I just had an interesting chat with a new bank application specialist. I was in the process of opening up and funding the account with a reasonable, $15K deposit from one of my credit cards, and I hit a few hurdles from security.
In fairness, having just moved I expected some identity problems to arise as I have only been associated with the new address for about 3 weeks. After some back and forth, they requested:
- Utility bills, a Paystub and a copy of my Drivers License.
Interestingly, my Drivers License has expired (and has the old address on it anyways. And the Paystub I printed out myself (legitimately, but still…) and I didn’t give them a Utility Bill as I don’t have one handy. I received a call today asking to confirm my identity, and they requested a Passport, which I thought was fine, and also a copy of my SSN card. I asked why that was relevant since it wasn’t asked for previously, and it seems that my SSN is associated with multiple people… kinda scary!
I did a little digging, and it seems that this is quite common, and found this article from ID Analytics dated from 2010.
SAN DIEGO, CA –More than 20 million Americans have multiple Social Security numbers (SSNs) associated with their name in commercial records according to a new study announced today from ID Analytics, Inc., a leader in consumer risk management. The study also found that rather than serving as a unique identifier, more than 40 million SSNs are associated with multiple people.
Thankfully for me, I may have been a victim of the Target data breach. I say thankfully as it resulted in a free subscription to ProtectMyID.com which allows me to check to see if this multiple SSN issue means that people have stolen my Identity and started applying for credit. They haven’t.
The other thing that might not show up on such a credit reporting tool would be if someone had stolen your ID and resold it to an illegal immigrant. They could then use this to apply for work. If this had happened you could check with the Social Security Administration to see what payments they are receiving, and if they tally with your payments. The link is http://socialsecurity.gov/myaccount and for more info on what to do about Identity Theft from the SSA, there is a PDF document here. Also, remember you can get a credit report for free once a year from http://annualcreditreport.com and some of the Fako companies like Credit Sesame are pretty good at alerting you to new account openings.
So.. all clear on the Western Front today, but quite the shocker!