20 Million Americans Have Multiple Social Security Numbers Associated With Their Name
August 11, 2010
Research from ID Analytics Shows High Rate of Duplication Among SSNs
SAN DIEGO, CA –More than 20 million Americans have multiple Social Security numbers (SSNs) associated with their name in commercial records according to a new study announced today from ID Analytics, Inc., a leader in consumer risk management. The study also found that rather than serving as a unique identifier, more than 40 million SSNs are associated with multiple people.
ID Analytics conducted the industry’s most comprehensive examination of SSNs using its ID Network®, the nation’s only real-time, cross-industry compilation of identity information. It examined more than 280 million SSNs to determine discrepancies.
“Our research shows that Social Security numbers, contrary to popular perception, do not uniquely identify an individual,” said Dr. Stephen Coggeshall, chief technology officer, ID Analytics. “Most of these cases of duplication are likely due to simple data entry errors as opposed to deliberate falsification. Nevertheless, organizations expose themselves and their customers to risk if they solely rely on the SSN to verify an individual.”
Other highlights of the study include:
- How many SSNs do you have? – 6.1 percent of Americans have at least two SSNs associated with their name. More than 100,000 Americans have five or more SSNs associated with their name.
- Some SSNs are very popular – More than 15 percent of SSNs are associated with two or more people. More than 140,000 SSNs are associated with five or more people. Significantly, more than 27,000 SSNs are associated with 10 or more people.
While most of the discrepancy is due to data entry errors in business transactions that use SSNs, some duplication is also likely linked to fraud. Consumers can check their risk of identity fraud at MyIDScore.com. This free online service gives consumers immediate insight into whether their personal identifiable information is being used fraudulently to obtain assets, goods or services.
About ID Analytics, Inc.
ID Analytics is transforming consumer risk management with patented analytics, proven expertise, and real-time insight into consumer behavior. By combining proprietary data from the ID Network® – one of the nation’s largest networks of cross-industry behavioral data – with advanced science, ID Analytics provides unprecedented visibility into identity risk and creditworthiness. Every day, the largest U.S. companies and critical government agencies rely on ID Analytics to make risk-based decisions that enhance revenue, reduce fraud, drive cost savings, and protect consumers.
ID Analytics is a registered trademark of ID Analytics, Inc. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective holders.