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Author Topic: Ames and bad privacy practices  (Read 3194 times)
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0588kid
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« on: June 19, 2006, 03:37:39 PM »

I have no end of stories from my years at the Ames store (0588 Bryan, Ohio) as a do-everything associate. I was an unloader, stockboy, cashier, and service desk kid. I have happy memories of my years at the store, despite the fact that it was an extremely unrewarding job financially.

I think I will start out by pointing out a disturbing fact about the Ames cash registers. Probably they fixed this in the years just prior to closing, but did you know that until 1993 at least every Ames receipt had the cashier's social security number printed plainly on it. Ames forced me to give my SSN to thousands of strangers over a four year period. The cashier's SSN is the FIRST item on the receipt. I still have a receipt for a candy bar (CNF 67235515 @ 36 cents!) which has the SSN of the girl who rang me up that day in 1990. I show it to people to explain the problems that come with such lax policies.

Of course, no company would do this today because of identity theft. But the reason identity theft got so big is because people got WAY too lax about their SSN information in the 80s and 90s.

Okay, so this wasn't exactly a story, but it is a little-known fact about Ames. Maybe I'll post more later.

Shocked
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golfcart34
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2006, 03:28:17 PM »

I remember working at Ames for a short bit right before they went out of business... I didn't notice my ssn being printed on the reciept, however I did find it disturbing that my cashier ID was my password.  Talk about insecurity!
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beachgal26
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2006, 01:22:08 AM »

What's a scary thought to me is thinking of how many of those receipts might be floating around with ex-employee's SSNs on them...............

:holysh: :holysh: :holysh: :holysh: :holysh: :holysh: :holysh:
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tokensafari
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2006, 11:51:42 PM »

hmmm... Nowadays they just print the first name on most of the receipts.. i do believe..
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Ames303
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2009, 11:34:42 AM »

Quote
Originally posted by 0588kid
I have no end of stories from my years at the Ames store (0588 Bryan, Ohio) as a do-everything associate. I was an unloader, stockboy, cashier, and service desk kid. I have happy memories of my years at the store, despite the fact that it was an extremely unrewarding job financially.

I think I will start out by pointing out a disturbing fact about the Ames cash registers. Probably they fixed this in the years just prior to closing, but did you know that until 1993 at least every Ames receipt had the cashier's social security number printed plainly on it. Ames forced me to give my SSN to thousands of strangers over a four year period. The cashier's SSN is the FIRST item on the receipt. I still have a receipt for a candy bar (CNF 67235515 @ 36 cents!) which has the SSN of the girl who rang me up that day in 1990. I show it to people to explain the problems that come with such lax policies.

Of course, no company would do this today because of identity theft. But the reason identity theft got so big is because people got WAY too lax about their SSN information in the 80s and 90s.

Okay, so this wasn't exactly a story, but it is a little-known fact about Ames. Maybe I'll post more later.

Shocked


You're absolutely right, thousands of people saw my social security number as well! These were printed on the receipt from the older 3683 registers.  This was fixed when they updated the software on the older registers in the early/mid 90s.

As I recall, you could open a register by pressing TOTAL, entering your social security number, pressing ENTER and then TOTAL again.

I think I have a receipt somewhere that says the same thing as yours:
CNF 67235515 1@      .36       .36  

:)

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TRJ22487
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2010, 04:35:16 PM »

It's laughable how moronic that truly is that that happened. But then again, all our medicine used to come without any type of seal, they didn't used to check any of your luggage at the airport.....I mean the absolute thoughtlessness of that though.....man. You would think that would be grounds for a lawsuit but who knows if anybody really did ever take advantage of an Ames receipt.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2010, 04:40:07 PM by TRJ22487 » Logged
TheFugitive
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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2014, 02:22:24 PM »

I have no end of stories from my years at the Ames store (0588 Bryan, Ohio) as a do-everything associate. I was an unloader, stockboy, cashier, and service desk kid. I have happy memories of my years at the store, despite the fact that it was an extremely unrewarding job financially.

I think I will start out by pointing out a disturbing fact about the Ames cash registers. Probably they fixed this in the years just prior to closing, but did you know that until 1993 at least every Ames receipt had the cashier's social security number printed plainly on it. Ames forced me to give my SSN to thousands of strangers over a four year period. The cashier's SSN is the FIRST item on the receipt. I still have a receipt for a candy bar (CNF 67235515 @ 36 cents!) which has the SSN of the girl who rang me up that day in 1990. I show it to people to explain the problems that come with such lax policies.

Of course, no company would do this today because of identity theft. But the reason identity theft got so big is because people got WAY too lax about their SSN information in the 80s and 90s.

Okay, so this wasn't exactly a story, but it is a little-known fact about Ames. Maybe I'll post more later.

Shocked

At the time no one was too hip to the idea that giving out your SSN was setting you up for identity theft.
Lots of chains used them for a password, a time card login, or for some other purpose.

At Service Merchandise my SSN was my password to authorize voids and returns.
We actually fired a service desk cashier because I had done so many voids for her she had
managed to memorize my SSN, which she then began using to do unauthorized returns.
(imagine my surprise when I was standing at the printer by the expediting station when
my own SSN rang through on an order slip!)

It was not till the late 90's that the government made your health insurer stop using your SSN
as your identifier.

I was right down the road from Bryan in Wauseon (0291) for awhile.
Did you work with Mike Asche?  He transferred over to Bryan while I was there.
Was also my neighbor.  Huge Cubs fan!
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retailfan
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2014, 04:43:11 PM »

Caldor did the same thing your ss number was printed at the top of the receipts that went to the customer it was your cashier number
I did not think  anything about it till i was going through stuff and found receipts that i had saved only worked for them  about 6 months thru there final closing
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