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AG Slatery joins bipartisan group asking Social Security Administration to implement new database to prevent identity theft

Monday, December 10, 2018 | 02:53pm

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III today joined a bipartisan group of 43 states and the District of Columbia urging the Social Security Administration (SSA) to promptly comply with a new provision of federal law that aims to address "synthetic identity fraud."

The provision, Section 215 of S.2155, directs the SSA to develop a database to more quickly facilitate the verification of a consumer’s information when requested by certified financial institutions. A nimble system can respond to warning signs of "synthetic identity fraud" where thieves use real Social Security Numbers with fictitious names and birthdates. The current system does not allow financial institutions to check identity on a real-time basis.

"We ask you to evaluate and make necessary modifications to the Social Security Administration database and systems to comply promptly with this new provision of federal law. As enforcers of the data breach laws in our jurisdictions, we see the impact that exposure of Social Security Numbers can have. Our residents lose thousands of dollars a year and suffer from ruined credit scores, as well as a general sense of anxiety regarding their identity," the attorneys general wrote.

A copy of the letter is available here: https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/attorneygeneral/documents/pr/2018/pr18-32-letter.pdf

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