Wanna buy a baby's Social Security number? Reports of infants' SSNs for sale on dark web

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/22/wanna-buy-a-babys-social-sec.html


This shouldn’t be shocking, except in the fact that it’s a baby who is still alive.

Out of curiosity I looked up how to fake an airtight identity years ago (maybe late 90’s?, early 2000’s at latest), and the consensus was to find a way to snake your way through public records, starting with a child who died in infancy so they had a SSN to use.

I can’t imagine what I read is applicable now in the same way, I’m sure lots of things have been shored up to prevent that. Still, I can see the appeal for a criminal.


It’s more difficult, post-9/11, but for just that reason, a well-sourced identity is less likely to be challenged.

And until Baby turns 18 (or 25) who’s even going to notice?


Do predatory lenders still hawk high-interest credit cards to financially literate college freshmen?

I can see it now. The slimeball talking college kids into filling out applications comes back five minutes later with a surprised look on his face. “I’m…sorry, but you’ve been…declined. You appear to have 50K in unsecured debt and it’s been outstanding for 17 years. Please have a seat and wait right here. Well get this all cleared up when the cops arrive.”

It’s not. A big part of why the world is as it is stems from a great many morally flexible people willing to rob children of their futures to grease their own palms. These particular lowlifes just dispense with the pretexts.


Not since 2000, but it could make a comeback, now that we’re making America great.


Friend of mine discovered last year that someone had filed tax returns using the data of his infant children. Can’t remember how he found out, but by the time most victims would discover that kind of fraud there could be years and years’ worth of fraudulent tax history attached to the hijacked name and SSN.


I don’t think the article should use pictures of babies unrelated to the content, especially since they are without attribution and so you can’t know if parents are consenting to the use


It’s never too early to start trashing your credit.

Unclear how this works since Social Security Administration notes and publishes which SSNs belong to the dead:

Did not know about this! But, consider this: Probably the Social Security Administration is the only one checking for SSN’s being used by dead people (and this presumes that in the 90’s/early 2000’s that they were effective at doing that).

Part of the article was getting a social security card as an identity document in order to get more identity documents. Wish I could find this now, it was pretty insidious how this worked–doing things like printing a fake label to put on junk mail so you can get a library card (which is another ID). Eventually working your way up to a driver’s license.

Yeah, but that SSN goes into a computer. I’m surprised post 9/11 they don’t cross reference that with the DMF to make sure you’re not “dead”

Waaaaaaaaait a minute… according to these records, ActuallyARegular died as an infant in 1992!

But yeah–although I’d never accuse our good hosts of hyping some hype for the sake of hype, this must have been happening since the very first SSN was issued. Maybe the “Dark Web” (~sinister music sting!~) makes it more efficient and introduces some whimsical new slang to the game, but I’m pretty sure adorable little infants (as well as some ugly ones) have been at risk all along.


Exactly. Nothing new, just a new marketplace for the same old stuff.

Let’s dox one of the most infamous long-time buyers of these !

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