Sossen says he thought this must have been some mistake, some technical glitch. "I didn't even enter any kind of PIN number or anything." Still curious, he found an old Wachovia deposit slip from another friend with whom he shares a safety deposit box (so he has her social security number). Sure enough, same results.
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"This is an outrage! Think of the identity theft that could happen. These numbers are easy to find. I thought all banks required a code that you make up that's personal."
It turns out, Wachovia accounts don't require personal identification numbers, said a company spokesperson. But they are available, and free, and easy to set up. And they are totally at the discretion of the customer.
Still, the dentist in Hollywood believes this policy violates federal laws requiring banks to secure all the "non-public information" of their clients. And he wants to tell everyone he can about this. To protect them, he says.
"It's my obligation to put a stop to this."