Why does Target want my social security number to help me save 5%?

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So I finally got a new rim and tire for my bicycle so I can start riding my bike again, but I didn’t get a tube, so we went to Target.  The new tubes were only $4.99 each and I bought 2.  At the check stand, the checker asked me if I was saving 5% with them and I said no and she asked me if I wanted to apply, it’s free, so I said eh, why not.  Naturally she had to void everything and start all over.  She asked for my ID and she asked me to tap something on the screen that you pay with a credit card on, then she asked me to type my social security number.  RED FLAG!  No, nope, nuh uh, no way, forget it, not gonna happen Baby Jane Hudson.

Why does Target need my social security number to help me save 5%?  It makes absolutely no sense.  I can see if I were applying for a credit card or if I were applying for a job, but she said it’s a rewards card, not a credit card.

She had to cancel it all out again and start over.  I paid for the 2 tubes and a bottle of soda and we left, grumbling about it all the way to the door and out to the car lol.

I just don’t understand why Target needs my social security number for that.  I had a rewards card with Albertson’s and all they asked me for was my home address, phone number and email address.  No problem.  I don’t mind giving out that information, but when it comes to my social security number I become suspicious.  Where is my tin foil hat?

I love Target, I really do.  I was upset when I couldn’t shop there because they had donated money to an anti-gay politician and was thrilled beyond belief when I could shop there again.  I was thrilled when they started carrying LGBT t-shirts and had a gay wedding registry.  I have always loved Target since I was 16, but this is just going too far.

So no Target, you can’t have my social security number to help me save a measly 5% on my future purchases.  Perhaps someone can explain to me why they need that.  I would love an explanation.

Identity Theft Protection With Lifelock

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of LifeLock Twitter for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

AmeliaIZEA | skitch.com

My very first experience with identity theft was when I had just turned 18 years old and went to get a job.  The interviewer asked me how long I have been in this country and asked me for my green card.  They did a credit check and that said that I wasn’t me.  I had to schedule a new interview where I had to bring my social security card as well as my birth certificate and my California ID card to prove that I was me.  That was in 1988.  I wrote about this experience in my book.

My second experience was in 2004 when I tried to get our utilities turned on with PG&E, they told me that I had to bring in my ID card and my social security card because according to their credit check, I wasn’t who I said I was again.  This time I asked and they told me the first name was Marsha.

Many years had gone by and I started seeing these commercials where a man was telling the world what his social security number was and daring people to steal it.  That company was LifeLock.  I decided that I did not want my prior experiences to happen again, so I signed up with Lifelock.  I only pay $10 a month and my name and social security number has never been safer.  I have been a member since January 2008.

As a member, Lifelock will send you a credit report every year and they will put restrictions in place so not even you can sign up for a credit card or buy a car without showing proof.  They will send you email and/or text alerts when someone is trying to use your credit.

Here are some interesting and alarming stats.  Households that make $100K per year have the highest fraud rate at 7.4%.  The average cost per person who loses their identity is $1,513.  11.6 million adults were victims of identity theft in 2011 and $18 billion dollars was lost.  6.6% are smart phone users, 6.8% are people who interact with apps in social media websites, 8.2% “checked in” on websites with their smart phone with GPS and 10.1% are LinkedIn users.

How hack-friendly is your password?  If you have a password that is only 6 characters without any symbols, a hacker will figure that password out in .000224 seconds, but if your password is 10 characters and uses a symbol (&%$#@), it could take them 20 days which gives you enough time to change your password every couple of weeks.  How safe do you feel now?  If they can figure out your email password and send emails on your behalf, imagine them stealing your bank account password and draining your account without you even knowing it.

If I were you, I would sign up with Lifelock today.  Check out their website and LifeLock on Twitter.  It’s nice knowing that my credit is safe.

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Credit Scams

I’ve been getting these phone calls from credit companies trying to recover a huge amount of money from a person with the same name as mine as well as this persons wife named Amanda McDonald.  Well, I can safely say that I am not married or dating a woman named Amanda or any other woman’s name for that matter.

Last year I got a call from one of those places that give you money when you give them a check and they hold the check until your next payday.  I never ever go to those places at all.

Also last year I got a call saying I owed $50,000 which I know I don’t owe.  I told them that I don’t owe them and it’s not me and I was stupid enough to give them the last 4 digits of my social security number.

Yesterday I got a call and they said my name and I said yes and then she said Amanda and I said you know what, there is no Amanda McDonald here, there never was and never will be, you got the wrong person.  The lady said thank you and hung up.

Well, about an hour ago I got a phone call saying that I owe money for a Suzuki car.  Uh, I don’t think so.  I never learned how to drive and I definitely don’t have a driver’s license.  I definitely do not have a Suzuki vehicle and if I did they could come and repossess it, but I don’t have one so they are SOL.

Thankfully I am a member of LifeLock and I called them up to tell them what happened and they told me that there are a lot of people out there who are trying to scam you out of your money and because of today’s economy they can’t make money any other way but to try to steal it from other people.  They send me a credit report from all 3 credit bureau’s every year and there was nothing on it the last time and the woman from LifeLock said that I should be getting another one in a month and half so if it’s not there (the car) then don’t worry about it, it’s probably a scam.

Don’t listen to phone(y) people because they are most likely lying to you to get your money.  They will try to convince you to give them your social security number to verify their claim but you cannot give that number to them.  The only way you should ever give that information out is if you called them.  What you should do is ask them what company they are calling from then look it up on the internet and then call them.  If they don’t respond then hang up.  If there is a phone number listed on the caller ID then call the police and give them that number and they can investigate it.  If it says Unknown Caller or Private Caller that is also a way to know that it’s fake.  This call I got today said Unknown.  A credit company will have their name and number on your Caller ID.  Don’t be fooled into giving away your good name.

My Birth Father

On my 15th birthday my mother decided that it was time for me to know that my step dad wasn’t really my real father.  I basically knew but I let her tell me whatever she was going to tell me.

She gave me this elaborate story about how he left her when I was a month old to go to Germany in the Air Force and he never returned and she made him out to be this bad guy.

What she didn’t tell me was that he was married to another woman and had an affair with my mother and she got pregnant but he broke off the relationship with her because he loved his wife and she never told him that she was pregnant so he didn’t even know.  However she stayed in contact with his mother, my grand mother, for years afterwards.

My mom has shown me pictures of her when I was a little kid and just told me that she was a friend of hers.  When she told me the truth she told me that this woman was my grand mother.  When I had my tonsils out around I think age 3 or 4, I forgot when, she bought me a Mrs. Beasley doll from the show Family Affair and my sister was so jealous because she wanted it.  I didn’t know who gave it to me, I just knew it was given to me.

I would definitely love to find my birth father and have some kind of relationship with him because I have this huge hole in my heart that I would love to fill.  His name is Ron or Ronald Shirtliff.  I am not quite sure about the spelling of the last name but that is what my Aunt Betty has told me.  I have found that name a few times and contacted all of them and of course none of them agreed that they knew my mother so without a social security number I can’t get any information to find him.

I’m hoping that his name will be on search engines and if he or his family members decide to do a search for him they will find my blogs and posts on message boards and contact me.  Please, if you can help me reply with a comment in this blog or go to www.xanapus.com and click the email form and email me.  I don’t have any motives, I don’t care about the affair, none of that matters.  All that matters is that I find my birth father.