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Discussion Starter #1
On occasion, I try to make a purchase in the US or from a US online vendor and they simply will not sell without a US SS number. I tell them I am Cdn and so don't have one, in which case the vendor sometimes relents, but not always. So what is the best way for me to get around this requirement? Would it work if I simply made up a number? Before posting, please remember that it is against forum rules to explain how to do things illegally.
 

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There is valid no reason for a vendor to ask for your SSN (or SIN). Ever. Such a policy just screams "identity theft".

You could try to make up a number. But if it were me I'd flat out refuse to deal with that vendor ever again.
 

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I don't know about in the U.S., but here it's illegal for anyone to ask for your S.I.N., except for certain specific reasons, such as income tax.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great advice, guys, espescially the FAQ from privacy rights, but like most Cdns on this forum, I couldn't give out a US SS # if I wanted to, because I don't have one. :) I was really more interested in how Cdns handle 'legitimate' requests for this info. For example, how do I avoid the SS # requirement (if their is one), if I want to subscribe to DirectTV or Dish while at my US winter residence? Can I establish a bank account in the USA without a US SS#? Can I get a US credit card without a US SS#? Can I get a US driver's license without one? And for the vendors that ask for the last 4 digits of my SS # for ID or credit purposes, can I just make up any 4 numbers?
 

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What were you buying that required them to ask you for that info. I make frequent purchases there and have never been asked.
 

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He is trying to get Directv or Dish Network. They both require the prospective customer to provide their SSN to start service.
 

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They probably want the SSN for a credit check, especially for something that you have to make frequent payments (similar to having an utility account), or in the case of one-time purchases, if you want financing.
 

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Can't they do a credit check with out a SSN? I know you don't need to provide your SIN to get a credit check here in Canada.
 

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Nearly arrested because wouldn't give Drivers License Number.

Heard this on Charles Adler on December 10th 2010, where "David Menzies came close to being arrested on Saturday after refusing to give his driver’s licence to a cashier at a Petro-Canada station." see the complete article in the Toronto Sun, http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2010/12/09/16492546.html
I don't think foggy182 said it is to buy satellite service, but with more fraud out there retailers try to make it look like they are doing something about it even if legally they can't, but with the hopes it might scare the fraudsters away.
 

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I had a bizarre experience at a Shoppers Drug Mart last year. I was paying with my Visa and the cashier asked for my driver's license, then she proceeded to swipe it in her register. I have never had this happen at any other store, and I don't think it should be required to verify a credit card. If it was a small or independent store I likely would have followed up but because Shoppers is a big chain I took it to be legitimate. Has anyone else had a store do this?
 

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Some form of age ID can be required to purchase certain items that are meant for adults only - certain games, DVDs, etc. I didn't know they swiped them, but that could be the only way to "confirm age" at the cash register to allow for checkout of that item.

I know that a friend of mine (in his 50s) refused to supply ID, however, he was also refused the item in the US store (Target or similar).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have been asked for a SS# on a couple of occasions when trying to buy something on credit. I have also thought about subscribing to DirectTv or Dish while visiting the US for an extended period, and wondered how I would get around the SS requirement. I once tried to buy expensive jewelry in the US, and was going to get a $100 'discount' for giving them two gold rings, but I did not make the purchase because the jeweler told me that state law required them to record the driver's license number and SS # of anyone who sold jewelry to them. I am confident that none of the above involved attempted identity theft.
 

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This is why extra information shouldn't be asked for!

PG44...I had a bizarre experience at a Shoppers Drug Mart last year. I was paying with my Visa and the cashier asked for my driver's license, then she proceeded to swipe it in her register.
Drivers licence information cannot be released to the store by Police or Transportation Ministry so what good is it to them, plus legally they are borderline on breaking the Privacy Act in Canada by requesting it.
That data that was swiped it into the register is now on their computer system, either locally or on a central server. Your story is very similar to the post I made on David Menzies earlier.
Here is a story about McDonald's computer system being hacked, now the hackers have everything they need for all types of identity theft.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20025615-245.html
 

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but I did not make the purchase because the jeweler told me that state law required them to record the driver's license number and SS # of anyone who sold jewelry to them. I am confident that none of the above involved attempted identity theft.
You're probably right that there's nothing nefarious going on. The merchant may be forced to take down the SSN as a deterrent to someone selling stolen items. Pawn shops and scrap metal dealers in many places do this.

I personally would find it unsettling to be forced to provide such an important piece of ID to Joe Blow running a storefront.
 

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I purchased a Projector from NCIX last month. Paid with a debit card, (same as cash) and they still took down my drivers license #.. which i thought was odd..

but its not like that particular number is identifying in any manner (if it was a secure id, i would not have provided it at all..)
 
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