In the U.S. identity brokers allegedly sold Social Security cards and corresponding Puerto Rico birth certificates for prices ranging from $700 to $2,500 per set, since it can be used to hide illegal immigrants and gain employment. Puerto Rican stolen identities have surfaced in workplace immigration raids all over the country. “Birth certificates have become legal tender,” said Puerto Rico’s secretary of state.
Fifty individuals were recently charged in an indictment unsealed in Puerto Rico with conspiracy to commit identityfraud in connection with their alleged roles in a scheme to traffic the identities of Puerto Rican U.S. citizens and corresponding identity documents. The charges are the result of an extensive identity theft investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), in partnership with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
According to the indictment, from at least April 2009 to December 2011, conspirators in 15 states and Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, trafficked the identities of Puerto Rican U.S. citizens, corresponding Social Security cards, Puerto Rico birth certificates and other identification documents to undocumented aliens and others residing in the United States.
Businesses hiring illegal immigrants with stolen IDs face possible insider fraud among other legal and liability issues. One way too effectively vet whether the person being hired is who they say they are, regardless of what documentation they produce is to pull their credit report. Often a credit report will have current and previous addresses. If the job candidate can’t tell you the last few places they lived that’s a red flag. You can also ask them various “knowledge based questions”. The credit report might also help the employer to track down a current phone number and simply call the person whose identity is associated with the credit report.