More than 20 million Americans have multiple Social Security numbers (SSNs) associated with their name in commercial records according to a new study announced from ID Analytics, Inc. According to a company press release, 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.
About the Author: Annie is the spokesperson for Home Security Store and Editor in Chief for Security World News. For the past decade she has been in the public eye working in television news from Anchor to Film Critic to Helicopter Reporter.