What is Social Security Identity Theft?
Thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of Americans are right now sharing their identities with immigrants and don’t know it.
According to the Department of Homeland Security there were an estimated 11.5 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States as of January 2011. DHS based its new estimate on figures collected as part of the 2010 Census
And behind these undocumented workers is someone else’s documents. To get a job they must have a social security number. In many instances, undocumented immigrants are able to buy a document “package” on the street that contains a fake Social Security card, permanent residence card and a driver’s license.
It might be years before you found out you were sharing your identity with an immigrant, because there’s no way to find out. Social Security won’t tell you. The extra earnings don’t end up on your annual Social Security statement, because the Social Security Administration has a earnings suspense fund that monies for “unmatched” names and numbers are dumped into.
The potential for damage to yourself or your family is staggering. Imagine filing for unemployment to be told you are actually working in another state. Or being arrested because the person who stole your identity committed a crime. Or that your child’s social security number has been stolen and has outstanding loan’s in their name. Or be admitted to a hospital and your medical records have been changed.