Why is the White House Phishing For Social Security Numbers?

Filed under: are we sure these guys are cut out for the job?

Can you blame these Cleveland business owners for thinking the invite was spam?

Via FOX News:

Email invitations the White House sent to Cleveland area business owners inviting them to a roundtable looked like spam to many of the recipients, leading some to delete the invites from their inboxes.

A vague subject line and generic language that asked for the recipient's social security number set off red flags among some who got the email. Others may not have ever gotten the email as it didn't make it through their spam filters.

PartsSource Chief Executive Ray Dalton tells FOX News his company received an invitation from the White House to meet with the president but they discarded the email as spam, suspecting it of being a phishing solicitation.

Thankfully, Social Security has a handy guide to protecting your Social Security number (even though we all know actual Social Security won't exist by the time enterprising criminals get around to stealing your identity) here:

How can I protect my Social Security number?

You should treat your Social Security number as confidential information and avoid giving it out unnecessarily. You should keep your Social Security card in a safe place with your other important papers. Do not carry it with you unless you need to show it to an employer or service provider.

We do several things to protect your number from misuse. For example, we require and carefully inspect proof of identity from people who apply to replace lost or stolen Social Security cards, or for corrected cards. One reason we do this is to prevent people from fraudulently obtaining Social Security numbers to establish false identities. We maintain the privacy of Social Security records unless:

* The law requires us to disclose information to another government agency; or
* Your information is needed to conduct Social Security or other government health or welfare program business.

You should be very careful about sharing your number and card to protect against misuse of your number. Giving your number is voluntary even when you are asked for the number directly. If requested, you should ask:

* Why your number is needed;
* How your number will be used;
* What happens if you refuse; and
* What law requires you to give your number.

The answers to these questions can help you decide if you want to give your Social Security number. The decision is yours.

White House spokesman Matt Lehrich told The Plain Dealer "inevitably, when you're e-mailing a large group, there will be some glitches. But we know it's not every day you get an invitation to meet with the president of the United States . . . which is exactly why we always follow up by phone."

Good idea.

(psst, don't give your Social Security number out on the phone either, kids. Serious.)

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.