We sometimes find those who are willing to “eliminate the middleman” in order to get government financial assistance.
Another term for this would be social security fraud.
And given the size of the US welfare state, it would be a shock if we didn’t find creative individuals seeking direct access to money for which they did not qualify.
The fraudsters’ creativity can be impressive. In any case, it’s the US taxpayer who winds up funding this theft. And that is wrong.
A New York woman put together a website to sell stolen Social Security numbers to people who would prefer not to use their own SSNs when applying for loans. This “service” enabled those with lousy credit scores to get loans for which they would not otherwise have qualified. However, it’s all over now as she has pleaded guilty to criminal charges and faces up to 30 years in prison.
“Kristin M. Kitchen, also known as Kristin M. Vargas, 33, admitted to owning and operating a website in 2013 and 2014 through which she sold stolen Social Security numbers, authorities said.
“Kitchen advertised the stolen numbers as ‘credit profile numbers’ and encouraged customers to use them in place of their own Social Security numbers on credit and loan applications to avoid their own negative credit histories, authorities said. Kitchen also admitted to using one of the stolen numbers herself on applications for a loan in 2014, authorities said.
“Kitchen faces up to 30 years in prison, up to 5 years of post-imprisonment supervised release and a maximum $250,000 fine when she is sentenced on May 14.”
It seems like a foolish way to commit a crime. Setting up a website to sell stolen Social Security numbers is obviously a very public act. It has to be to attract customers.
And while some might have been fooled by her calling these SSNs she was selling “credit profile numbers,” there are those who will quickly figure out what’s going on.
So her apprehension for this crime was just a matter of time. Hence our opinion that this was a pretty stupid way to run a scam operation. Not that we have any experience in such matters. It’s just that working to publicize your crimes on the internet sounds like a plan that was not very well thought through.
Now if all financial criminals made as big of a mess of things as this woman, law enforcement’s job would be much easier. And financial crime would drop precipitously.
Unfortunately, Ms. Kitchen is likely to be more the exception than the rule.
Source: Saratogian News