Staying in the same vein as my last two posts, I hope you find this as equally interesting and unnerving as I did.  My research for Absolute Recall showed me how merchants generally try to extract as much information as possible from their customers so they can more precisely target offers to them.  But that’s not necessarily in your best interest.  Seemingly innocuous customer information obtained at the register or online can create a surprisingly detailed portrait of your life.

Did you know that in 22 states it is illegal for a merchant to write your information on your check, and in some states such as California to even ask for your zip code?  Few of us know we have the right not to present a drivers license when using a Visa, Master Card, or an American Express card and that the merchant has no right to refuse the sale.  I would be willing to bet a criminal using your I.D. knows.

There are only 4 reasons to disclose your Social Security Number:

*  If you are asking for an extension of credit.

*  If you are dealing with a government agency.

*  If you are applying for a job.

*  If it is required for tax purposes.

Complacency could place you at risk.  So, remember, when you’re broached with questions such as the combination to your safe, or the age you lost your virginity – just say no!

As always – from the point.