Government Gave 4,317 Aliens 2 Social Security Numbers a Piece

January 30, 2013

A report from the Social Security Administration Inspector General (IG) found 4,317 instances where a non-citizen was able to obtain two Social Security numbers, including 542 instances that happened since 2001.

"We identified 4,317 instances where the Numident record of 2 SSNs assigned to noncitizens contained matching first, middle, and last names; dates and places of birth; gender; and fathers' and mothers' names," the IG reported on Dec. 10, 2012.

Numident - which stands for Numerical Identification System - is the master file of applications for social security numbers. The IG found that SSA had issued multiple numbers to 4,317 non-citizens from 1981-2011.

The IG found that the errors occurred because SSA did not cross-check the names of the people applying for an additional Social Security number.

"In each case, SSA had not cross-referred the records, indicating that SSA either was not aware it assigned two SSNs to the same noncitizen or it believed the number-holders were not actually the same person."

The review was initiated after a non-citizen was convicted of defrauding the government out of $55,000 in Social Security and federal housing payments by using two Social Security numbers, the report said. While no further fraud was found, the IG acknowledged that the potential for fraud still existed.

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