Car buyer's SSN a Homeland Security requirement?

yadax3August 31, 2009


I've read in Consumer Reports that you should never provide your Social Security Number to an automobile dealer unless they are arranging financing for you. However, when I went to pick up my new car last week (credit union check in hand) the finance guy asked me for my Social Security Number and when I refused to give it to him he said he had to have it for Homeland Security purposes. Since my car had been on order for more than 2 months and all I wanted to finish the paperwork and get out of there, I gave in and provided my SSN. Since then I've been beating myself up wondering if he ran a credit check on me which, according to CR, can affect my credit score. I haven't checked my credit report yet because I just checked it (free) recently and I don't want to pay for another report unnecessarily. But I want to determine whether or not I was scammed before I complete any 'customer satisfaction' surveys. Of course, I also want to warn others.

Thanks for any insights you can offer,


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What's to keep you from giving a bogus number. Just transpose the last 4 digits. Happens all the time on job applications especially in the states that border Mexico.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 1:06PM
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If you're worried about it, subscribe to a service such as LifeLock.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 8:24PM
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I believe itÂs standard practice here in CA. Even though I paid for my car at the dealership with a personal check, they insisted on having me fill out a huge credit app and ran my credit report anyway. Part of it is Homeland Security and part of it is so they can sell your personal information to marketers. I made the mistake of giving the dealer my cell phone number and the telemarketers drove me nuts.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 9:08AM
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If the dealer where I pay for a car runs a needless credit check, I would walk. They do NOT need to run any credit check on a cash sale. Even if you arranged your own financing, to them it's a cash sale. Unless I REALLY wanted that particular car, I would tell him if he runs an unnecessary credit check I'm not buying the car. And so my SSN is none of his business. Heck, I don't even give out my cell number to anyone.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 8:08AM
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