cell phone companies and other businesses.

 

Any other questions I can google for you guys?

Teacher

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17 Messages

9 years ago


@Busternutt wrote:

@Dave.G wrote:

@Busternutt wrote:

But Dave, for a credit check you have to have some unique identifier (more than just a name). If companies switch to something other than SSN, then that is what the ID thieves will go after. They aren't going to go away just because SSN are no longer used.

 

SSN is a U.S. identifier. Are you saying ID theft is not a problem in other countries that don't use an SSN?


Busternutt: your logic is faulty. A unique identifier is not necessary. As I explained above to Deena, credit checks can be done using an individual's address. Your question then boils down to how a person can prove his/her identity, then an official document like a driver's license would suffice.


A unique identifier is necessary. Your address is a unique identifier. And it is a lot easier to find your name and address than your name and SSN. I can go online to the tax assessor's office and find the name and address of every property owner in my city.

 

If you use your DL, they will copy down the DL number. If that then becomes your unique identifier, that is what the thieves will steal to continue to do their business. Any number you can come up with will be the number they go after.

 

Your argument is circular. Whatever you use will be what is stolen by the identity thieves.

 


No. Once again you are either confused or being purposefully obtuse. An address and driver's license proves that a potential customer's identity is true and real. At that point, a unique identifier could be created by the company.

 

This policy of protecting important personal information happens literally thousands of times per day in the medical system. Why you continue to say it is impossible is confusing to me, but I'm getting tired of explaining things to you.

ACE - Sage

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118.3K Messages

9 years ago

And yet the required credit check can't be run without social security number.

We have all heard of Credit Karma, the online site to get you free credit score. Try to get yours without your SS#. You can't. You can't get your credit run without SS#.

Professor

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3.2K Messages

9 years ago

You don't think drivers licenses can be faked? Ask any college student.

 

If a company creates a unique identifier, that will become the target of the thieves. It's not about what number we use, it is about a company protecting that information once we give it to them.

 

As for medical systems, they always ask me for a SSN. They may create a unique patient number, but my SSN is still in their records in case they get audited.

 

Teacher

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17 Messages

9 years ago


@lizdance40 wrote:
And yet the required credit check can't be run without social security number.

We have all heard of Credit Karma, the online site to get you free credit score. Try to get yours without your SS#. You can't. You can't get your credit run without SS#.

Lizdance: You asked for me to show you a way to run a credit check without a SSN. I showed you, and yet you continue to insist that it is impossible. 

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