Anyone ever read comic books? Remember the villain with two different personas? His face was literally split in two: one side was good, and the other was bad. That image may come to mind as you think about today’s “Fraud of the Day” from the Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration, which reports that a Harnett County woman had been using two Social Security numbers – one to apply for disability benefits and the other for work.
The scam was as easy as this: she simply applied for two different Social Security cards and falsely claimed to have never been assigned one. No wonder committing Social Security fraud has become so fashionable: it’s so easy! This woman passed herself off as two different people from 1994-2009, and luckily for taxpayers, she was ultimately caught. (The villain’s plot always is foiled in comic books. Glad it rang true in real life.) She was recently sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay $149,321.20 in restitution. (Do I pay it back or not? Let’s flip a coin for it.)
The question is: how do we prevent this from happening again? This type of fraud is based on creating a second identity – and fixing an identity problem screams out for an identity solution that leverages public records databases. So, if you are looking for a way to catch fraudsters dealing in multiple identities, utilize an identity-based filter to detect indicators for fraud. Problem solved. No cape or tights required.