Thursday, June 13, 2013

You Want My What? Here, In Front of Everybody?

I had to go to the doctor yesterday. When I checked in, I was asked for my address and phone number--well within earshot of at least a dozen people I don't know.

When I stopped at the pharmacy for a prescription, again, I was asked to give my address in the presence of several strangers.



I find this odd...and more than a little irritating. How often do we hear or read about the dangers of identity theft? Don't they realize they're making it easy for anyone within earshot to steal your personal information? In either situation, you have no idea who might be listening!

It might even be setting us up for physical danger. Have you ever had to give your home address in a public place, only to notice someone paying just a bit too much attention, and wonder if the creepy character is going to turn up at your door later? It's a possibility. Remember the movie Death Wish? The creeps who forced their way into the protagonist's apartment and robbed and murdered his wife and brutally raped his daughter had the address because they happened to be in the grocery store when the two women were there. They got the address off the grocery delivery receipt.

I understand the need for requesting such information, but a better, more private means of obtaining it is needed.  At Walgreens, I show my state ID, which has my address on it. At the doctor's office, where verifying my phone number is required, I have it written on an index card, which I keep in my bag.

Any thoughts on this?

*****

My partner in crime, William Kendall, is finally back in action with two new blog posts--one at his own blog, Speak of the Devil, and the other a guest post for Annette Gendler. Be sure you check them out!

(Also posted at WordPress.)

15 comments:

  1. I remember Radio Shack used to always ask for phone numbers when you bought something. I always found that highly peculiar.

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  2. Scary subject and yes I have experienced identity theft before but I think plagiarism is almost as bad and I've experienced that too. Why can't people just create their own lives with their own ideas?

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    1. Somebody stole your material? When? Online?

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  3. I've experienced the same requests so now carry a card with the info. If they want more, I ask for paper and pen. I haven't experienced identity theft *touch wood* but know people who have. It's scary stuff.

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  4. It makes me extremely uncomfortable too. I tend to ask for pen and paper to write things down if there are too many folks within earshot, certain to hear some sensitive info (and yes, address and phone number are sensitive!)

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    1. Stores and other facilities that require this information really need to come up with a better way of getting it!

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  5. I have burned through 2 shredders since moving back to Tucson and I don't buy the cheap ones either. I shred everything. What I can't cut up I mark with un-washable ink. Labels on home delivery orders, junk mail anything with my name on it.... Why ?
    Tucson is the base of the biggest identity theft rings in America, run by the Mexican drug cartel. They moved their base of operation from Texas to Arizona. I live in a really nice area...and my mailbox gets broken into several times a year, once a sledge hammer was taken to it. The clerk at the mail office, mailbox has been broken into so many times that she like me has a PO Box for anything business related.
    So beware and be proactive.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. We do the same thing. All of our legal documents, bills, etc. are scanned into our computers and backed up on memory cards which are kept in our safe deposit box, along with all other personal things that can be scanned, like photos, letters, even birthday and Christmas cards. Once they're scanned and filed, the bills, etc. are immediately shredded!

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  6. Never thought about it till now! And now I'll be looking over my shoulder whenever anyone asks my name, address, phone number, and other intimate information!

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    1. You never know who might be taking notes....

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  7. Yeh I'm pretty careful too Norma, do the whole covering up number when drawing money out, and never use my credit card on the internet. It must be so awful to have the identity theft thing happen to you, your whole life would be so disrupted.

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    Replies
    1. I only use prepaid debit cards. They're safer on so many levels!

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  8. Yes, a little professional discretion please! Oh dear! Also what gets me are people on their mobile phones screaming out all their personal details in a very public place. No sense of privacy or propriety!

    Take care
    x

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