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Students, Grades and Social Security Numbers

August 27, 2009

When social security numbers were first issued back in the 1920’s, they were never intended to be used for identification purposes. They were simply to be a way to track earnings and the amount of money you had paid into the new social security system not a critical piece of information for identity theft.

Flash forward 50 years….

SSN’s are being used by everybody to identity you. In recent decades past, they were used as student numbers. Every report card my children got has their number on it. Even colleges used them.

Flash forward to the present time…..

Schools, colleges and universities routinely post grades online now. The Department of Education reports that almost 50 percent of college students have had grades posted by Social Security number. Because students seldom bother to check their credit report, a theft can go on for years and not be discovered until they’re turned down for a school loan, an apartment, or a job.

Identity theft isn’t always about having money stolen from you. The real danger in identity theft is the harm it does to your financial future. In reality, they are stealing your reputation and that’s where the real harm is done.

Imagine graduating from college all ready to start off on a new life only to find out that someone has racked up thousands of dollars in charges using your name. The unfortunate reality of identity theft is that you, as the victim, are left to clean up the mess and clear your good name. It can be unbelievably frustrating and can take months or even years. You will automatically be assumed to be a deadbeat and it’s up to you to prove you’re not.

If your school is still using any part of your social security number for identification, you need to find out what you can do to get this archaic practice changed.

Related post: College Students are High Risk for Identity Theft

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