|Received:||9/5/2007 9:40:48 PM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||Private Sector Use of SSNs|
Comments:Confidential - SSNs In the Private Sector - Comment Project No. P075414 Dear FTC Staff Member: I am a private investigator and would like to let you know why social security numbers are needed to be used in the private sector. Some investigators like my self work with insurance companies and take cases assigned and approved by the Assigned Cousel Division of the State Public Defender's office. It is usually our primary job to locate witnesses for court jury trials, hearings, depositions and other legal matters. People are very nomadic, and witnesses are continually moving from area to area and from state to state. By the time a case comes to court for trial, years may have passed, and the witnesses are long gone. Investigators locate those witnesses for court proceedings by use of the social security number. There is a lot of fraud in the insurance industry, and locating the right subject is essential for the fraud and accident investigation to be conducted. We take our responsibilities seriously, and do not pass along the numbers we develope to locate witnesses. After a witness is located, the SS number record is destroyed, as to not let it get into the wrong hands. Also, it is important that we use the SS number to help distinguish the difference between people when searching for them. For example, a Bob Smith, or Bob Jones, etc. would be impossible to locate without a social security number to insure we are getting the right individual. You can imagine how many people have the same common names in our country. This also helps witnesses prove to us who they actually are, because we want the right person to appear at the court proceedings. Investigators are also on the look out for identify theft and fraud issues, and sometimes stumble across potential cases of fraud in our searching. When I have come across potential fraud, I will inform the subject that others may be using the same number. Thank you for this opportunity to pass along this information.