Shady, fly-by-night credit repair companies that promise fast credit score improvements (700-800 in just a couple months!) may be sinking to a new low here. It seems they’re harvesting valid but inactive Social Security numbers, many from children too young to have opened financial accounts.
They sell the numbers as “CPNs,” or “Credit Profile Numbers” (sometimes the “P” is “privacy” or “protection”). They tell their customers how to piggyback their credit on the clean CPN, which has the effect of making them appear more creditworthy. Once they burn through the credit for that number, they just purchase another one (I wonder if they use a credit card).
There are several articles on the topic all over the Internet. The Sun News out of South Carolina has a good one that explains it very well. However, there are still a few questions I have about this crime:
- Am I to understand that simply calling it a “CPN” instead of a Social Security Number somehow makes this practice legal?
- How are they obtaining the SSNs of all these children? Are they using a logarithim to generate the numbers, or is your Social publicly available until you turn 18?
- If it is, do I have to personally go to Washington D.C. and rap my knuckles on every single noggin in Congress (and yell “Helloooo, McFly, anybody home?!” in every single ear) until this is remedied with Federal intervention?
In any case, it’s time to check your kids’ credit reports. Yes, today. You don’t want to wait until they get turned down for an auto loan fifteen years later for allegedly defaulting on $45,000 worth of credit card debt.
This has been a pretty big story in the fraud prevention world. Look for more information to surface over the next few weeks.