News & Resources

Stolen social security number can be precursor to further identity theft

Apr 13, 2011 Brian Bradley

A man plead no contest to felony identity theft and felony welfare fraud in a Placer County, California superior court last Friday, according to News10. Joseph Daniel Oscar Kidd, 56, obtained the birth date and social security of a 67 year-old Florida man named Larry Smith in 1993. Technology was not advanced enough at the time for law enforcement to distinguish between the real and assumed Smith, so Kidd's theft went unnoticed, the media outlet reports. As a result, Smith has had liens placed against tax refunds, been denied medical care, had his driver's license suspended and was once placed in jail for eight days under an arrest warrant because of Kidd's crimes in California, according to the Sacramento Bee. According to USA Today, obtaining someone's social security number is often a catalyst for further fraudulent activity. "Once they have that, they're well on their way to getting credit cards, and then they're on the way to your bank accounts and they're off to the races," Jay Bienkowski, an FBI fraud specialist based in Portland, told the news source.