Washington, D.C. — In an effort to combat synthetic identity theft, NAAG sent a letter to the Social Security Administration (SSA) asking the acting commissioner to prioritize the implementation of a new database system that meets requirements in a law recently passed by Congress.
“We ask you to evaluate and make necessary modifications to the Social Security Administration database and systems to comply promptly with this new provision of federal law. As enforcers of the data breach laws in our jurisdictions, we see the impact that exposure of Social Security Numbers can have. Our residents lose thousands of dollars a year and suffer from ruined credit scores, as well as a general sense of anxiety regarding their identity,” reads the NAAG letter signed by 43 state and territory attorneys general and sent today to the SSA.
Earlier this year, Congress passed Section 215 of S.2155, directing the SSA to develop a revamped database that will verify consumers’ information at the time it is requested, with consumer consent. The improved database will help address “synthetic identity theft,” in which identity thieves use real Social Security numbers along with fictitious names and birthdates to manufacture new identities. As the current system does not allow financial institutions to check identity on a real-time basis, the new database system would protect vulnerable consumers by preventing identity theft earlier.
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