Many Government Agencies Expose Social Security Numbers - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Many Government Agencies Expose Social Security Numbers

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The government isn't listening to its own advice when it comes to the risk of identity theft.

The Federal Trade Commission advises Americans not to carry their social security card in their wallet or write their social security number on a check, but rules of several government agencies put the numbers of at least 52 million Americans at potential risk.

The IRS tells taxpayers to write their number on checks.

The Defense Department issues "common access" identity cards that include the numbers.

And at least 44 million Medicare insurance cards include the beneficiary's full social security number, but the head of the Medicare agency says don't carry the card, unless you're going to need it.

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