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7/28/2006

Treasury Protects Investor Privacy

To help protect savings bond owners' privacy and guard against identity theft, the first five digits of the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)-the Social Security Number (SSN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN)-will be masked on all paper Treasury savings bonds issued or replaced, starting August 1, 2006. Asterisks will replace the masked digits. For example, an SSN previously shown as 123 45 6789 will be inscribed as *** ** 6789, and an EIN previously shown as 12 3456789 will be inscribed as ** ***6789.

Treasury is taking this action to eliminate the possibility, however remote, that the TIN could be seen by an unauthorized individual and used for identity theft.

This change applies to purchases of Series EE and I paper savings bonds. It also applies to Series E, EE, H, HH and I savings bonds issued in other authorized transactions, such as those involving reissues and replacements for paper bonds not received.

Customers must provide the full TIN with all purchase applications and transactions. Taxpayer Identification Numbers will continue to be used as identifiers in Treasury's record-keeping system. Bond owners must provide their full TIN when redeeming savings bonds.

Customers receiving paper savings bonds from the Federal Reserve Bank will receive an explanation of this change with their printed bonds.