The Tie Between ID Theft & Illegal Immigration

Sarah Buduson reports on the relationship between ID theft and illegal immigration. What I particularly like about this piece is comments from Mark Pribish pointing out that although such cases are counted as ID theft, they’re not really ID theft and are (just) employment fraud. Of course, even employment fraud as opposed to cases where identity info is stolen and misused can have a serious impact on the person who’s SSN has been fraudulently used for employment, but I’m glad to see the distinction being made.

Valley identity theft expert said there’s a strong correlation between high rates of ID theft and the numbers of illegal immigrants in a state.

The states with the highest rates of identity theft complaints are also states with “illegal immigration issues,” according to Mark Pribish, an identity theft expert who works for Merchants Information Solutions.

“In those states,” said Pribish, “You have a lot of illegal immigrants filling out employment numbers with nine random numbers of where a Social Security number is supposed to be.”

“The Federal Trade Commission counts it as an identity theft event, so even though an actual ID theft event did not take place,” he said. “In reality, it’s an employment fraud event. You have misrepresentation on an employee application.”

In 2009, the states with the highest rates of identity theft complaints were Florida, Arizona, Texas, California and Nevada, according to the Federal Trade Commission’s website.

“It does skew the statistic on how many ID thefts are taking place,” said Pribish.

Read more on KPHO.

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