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why does my doctor need my social security number

Doctor’s offices aren’t the first place you’d think of for a data breach, but that doesn’t mean they’re immune. If a medical professional’s office asks for your social security number, consider skipping it.

When someone gets your social security number, it’s a pain to get your life back in order. Doctors’ offices usually ask for it so they can track you down in case you don’t pay the bill. Consumer Reports advises just skipping that part of the form.

Receptionists probably won’t notice (in my experience, they’ve only questioned it once). If they ask why you skipped that part of the form, explain your concerns about identity theft, and they’ll likely understand.