Synthetic Identity Theft: Even Fake People Can Get Credit

Many in the privacy and security field have been aware of “synthetic person” identity theft for some time. In these cases, a fake or “synthetic” person is created in the records of the consumer reporting agencies by identity thieves. My understanding is that they do this by using the Social Security number of a real person as a root, and then develop a separate credit record by grafting false information pertaining to a second, fictitious person onto the root identity.

BNA PSLR reports this week on an indictment brought in one of these cases:

The indictment alleged that Rose, with the help of others, established credit histories for fictitious persons by creating false businesses to establish credit accounts and to establish an employment history. According to the indictment, he then reported the fictitious persons’ credit histories to credit reporting bureaus Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

According to the indictment, Rose applied for and obtained credit cards in the names of these fictitious persons, using the fabricated credit history…

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