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Unauthorized use of others' SSN

Discussion in 'Other Legal Issues' started by jmacgregor, Jul 25, 2002.

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  1. jmacgregor

    jmacgregor Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I know it is unlawful to use another person's social security number, but what are the penalties? What happens if it damages the credit report of the holder? What kind of law is this?
     
  2. quuen

    quuen New Member

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    im not completely positive, but i believe it would fall into Federal laws and not state laws with far more severe penalties. Applying for a credit card under someone else's ssn would be considered Credit card fraud. Be careful what u do.
     
  3. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Section 1028(a)(7), which was enacted as part of the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998, prohibits anyone from knowingly transferring or using, without lawful authority, someone else’s "means of identification" with the intent to commit, aid, or abet any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of federal law or that constitutes a felony under state or local law. [18 U.S.C. § 1028(a)(7)]

    In general, the crime is usually what one does with the information rather than merely having the information, e.g. using your social security number to fraudulently obtain a loan.
     
  4. jmacgregor

    jmacgregor Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Scenario: Person A was once married to person B. Person A used person B's SSN to get utilities turned on in a new appartment (perhaps other things such as credit cards as well). The bills were not paid, the utilities were shut off, the debt was neglected. Person B attempts to get utilities turned on but is unable to do so until the debt is cleared. There is, however, a good chance that credit was involved. Hence the reason for the divorce.
     
  5. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Issue is whether Person A had permission to use Person B's information to obtain the utilities. It seems that this is likely. That's a different case from true identity theft.
     
  6. jmacgregor

    jmacgregor Law Topic Starter New Member

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    No permission was granted. There has long been no contact between the two parties.
     
  7. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    So A used B's SSN long after they broke up with obviously no permission, even by inference?
     
  8. jmacgregor

    jmacgregor Law Topic Starter New Member

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    That's exactly it. Identity wasn't necessarily assumed, but the implication that they were still married may have been.
     
  9. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    You can sue to recover the actual amounts, punitive damages, and the criminal charges will likely be brought as well. Usually easiest to first alert the police and the DA and let them bring charges. Then, after the plea or court, bring a civil action for damages.
     

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