Is your Social Security number too exposed? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Is your Social Security number too exposed?

LEESBURG, GA (WALB) -

A Lee County man warns you to check your bank statements to see if your Social Security number is now appearing on them. If you get a check from the government, recent changes could make your number appear on your bank statement, making you a target for identity theft.

George Barrett is a retired security expert, and he spotted last month's changes by the U. S. Treasury, exposing millions of people's Social Security numbers through their mail.

Treasury officials now say they agree, and are working to fix the problem. 

Barrett's identity was stolen in October 2010, and he calls the damage to his finances "a nightmare."

So when he opened his October bank statement he was immediately alarmed.  "Paranoid. Yes. You get paranoid and most folks who have been hit with identity theft is paranoid."

His Social Security payment listing on his October bank statement was different than in the past, and now printed out his entire Social Security number. Barrett checked his father's bank statement and his neighbor's as well, and all three had the same change.

"His Veteran's check that comes in, has got U.S. Treasury VA Benefit, and then directly under it it's got his exposed whole Social Security Number."

Barrett knew that anyone who got his bank statement from the mail would have all his most precious financial personal information. Barrett went to banks, the Social Security office, Congressman Sanford Bishop's office with his concerns, and placed several long phone calls to U.S. Treasury Officials, but all blamed the other.

"It flabbergasted them, because they had never seen it." Barrett knows mail gets mixed up and delivered to the wrong house, or stolen out of mailboxes. "Somebody accidentally opens it or even opens it on purpose, hey I'm exposed. They got everything."

So Barrett is urging South Georgians who receive government payments to check their bank statements, and make sure to protect themselves from another identity theft problem.

"Somebody accidentally opens it or even opens it on purpose, hey I'm exposed. They got everything."

So Barrett is urging South Georgians who receive government payments to check their bank statements, and make sure to protect themselves from another identity theft problem.

 

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.  

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