Yes. America, we have idiots. My coworker showed me this article. How stupid can people be? But wow, it can be really scary..."Dumb money moves people make"
We sure make it easy for the identity thieves. I sure hope my college (Rochester Institute of Technology) has removed the restriction of writing down SSNs on the exams. At my time, we were to write down our SSNs on the sheets. Very scary when I looked back. Thus, I became a victim for identity thieves. Someone stole my SSN and used it to open a credit line with Walmart in Rochester NY and charged over $900 to my name.
I did not know about this for months (it happened in October 2002) until someone kept calling my parents' house in the summer of 2003 and I finally got someone to talk to me on TTY (hmm he must know I'm deaf). I was really skeptical because he was saying those things... and my dad took over and demanded him to tell me my SSN, my date of birth, and where I was from. We gulped - the guy knew all of my data. He was the detective looking into the identity thief case. I was not the only victim. There were 8 or 9 other victims from RIT, all students.
I called all of the three credit bureaus, and filed a claim for each, "FRAUD ALERT", and received my reports in mail (it is free in mail, i think, if you are filing for fraud). When I read them for very first time in my life, wow. I was charged $900 and I did not know about it for 9 months. That was the same summer I was moving to Kansas City, so it sure did not look good for me if I was going apartment hunting or opening an account.
The issue was resolved, and the $900 was removed from all of my credit reports, so I am all clean now... so far. Be careful, please keep your personal information to yourself, do not carry them with you, except when it really is needed.
But, for goodness' sake, do not write PIN on your ATM card or spend $50,000 on a cat.