Comcast Asks for Your Social Security Number

Comcast Social Security Number

Here is a nice letter we received by a woman who not only attended an identity theft speech, but works for the finest document shredding company in the world, Fellowes. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Hi John! I hope all is well!  Before I get to my experience today with Comcast, I just want to say that I’m very glad you’re continuing to partner with Fellowes as our Identity Theft spokesman. Our sales force STILL talks about your presentation from two years ago at our National Sales Meeting!! Your message definitely has an impact…

As such, here is an interesting story that happened to me earlier this afternoon, and it instantly made me think of you.  I tried to set up cable and internet services through Comcast on their website, and at the end of the set-up sheet they inform you that you must “chat” online with one of their analysts in order for them to process your service request.  Which is obnoxious, but apparently necessary.

So I wait my turn in the queue and then the analyst starts asking me some additional questions that weren’t captured in the initial service request.  Things like: do I have any questions, is this the service I wish to activate, what is my Social Security number.  Of course, I did NOT give it out!  The analyst gave me the standard assurance that it was company policy, and they would never give out my information.  But I could NOT believe they had a live person ask for it in the first place!  The first thing that went through my mind was your “Think Like a Spy” motto—honestly, what would prevent someone from just writing that number down off the screen as I gave it out??  Not to mention the fact that all of those chat conversations are probably logged, for quality assurance purposes.  So who knows how many people have access to that data.

Their solution to me not providing my SSN?  Driver’s License number and birthdate.  To a live stranger on the other side of the screen.

Needless to say, my skin was crawling by the end of the session.  I can only image the number of people that give away their info without even batting an eye. I’m still disturbed by it, and I’m actually tempted to write Comcast a little note telling them as much.

I’m not sure how many other companies have people set up services this way, so if you haven’t heard of this scenario before, it might be something to look into!  Here’s hoping this is not a wide-spread practice…

Unfortunately, asking for your Social Security number when it isn’t actually needed is a very common practice. You can avoid Comcast identity theft. The answer? Don’t give it!

John Sileo is an an award-winning author and keynote speaker on identity theft, internet privacy, fraud training & technology defense. John specializes in making security entertaining, so that it works. John is CEO of The Sileo Group, whose clients include the Pentagon, Visa, Homeland Security & Pfizer. John’s body of work includes appearances on 60 Minutes, Rachael Ray, Anderson Cooper & Fox Business. Contact him directly on 800.258.8076.


2 replies
  1. Siva Kumar
    Siva Kumar says:

    Here was my interaction with Comcast today (29th August 2012):
    To summarize, I just gave full name, phone number and email address

    Analyst: Hello Guest, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Analyst. Please give me one moment
    to review your information.
    Analyst: Hi, I would be more than happy to assist you in completing your order. How are you doing today?

    Guest: Hi Analyst, I was conversing with Analyst1 when I was disconnected on my side. I want to sign up for Digital preferred at $39.99 but did not want to give my SSN. I was I had earlier contacted someone from Live Chat. I want the Digital Preferred TV package advertised at 39.99. I did NOT want to give my SSN. I was told to go to a local store and I did on the 28th in . I was NOT offered the $39.99 price

    Analyst: No problem. Let me check what I can do for you.

    Guest: I also got the standard response from Analyst1: This is also done for your protection to prevent service from being placed in your name without your authorization. I can assure you that our chat is secure and that your information will not be retained. Analyst1: I hope that you do understand our policy. Analyst1: If you want my supervisor can give you a call for your SSN. Will that be alright?

    Guest: Since I am going to the store and willing to give an ID, why can’t I get the same price?

    Analyst: As this is an online promotion only.

    Analyst: I will do the necessary for you.

    Analyst: Could you please confirm your full name, phone number and email address?

    Guest: What I don’t understand is for $44.99 (store price) is Comcast willing to NOT take my SSN? Does NOT make sense

    Analyst: Thank you

    Analyst: Would you like to run a credit check?

    Analyst: Even if you do not want to provide your SSN, a credit check will be done on your name. Is that fine with you?

    Guest: That’s fine

    Analyst: Perfect!

    Analyst: Thank you

    Analyst: I am happy to inform you that you have a great credit standing so you don’t need to pay the deposit amount.

  2. Teresa
    Teresa says:

    I wish I would have read this before a few hours ago when I gave Comcast my SSN#, I didn’t want to & asked If I could give my drivers license. They said no, & I have to have internet., I’ve been sick to my stomach the past few hours & wish I never gave them my most personal #! &I did not even finish the transaction due to Comcast trying to hijack my friends comcast phone I was using at the time, and move it to the new address. I was setting up a Fresh new account and They also tried to hijack The current occupants of the home I bought whom also have Comcast? Now Comcast has my SSN# , all my Info and I still do not have a new account set up with them!

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