Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


ID Theft as a Not-For-Profit Activity

The New York Times has an article, “Some ID Theft Is Not for Profit, but to Get a Job,” about immigrants using other people’s SSNs so they can get jobs, and the impact that this has (because of the databases that run our lives):

“All that was happening was that the illegal alien who had gotten the card had gotten a job at a Sizzler steakhouse in Provo and was paying her bills and doing a good job,” he said. “My opinion was, Hey, we’ve got someone hard-working who’s come from Mexico, who just wants to get a leg up — give her Bailey’s Social Security number and issue us a new one. Let her stay in the country. But they arrested her. I actually feel bad about her being deported.”

One comment on "ID Theft as a Not-For-Profit Activity"

  • Chris says:

    Previously in EC:
    I heard a firsthand report on this. A victim of SSN theft only grew concerned when the undocumented worker became sufficiently acculturated to begin committing fraud a few years after arriving in the US. Of course, the authorities were aware of the multiple users of the SSN but (as it was related to me) did nothing about it.
    It seems straightforward that if a valid SSN is a necessary precondition for employment, then those seeking employment will also seek an SSN.

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