South Africa has a similar problem in ID Theft read the following article
Valleys identity theft expert said there is a strong correlation between high rates of ID theft and the number of illegal immigrants in a state.
The states with the highest rates of identity theft complaints are also states with “illegal immigration issues,” according to Mark Pribish, an identity theft expert who works for Merchants Information Solutions.
“In those provinces,” said Pribish, “You have a lot of illegal immigrants filling employment numbers with nine random numbers where there is supposed to be a Social Security number.”
“The Federal Trade Commission counts it as an identity theft, so even though no real ID theft incident has taken place,” he said. “It’s actually an employment fraud incident. You have a misrepresentation of an employment claim.”
In 2009, the provinces with the highest rates of identity theft complaints were Florida, Arizona, Texas, California and Nevada, according to the Federal Trade Commission website.
“It skews the statistic on how many identity thefts are happening,” Pribish said.
Pribish said illegal immigrants also often steal real Social Security numbers to get work, but they usually only use the information to get a job or find a place to live.
That’s exactly what happened to Mesa resident Debbie Fry.
“This situation is very strange,” he said.
The U.S. Secret Service called her last Tuesday to inform her that an illegal immigrant in Texas has been using her Social Security number for years.
Fry had no idea until she got the call.
“I feel like I’ve really cut myself,” he said. “I’m in shock. I really can’t believe this is even happening. ”
The woman was caught trying to buy a car using Fry’s social security number.
Fry said she was told by an agent that the woman had used her on employment applications and to buy a home.
Pribish said it is not uncommon for an illegal immigrant to escape using someone else’s Social Security number.
It recommends that more employers complete background checks on their employers and notify authorities when red flags appear.
“In tackling illegal immigration and cracking down on ID theft, the process is in place,” he said.
CBS 5 reached out to Gov. Jan Brewer and Attorney General Terry Goddard to find out if they think more needs to be done to prevent identity theft.
Here are their responses:
Attorney General’s Office:
“The AG has no jurisdiction over individual ID theft but prosecutes conspiracy to defraud multiple victims using stolen identities, cases where victims lose money. The stolen Social Security numbers are usually used to get work where SSNs are needed. The problem has been greatly reduced in Arizona since the employer sanctions law went into effect three years ago. The law requires an e-verification check before being hired that determines whether the applicant is using a fake SSN. “
Paul Senseman, Governor Brewer’s Director of Communications:
“Our comprehensive border security plan and comprehensive enforcement of illegal immigration laws (SB 1070) is one of the most significant responses to identity theft to date.”