The Lost Post: Attorney Generals, ID Theft And Illegal Immigration

Somehow I managed to lose this post or forgot about it some time ago (ie before Swallow was elected).  I stumbled back onto it and whatayaknow – it still kinda works since we’re in the process of officially electing a replacement.  Dude, even the link still works! What’s a time-cramped blogger to do with a gimme like this? Anyway, here it is:

It’s been a while since I wrote on identity theft and illegal immigration. This is just one more data point from the Utah AG related to SSN theft/fraud and how damaging it is:

“The main problem with identity theft is related to the social security number itself,” said Scott Morrill with the Utah Attorney General’s Office.

Morrill works the investigation division and specializes in identity theft. He said the Social Security Administration doesn’t do enough to track, protect, or identify the misuse of peoples’ social security numbers. For criminals, a social security number is the golden ticket and if they’ve got your social security number, it was fairly easy to get the rest of your information.

In the past the SSA Chief Actuary and the Utah AG’s Office have noted the link between illegal immigration as a significant driver of SSN identity theft (illegal immigrants initially use the number to obtain employment and may, thereafter, use it for credit, medical care etc). Even when just used for employment, SSN theft has serious and destructive consequences to the victims (tainted work records can result in disqualification of government benefits, tax refunds, tuition/scholarship programs…). Victims are often children as dealers prefer their IDs since they are ‘clean’ and unlikely to check for fraudulent activity.

Former Attorney General Mark Shurtleff initially came out strongly against illegal immigrants engaging in the practice (particularly involving children) and later decided it wasn’t a big deal even joining the board of the pro-amnesty National Immigration Forum and pushing for amnesty. Time will tell how seriously new Attorney General takes SSN theft regardless of who commits it.

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