What is the point of using a child's social security number?

I’ve heard of this and known a few people who claim their parents did it, some kind of scam where because the parents have bad credit they use their child’s social security number instead so no one will see their bad credit.

Here is the part I don’t get, how does this help and why does it work?

Until very recently I had no credit history and NOT ONE business would even touch me, it was far worse than having bad credit. No bank would let me have even a savings account with no credit extended, and yes they check credit even for savings only accounts. It would get to the credit check and then they would get null response and that was it, I think one person said this was due to laws that they must verify the SS# is real and the only way is a credit report.

Cell phone companies wouldn’t deal with me, renting property, utilities, I even had to use someone elses SS# for prepaid visa cards and one prepaid phone company.

So how does the scam work?

EDIT:Before someone comments I used it with their permission :slight_smile:

Maybe until recently “no credit history at all” was considered good news, not bad news.

The banks have gotten a lot more skittish about bad debt, since, oh, about 2008 when it was discovered they handed out house loans like child molesters handing out candy.

My Wag: There has to be a way to ‘enter’ this system, and for many this would be when they become a adult. So if they took their child’s SS# and put their age at 18 it would be expected for them to have no credit history but also expected for them to start getting one.

Once way past 18 it looks suspicious to some.

No credit is very very bad news. Yes, there are companies who help you when you have bad credit. When you have no credit, you might as well just slink out of the human race as you are Not Worthy.

As to the credit card/social security thing, I’ve seen it happen too. I know my bio mom used her kid’s soc# somehow to get an apartment, etc. I also wonder how.

I’ve heard that everything falls off a credit report after seven years. Not sure if that is true.

I’ve been living outside the US for 10+ years and may be moving back soon. I’ve had zero activity on US accounts in that time. I wonder if I’ll have a hard time opening even a simple checking account!?

A checking account? Not a problem if you have foreign accounts and statements. Utility bills and rent receipts, even if foreign, are also useable in most cases. Be prepared to show multiple IDs, passport, original/reissued SSN card (worthless but they will ask), foreign/international drivers license, etc… The bank will want to know that you are a real person and have had an actual address and history. Get a debit card and use it to start a new history.

Call the old US accounts, explain your situation to a supervisor, and if they still have you on their own records, many will reissue a new card but expect lower limits.

You were still filing IRS taxes the whole time? Yes? :eek::eek: Your liability if all you earned were foreign income should be zero but the IRS still wants to know what you’ve been doing all this time.

US citizens owe taxes on worldwide income, it doesn’t matter where it was earned. Some countries have tax agreements with the US and there is a foreign income earned exemption so if your income was below a certain level you may not owe anything even if you did have foreign income.

If you had no income period there is no need to file.

I thought if you didn’t own anything there is no need to file, you could still have income and still not file. Perhaps things have changed or it is different overseas, but many part time usually lower class forwent filing as their withholdings would more then cover whatever tax they would owe, but they would forfeit any refund.

Do you mean the threshhold exemption of I think 6 grand? I THINK that is only for US based employment income, not sure though.

No problem. I’ve been filing. Need proof of income for sponsoring my fiancees visa.

Back to the OP… I had someone use my SS# years ago. Took out some hefty loans and didn’t pay. I was able to show that I was well under 18 years old at the time and couldn’t have been the person taking out the loans. I guess banks don’t really check all that closely (or didn’t at the time) to be sure SS# matches the person.

“No credit” can be transformed into pristine credit quite easily in less than 45 days. If you’re lazy and have $100 to spare then a sleazy secured card would be the way to do it. If I had a spare SSN I’d be all over that. 7 years is a long time.

My sister had her Social Security Number stolen and used to obtain a credit card. The thing is, literally nothing on the credit card application matched my sister except the SSN: Name and address were not hers, nor was the address any place she had ever lived.

Apparently, plenty of banks are just incredibly lazy and don’t bother to perform even the basic of background checks.

This isn’t so recent, although the level of paranoia has gone nuclear since 9-11.

Way back in 1984, I moved from Hawaii to California and attempted to get a bank account. I had never had a credit card, although I DID have a bank account and various Certificates of Deposit in Hawaii, and some other financial accounts. So, I had exactly ZERO credit history.

Not good enough. I had a hell of a time finding a bank in CA that would open a checking account for me. I went from one bank to another to another, and they wouldn’t do business with me because I had no credit card number to show them. Finally I found a bank that didn’t care about that, and got my account.

So I decided I ought to get a credit card, not that I wanted or needed one, but just so I could become part of this sick society. That took me a while too, as you can imagine. Again, it took me a lot of asking to find a bank that would give me a secured credit card. This was all in 1984, not recently.

You should still file even if your income was $0

Also works for utliity companies that may want a deposit if your credit is bad when trying to set up service (if you moved for example). They tend to waive it if you have “no” credit or no past due bills with that particular utility co.