Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona is warning consumers to steer clear of a new scam that promises to improve consumers’ credit scores using a “credit protection number,” or CPN.
Scammers get the numbers by using computers to find dormant Social Security numbers – often those assigned to children. They sell the numbers to people who use them to establish phony credit and run up huge debts they will never pay off. To get around the law, scammers call the numbers credit profile, credit protection or credit privacy numbers – CPNs – rather than Social Security numbers.
In addition to fraud, the use of CPNs poses another danger to consumers: ruined credit scores for children and others whose Social Security numbers are used to perpetrate the fraud. The buyers open a new, unblemished line of credit, which they then use to build up their own rating in a process called piggybacking.
BBB advises parents to check credit reports for their children regularly. If parents see unauthorized activity under a child’s Social Security number, they should alert authorities and credit reporting agencies.
“This scam is a two-edged sword – defrauding banks as well as consumers whose Social Security numbers are stolen,” said Kim States, BBB President. “Consumers need to protect their credit by (more…)