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Re: SSN Use

I agree with Dean Blobaum,

I was a victim of a variation of true-name fraud called account-takeover
fraud.  Somehow a bad guy apparently got a copy of my credit report and
simply contacted my bank and credit card companies and moved my accounts
to a new address, a mail drop.  By accident I discovered it before any
damage was done.  I cancelled all cards and accounts.  Three months
later several of the new accounts were moved to a new fraudulent mail
drop.  Only $1,000.00 was stolen from American Express. All new
accounts were set up again!  Eight months later the IRS (the tax
authorities) inquired why I filed two returns.  The scam masters milked
a tax preparation service for a bit more ill gotten gain.  

In the US at least, the social security number can help a bad guy get
access to personal information that can damage a person. 

Dan Jordan
Touro Law Center
Huntington, New York

Dean Blobaum wrote:
> At 11:15 AM 11/6/97 -0500, Peter Boyce wrote:
> >This is getting even farther afield, but I wonder how many states use
> >the SSN as the driver's license number.  I know the District of
> >Clumbia does.  And, for all I know, they sell the lists to
> >marketers...
> >
> >I have always worried about the SSN being on my license.  I guess the risk
> >of theft is actually small. It is similar to sending credit card numbers
> >actually had a problem is small, but the perception of risk as perceived by
> >the public is enormous.
> >
> >Still, the privacy issue is an important matter.
> No way. It is NOT similar to the theft of a credit card.  You can be the
> victim of what is called true-name fraud. Starting with your SSN and your
> name a thief can open numerous credit accounts in your name, run up the
> charges, bail out to a personal finance company to consolidate all that
> debt--all in your name--in your identity--and then skip out on the
> consolidated loan.  Will you end up paying any of this?  Probably not.
> You won't even know it's happening because the thief hasn't used your real
> address.  You'll find out when you try to get credit yourself.  Then it
> will cost you myriad letters and phone calls to all the credit bureaus,
> and numerous letters of explanation to the bank, credit card company, or
> whomever you're seeking credit from.  Basically make your financial life
> hell, maybe for a few years.  Got to meet a closing deadline on that house
> of your dreams, or lose it?  Guess what.
> Not a small problem.  Privacy is not the issue, security is.
> -------------------------------------------------
> Dean Blobaum
> The University of Chicago Press
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