“An auto dealership checking a consumer’s credit through TransUnion is not required to have the individual’s social security number (SSN) in order to submit the request,” says Steven Katz, a TU spokesman. Does the dealer need your permission to do that? “The dealer does not need ‘permission'; rather, it needs only certify a permissible purpose (such as extension of credit),” says Katz. [Consumer Reports]
The Tao of Making Money has collected a bunch of interesting facts about Social Security Numbers, for example:
In the latest sign of the U.S. banking industry’s aggressive pursuit of the Hispanic market, Bank of America Corp. has quietly begun offering credit cards to customers without Social Security numbers — typically illegal immigrants.
Imagine getting mugged in LA and having your social security card stolen. It might not seem so far fetched that its number would be used to graft an identity onto an illegal alien. But what might be a surprise, is if years later, the guy’s still walking around with your name and you go to the car lot, they run a credit check, and not only does the guy have several cards in your name, he has way better credit than you do!