Social Security: Beware of identity theft on the ‘Ides of March’ and every …

“Beware the Ides of March,” said the soothsayer to Caesar in William Shakespeare’s play, “Julius Caesar.”

When it comes to using the Internet, Social Security Administration urges you to beware not only the Ides of March (March 15), but every day — and every time — you go on the Internet. Identity theft and cyber-crimes are among the fastest-growing crimes in America.

Today’s savvy thieves have added identity to the list of things they can rob. Their targets are people who use the Internet, and by the time you realize you’ve been robbed, it may be too late.

“Et tu, Brute?” Caesar said as his good friend, Brutus, betrayed him. Even web pages and online sources that appear friendly and trustworthy could be plotting against you.

This is why each person should protect personally identifiable information, such as Social Security number, date of birth and mother’s maiden name. Never give this information out in an email or fill it in on a website asking for it, unless you are absolutely sure that you know and trust the source. And even then, be cautious.

If you think you’ve been the victim of online identity theft, contact the Federal Trade Commission at or call 1-877-438-4338 (1-866-653-4261 for the hearing impaired).

There will continue to be those who believe identity theft won’t happen to them. And there will continue to be victims. “The Ides of March have come,” Caesar said, doubting the prophecy that he would become a victim on March 15.

“Aye, Caesar,” the soothsayer replied, “but not gone.”

You may have used the Internet for years and may consider yourself savvy, but there’s always tomorrow. When it comes to providing personal information on the Internet, treat every day as though it’s the Ides of March.

Learn more about identity theft by reading the online publication, “Identity Theft And Your Social Security Number,” available at

Oscar Torres-Torres is Social Security Office Manager, Chambersburg.

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