Feds: SSA vulnerable to identity theft
Congressional investigators working undercover obtained Social Security numbers for nonexistent newborns and used the Social Security numbers of dead people to obtain driver's licenses, exposing weaknesses at the Social Security Administration that could be exploited by identity thieves.
The thieves use a person's personal information, such as a Social Security number or credit card number, to establish a false name or citizenship, purchase goods or fraudulently apply for credit.
Investigators from the General Accounting Office, Congress' investigative arm, used counterfeit documents to build fake identities that included Social Security numbers.
Theodore Wern, an official from the Identity Theft Resource Center, said the Social Security number is the ``golden data'' of identity theft. Banks, medical offices and local governments increasingly rely on the unique number to identify and keep track of their customers and clients.
[ Read more ]
- News: Law aims to reduce identity theft (1 July 2003)
- News: Taking the offensive on identity theft (29 May 2003)
- News: Try to protect yourself from identity theft (22 May 2003)
- News: Credit card scam raises awareness of identity theft (15 May 2003)
- News: Backup is key to identity theft protection (7 May 2003)
- News: Ex-con man advises on identity theft (25 April 2003)
- News: Identity theft problems in Australia (28 February 2003)
- News: Identity-theft complaints almost double in 2002 (23 January 2003)
Reading our newsletter every Monday will keep you up-to-date with security news.
Receive a daily digest of the latest security news.