The Credit Privacy Number (CPN) Scam

There are lots of people willing to sell you “credit privacy numbers.” A credit privacy number (or “credit profile number”) is a nine-digit number that looks like a social security number. Those selling “credit privacy numbers” or “credit profile numbers” try to convince their customers that they can use their CPNs to “repair” or obtain credit.

The rationale (repeated here, and here, and here [Cordell Davenport, you’re a brave {or foolish} man to put your face on advice to commit fraud; doing so is at least a civil violation; when the feds come knocking don’t say a word till you’ve hired me], and here, and here) is this:

Legality of CPN:
Presently, federal law allows the ability for someone to legally use a private ID # for financial reporting purposes instead of a Social Security Number.

Title 5, Section 7 of Publication Law 93-579 of Government Organization and Employees Act:
(a)(1) It shall be unlawful for any Federal, State or Local Government Agency to deny any individual any right, benefit, or privilege provided by law because of such individual’s refusal to disclose his or her Social Security Account Number.

The problem with the rationale is that a company loaning you money is not a federal, state, or local government agency, and credit is not a right, benefit, or privilege provided by law. You don’t have to give your social security number to a company that is offering credit, but they don’t have to give you credit.

If you want to find out what Social Security numbers have already been issued, you can go here and here. For example, as of June 1, 2009, the Social Security Administration was issuing numbers in the -83- group of the 215- area (the 215- area is Maryland).

Area numbers run from 001- to 772-; areas 666 and 734-749 are not used by the Social Security Administration.

Before issuing numbers in the -83- group of a particular area, the SSA exhausted all of the group numbers from -01- to -82- as well as even numbers from -84- to -98-. Within each group, serial numbers are distributed in order from 0001 to 9999; every one of those serial numbers will be used before the next group is opened up. So, for example, 215-89-9999 will follow 215-89-9998 and will be followed by 215-90-0001.

So if someone sold you “credit privacy number” 215-88-xxxx, you could tell that this was a real social security number, issued to an actual human being by the Social Security Administration Once you know that, using it in place of your own SSN will be Aggravated Identity Theft under 18 USC § 1028A.

If someone sold you the number 215-89-xxxx, though, you could tell that it was not a social security number, since it had not been issued by the SSA, but it would likely at some point be one.

Not everyone possessing or selling CPNs knows he’s selling SSNs. How SSNs are issued is arcane knowledge, and people wholesale CPNs for resale without telling their customers that the numbers are SSNs. There are many people who believe that a CPN is a legitimate device for creating a new credit file.

One company sells a CPN ebook, “CPN-ACCESS”, for $10. (Don’t buy it—I have wasted a sawbuck on it so that you don’t have to.) Essentially the ebook advises you to create a CPN that has not yet been issued as an SSN, and to use this to obtain credit (the book dances around how to use the CPN, and never says “put your CPN in the blank where they ask for your SSN”, but this is the necessary implication). It advises choosing a CPN that hasn’t been issued by the SSA (but that begins with a three-digit number under 770-, so that it is plausibly an SSN).

The problems with the e-book’s proposition are twofold.

First, when was the last time you saw a credit form asking for your CPN? “Never” is the answer. Credit companies don’t ask for CPNs; they ask for SSNs. If you are asked for a social security number and you give a CPN or a number other than your social security number, you’re lying. Lying to get credit is a crime. So you might follow the advice in the book and generate a nine-digit number that hasn’t been issued as a SSN, but still might be, and you won’t be able to do anything with it because nobody ever asks for your CPN. (This guy suggests writing “CPN ID#” after the CPN; I don’t think credit companies or U.S. Attorneys have that much of a sense of humor.)

Second, companies that give credit check to find out if an SSN was actually issued, so in order for a number to be accepted as a social security number, it has to be in the range of numbers already issued. (Those companies also search the Social Security Death Index to find out if the Social Security Number belonged to someone who has died.) If you pick a CPN that has not been issued as an SSN (or one belonging to a dead guy), and use it when filling in the blanks on a credit application, the credit company’s computer will kick it out as an error. Because it isn’t a social security number, it won’t pass the creditors’ vetting. Using it in place of a Social Security Number to try to get something of value would still be fraud, though.

As an alternative to making up your own CPN from the pool of possible future SSNs, the ebook suggests applying for an EIN and using that as a CPN. I haven’t given a lot of thought to the legality of this, but, first, credit applications don’t ask for your EIN (so putting an EIN where an SSN is requested is a lie); and, second, any advice that includes:

[F]ill in an address that you have never had any ties to with your current credit and no other address for mail then continue . . . .
Just remember not to give any type of identifying info. from your other credit file.  Make sure to use the address that you were never associated with prior to the creation of your CPN.

has got to be looked at with an extremely cynical eye. If the anonymous authors of the ebook aren’t violating 15 USC 1679b, it’s only because of their disclaimer:

The information provided in this E-book is not intended to be considered legal advice in any way.  This is simply to show you HOW companies are obtaining Credit Privacy Number or Credit Profile Number.  In no way do we encourage anyone to use the following information.

If you wanted to generate a Social Security number other than your own (and you do not want to do this—there is no legal use to which you could put such a number), it’d be easy: pick one of the three-digit area numbers the SSA uses, pick a two-digit group that has already been exhausted, and pick a non-zero four-digit number. Presto: you’ve got someone else’s bona fide social security number. If you wanted to make sure that this fake Social Security Number didn’t belong to someone who had died or who had a bad credit history, you might choose a two-digit group that was recently exhausted to be sure that the number was recently issued. This is what I have seen the originators of “CPNs” doing: picking recently-issued SSNs to sell to people in dire credit circumstances. These numbers generally turn out to belong to children, which makes those who trade in or use the CPNs look really bad.

The $10 ebook (which, again, you should not buy) advocates using 292-61-xxxx as your CPN, and checking it at to make sure that it is not already an SSN. will tell us not only if a number has been issued, but also if the number is in the SSA death index (so if you made up an SSN using the method in the last paragraph, you could check to see if the number was in the death index). We know that the SSA is only up to group 13 in area 292-, so even without looking it up at we know that it will be a while (370,000+ SSNs in that area, which is part of Ohio) before SSNs are created beginning 292-61-.

Bottom line: CPNs fit into the same category as redemption theory: nutjob theories that greedy people who know better use to take advantage of desperate people who don’t.

[Yes, I know I’m going to get a bunch of comments from people who believe in CPNs only because they yearn to.]

[I’ve closed comments. I’m no longer interested in people who believe in CPNs, unless they want to hire me.]

0 responses to “The Credit Privacy Number (CPN) Scam”

  1. Using an EIN as opposed to a SSN to obtain credit for personal (as opposed to business) purposes is most certainly illegal under federal law.

  2. How is this even possible? I know people are willing to go to great lengths to protect their identity information, but this scenario is just a mess waiting to happen. Let’s hope this idea loses traction before anyone else hears about it.

  3. How does this work for sole-proprietorships? I have an EIN for my home business (not incorporated), but I always use my personal name and my EIN is registered to my personal name as well.

    How can this be fraud?

    • I’m not even sure how you have an EIN for a non-corp, non-LLC entity. EIN’s are intended for those entities, not for human individuals, as far as I know. A CPA could elaborate on this.

      • a sole-proprietor can get an ein, in fact, you can get a new ein every 24 hours on the irs website and have several business that are not incorporated. That is just a fact, not saying it’s cool to do, but it is a fact.

  4. Credit card application are not supposed to ask for your “private” social security number for any of their products. Social Security Numbers issued by the Social Security Administration are only supposed to be used for benefits related to the Social Security Administration, period. The banks have swayed people to use their SS# to establish credit accounts. CPN numbers are legitimate. As stated above
    Title 5, Sec­tion 7 of Pub­li­ca­tion Law 93–579 of Gov­ern­ment Orga­ni­za­tion and Employ­ees Act:
    (a)(1) It shall be unlaw­ful for any Fed­eral, State or Local Gov­ern­ment Agency to deny any indi­vid­ual any right, ben­e­fit, or priv­i­lege pro­vided by law because of such individual’s refusal to dis­close his or her Social Secu­rity Account Number.
    Credit cards issued by banks deal with “real money” issued by the Treasury Department, thus the unsecured “loans” Americans inherit when using credit cards are essentially Federally insured funds being borrowed. Credit cards are not issued by tax payers or insured by angel investors. They are a products issued by FDIC protected banks. To require that a citizen provide his Social Security Administration to gain access to Federal dollars referred to as credit cards is a violation of Title 5, Sec­tion 7 of Pub­li­ca­tion Law 93–579 of Gov­ern­ment Orga­ni­za­tion and Employ­ees Act.

    • Nonsense. Credit-card companies are not “federal, state or local government agencies.” So credit-card companies can ask for your social security number. Even if they couldn’t, you wouldn’t be justified in fraudulently giving some made-up number where the credit-card company was asking for a social security number. You could leave the space blank, and see if they loan you the money. Maybe they will; if they don’t, and you think they’re violating PL 93-579 (they aren’t, because they aren’t a “federal, state or local government agency,”) file a lawsuit.

  5. Who care banks and credit card companies have been ripping us for years. Its a chileds ssn. So what by the time they are an adult it wont even shaow on their credit. Wtf how are we defending banks smh

    • You obviously can’t distinguish between economical power with political power. Although banks do pull a certain amount of “thumb-jiggery” with the creation of money, it is only through the power of the state that enables them to do so, but aside from that, banks can’t force you to bank with them, and they cannot impose taxes on you. These are powers held by the state. Just the other day my co-worker received a letter from a rather large but local credit union here stating that he had been forgiven of the 11k charge off for the auto he repo’d, and he legitimately owed them that amount. Can you recall ever seeing or hearing about the state sending someone a letter forgiving them of past due taxes, and that is not money that he or anyone else for that matter legitimately owes. So anytime I hear people talk about the private sector like this I try to choke back the aneurysms.

  6. There are offers being made for validated scn’s. they claim they pass the ssnvalidator as well as various other programs verifying them as ssn#s. Can you please explain how that is done?

  7. Hi, am new here. Just got home from offshore where I had no laptop/cell phone to go on line. I get home and see that I signed up for this, great! Not to be off topic now but I do have a question about this CPN stuff. There are sites selling “validated cpns” that show as issued ssns when checked out, or so they claim. How can this be done? They tell you to check the numbers they issue you on the ssn validator and say they pass all the other checks. This can be tempting to people looking for a second chance. I don’t question the legalities here, that is obvious. Just curious as to how they can have a number validated. I’ve checked into this cpn stuff years ago and never invested due to skepticism. As a victim of identity theft and having no help in resolving it, I can understand people being desperate, although most are just looking for new credit because they wrecked theirs on their own. Just wanted to see if anyone knew how they can issue a number and have it validated as an ssn, unless of course they are selling you an actual ssn from someone else. They all offer both AU credit lines and Primary lines that they assign to the number once they issue it to you. I would appreciate anyone shedding light on this for me. Thanks, Darin.

    • There are people out there who are also selling the opportunity to be an “authorized user” on the credit accounts of people with good credit. The “idea” is that the authorized user benefits by being attached to the good credit person. This actually worked for quite awhile. However, the credit bureaus have wised up, and now the FICO algorithms that generate credit scores have been modified so that the credit accounts on which someone is an authorized user, only (rather than the primary owner of the account) are left out of the equation. Hence, spending money to buy authorized user status is a complete waste. First, if won’t help your credit score and, second, you can’t actually purchase anything…Yes, you might be an authorized use, but you are not provided with enough info about the account to use it for purchases. Thus, that’s total ripoff also.

  8. Mark which government agency you’re working? for why are you defending the banks they sure as hell are not fighting for the consumer. I have no respect for you are your post its people like you who try to force feed your OPINIONS tell the truth for once never mind you’re a lawyer its your job to lie.

    This next segment was taken directly off of the website:

    Credit Privacy Numbers (CPNs) are nine-digit file numbers that follow the same algorithm as Social Security Account Numbers (SSANs). Currently, federal law allows individuals to legally use CPNs for financial reporting and protects those individuals who do not wish to disclose their SSAN. Individuals who acquire CPNs are completely responsible for any debt they incur using this number.

    [This is the end of the FBI quote. The commenter included a great deal of other text from here, which was not “taken directly off of the website.”

    The poster also did not include the final sentence of the quoted paragraph, which you can find in footnote 35 of the FBI’s 2008 Mortgage Fraud Report:

    Acquiring a CPN is supposed to be a free service; therefore, Web sites that offer CPNs for a fee are most likely scammers.

    I have found nothing in federal law that supports the FBI’s statement that “Currently, federal law allows individuals to legally use CPNs for financial reporting and protects those individuals who do not wish to disclose their SSAN.” The phrases “credit privacy number” and “credit profile number” do not appear in either the Code of Federal Regulations or the U.S. Code. So I think the FBI is wrong (wouldn’t be the first time) on this broad proposition.

    Even if the FBI were correct, however, it would not support the commenter’s (and the CPN-fraud industry’s) contention that it’s okay to buy a CPN to use in place of an SSN. Web sites that offer CPNs for a fee are most likely scammers. MB]

    • There’s a big difference between leaving an SSN box empty, requesting a CPN from the government, and making up one OR using someone else’s SSN.

      Second, there’s a big difference between sticking up for thieving banks and discouraging bank fraud…and lying about one’s credit, for the purpose of encouraging or facilitating a lender to approve oneself for a loan is bank fraud. It’s a felony. And, it could be mail &/or wire fraud, as well as a potential violation of the RICO statutes. Potential jail terms for violation of these 4 statutes could mean 20 years in jail (5 years for each violation).

      The point is that discouraging bank fraud (by consumers) is not equivalent to supporting other frauds by the banks themselves. As the saying goes…”two wrongs don’t make a right”.

    • Thats because these fucks enjoy being slaves and bringing everyone else with them. They will always stick up for the slave masters in one way or another. I say get over if you can fuck the government all they do is steal we learned from the best.

      • You’ve figured it out. It’s not that we don’t like to see even assholes like you talking your way into a federal prison cell, but that we enjoy being slaves.

  9. I was the credit profile number site (I put it in the website field before I commented) earlier which actually made me search the net more to find out more on this topic and brought me here. I don’t know what to believe at this point, because absolutely no one can cite a law saying that we cannot use them, or that we can definitely use them. It seems to be one of those grey areas of the law, or is it more of a civil issue? I’m pretty much just confused about the whole process. My grand daughter is planning on getting her first car and I wanted her to keep from using her social because I know how those car lots can be, but it looks like she’ll be using her real ssn anyway. Some people say you can use it if you tell them you’re using a cpn, and some people say you just can’t use it at all. You can’t miss what you never had, so she’ll be fine without one.

  10. I had been reselling Shelf corps and CPN’s for 3 + years. I have seen the truths, the lies and the disappointments. I have been slandered to even have faced jail time. You do NOT want to get involved with CPN’s unless you absolutely know what you’re doing. 4 years after this thread was started, CPN’s are still being sold. Now its even fancier with Authorized Users.
    If you’re not sure if a CPN is right for you, this is how you know.

    1. Are you planning on defrauding creditors with this number?

    If yes, Kill yourself and know this is not for you.
    If no, move on to the next question.

    2. Are you intelligent to know how to keep the file segregated? File Segregation is a hot legal topic. Bottom line, it is supposed to be illegal. But one thing is certain in this day and age. Ignorance, will get you out of the stickiest situations. “I’m sorry your honor, I didn’t know I could not do that.”, got me out of a 2 year prison sentence…and it was the truth.
    I didn’t know. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH! In this day and age, everyone lies to protect themselves, the banks and, the churches. Including lawyers.

    • I just love all the visitors to this post who find it necessary to suggest that I’m lying. It’s like being invited into my house and taking a crap on the rug in the foyer.

    • Hi Cherry,
      Thanks for your comment, I’m just wondering how did you get caught up in this situation to almost facing jail time if you don’t mind sharing. Also was you applying for things under the state and government because I have heard that’s the only way a person can get caught and in trouble. I’m just curious because you can read so much and totally be confused not saying I’m doing it but I’m just wondering because I know of people that’s been doing it for years and haven’t been caught which they pay on the debt that’s loan out to them but never used to apply for a government or state loans

  11. Good afternoon Mr. Bennett. I need a simple answer from you, and you are a big time Lawyer. Are Credit Privacy Numbers legal or illegal?

    • It’s a bad question to want a simple answer to. Numbers are just numbers. It’s what we do with them that is legal or illegal.

      Providing a CPN in place of an SSN on a credit application is illegal.

      Possessing a CPN with the intent to provide it in place of an SSN on a credit application is illegal.

      • Hi Mark,

        Not sure why all the hostility 😉

        I have a simple question, is it legal to get a cpn from the government, tie it to my social and use it for my lease, time warner, DWP etc?

        My credit is fine, just wondering how the celebrities do it, mostly for identity theft purposes.

        • Deliberate stupidity makes me stabby.

          I don’t know the answer to your question. I have found no reference to CPNs in any statute or regulation, and have found no government form or other resource for applying for a CPN, so I think that you cannot get a CPN from the government. Perhaps Olen can enlighten us.

          If you get a CPN elsewhere than from the government, it’s nothing more than a fake SSN. Possess it at your own peril.

      • Greetings everyone. I used to issue CPNs, skip tracing and e-verifying it, but become of its illiegality, I chose not to, just because of the lying part in the application is totally Illegal. But Yes, there’s a legal way to get one issued and its through an attorney that would represent you before the SSA. But was told that it will be attached to your real SSN with all your personal information attached as well. Also, its a very lengthy process to endure. Success!

  12. Thank you Mark. I considered getting a scn to repair my credit because I thought it was legal. After reading your blog I decided against it. Thanks again for the info.

  13. Theres one part i wasn’t clear on. Do the CPN’s that havent been issued as SSN’s yet still pass the banks test? If sites like ssnvalidator can tell you if its been issued or not and what year its been issued how does it get passed the banks checking system anyway.

  14. “I have explained it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.”

    Cracking me up!

    Intellectual battle with the unarmed.

    The Mind boggles.

    Admittedly, it’s morbid curiosity.

    Like a wreck, you just can’t help slowing down and looking.

  15. Isn’t it true that as an advocate you search out every loop
    Hole possible to vindicate a client? Are concerned more
    With truth, or the letter of the law? I would say the latter.
    To quote Mark Twain: Truth is stranger than fiction,but it
    Is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities,
    truth isn’t. I would guess your credit score is 750+, and
    Haven’t be a victim of circumstance…Consider if you will
    You’ve lost everything and you’re credit score is 500, what
    Then, pray tell is truth? What loop holes are you then willing
    To weave through? How about in stead of just shooting down
    a way out to build a better life, offer a solution……..

    • Timmy,

      …and countless other sites on rebuilding credit without resorting to fraud.

      The problem is that people whose credit has been demolished by circumstance want instant gratification, and some are willing to commit fraud to get it. When a lender asks for your SSN and you give a CPN, it’s fraud. If the credit card company wanted your CPN it would ask for your CPN. Those who profit from selling CPNs want you to believe that it isn’t so, of course—they have something to gain from convincing you.

      I have nothing to gain from convincing you that using a CPN where an SSN is requested is fraud. In fact, I have something to lose—many people would be potential new clients if they got caught defrauding credit-card companies.

      Fraud is “a way out to build a better life” only in the sense that selling dope is. If it works, great (it’s even arguably a victimless crime if you fulfill all of the obligations that you fraudulently took on). If it doesn’t work, you’re on your way to prison. And that’ll be you behind bars, not the guy who sold you the CPN.

      If you’re going to commit fraud or sell dope, don’t pretend that it isn’t risky.

  16. Wow!!! Ty, Mark! I was just approached about this. I decided to come on the website to see if its real. I am so glad I came across your post because when things are too good to be true they normally are. If this was the case being legal to set up a CPN number this world will be in total chaos. What would this do to creditors that we owe. If anything unction an issue that something is wrong, 9 times out of 10 it is. Mark keep speaking the truth. God bless you.

  17. Hello I wanted to tell you I want to bankruptcy court with a friend and the guy that was talking in the class adviser everyone to get a CPN number until they are off of bankruptcy. Why would the bankruptcy debt class suggest this to people.

  18. I hear what you’re saying about putting a CPN in a box that requests a SSN; however, I know for a fact that high profile people buy their personal residences with a number other than their SSN – I used to sell homes to them. I never inquired about the specifics of how they did it, but I heard conversations taking place with mortgage professionals during which concerns were expressed about their privacy, and my clients insisted on not using their personal information. The bottom line is that they are putting SOMETHING in that SSN line, and it’s not a SSN.

    Another example I will cite, since I’m sure it will be close to your own heart, is that of a personal friend – a high profile attorney in Manhattan – who also does not disclose his personal information when buying property for fear of retaliation from former clients or those he has prosecuted.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating the use of CPN’s – I don’t have one and have no intention of ever getting one. However, I do believe in being truthful and the truth is that alternative credit sources are being used by the elite with the assistance of their attorneys. If it’s good for the goose … well, you know. Response?

  19. Mark,

    What kind of criminal violations are there when placing cpns as authorized users “not knowingly” on your credit card and accepting a small fee?

    Will the FTC come after the cardholder if it has been 4-5 years and no damages have been reported?

    What kind of civil liabilities are there for placing cpn’s on credit cards as an authorize user? Are damages possible even after 4-5 years? or are they unlikely?

    What kind of protection does the cardholder have?



  20. Ha ha a lawyer condoning lying for the purpose of benefiting. And a blog post from a person with no cpn experience except a $10 ebook has made himself an authority in the credit niche. This has to be one of the most ironic blogs I’ve been to since I stumbled on a “Get rich quick” site. Since your called a “lawyer” for lack of a better word then you should have no problem with finding cases that justify your claim? Interesting with as long as the article and follow up comments that a $10 ebook on anything even cooking would be a crock of ________. It seems Mark that your 25 page book has left you bitter and unable to form a logical conclusion. This is your blog and you are entitled to your opinion. Please share that with your readers as well since you are into complete and utter disclosure.

    Thanks for giving me the laugh : )

    • so what now? What if you belived the people telling you it was legal and purchased a cpn and used it for credit ($3k). cpn does not validate at ssnvalidator. . .not sure if that matters but that is a fact.

      thank you for your time and response.

  21. So, you’re saying that the FBI is lying by saying that it’s legal to use a CPN for financial purposes only? The FBI website says that it’s not unlawful, but you say it is. Lying on an application is bad…got it, but now explain how is it unlawful to not provide your SSN, but instead use your CPN? It’s not government issued and intent to defraud must be proven.

    • Natalie, I think that whoever wrote that little blurb for the FBI is mistaken. I’ve searched the U.S. Code, Federal Register, and all federal cases for any legal basis to justify using a CPN, and found nothing.

      If the credit-card company asks for “SSN or CPN,” then go ahead and put your CPN. But you’ll find that they never ask that. If someone asks for a SSN and you give a number is not your SSN, you’re putting your freedom in jeopardy.

  22. Credit Privacy Numbers (CPNs) are nine-digit file numbers that follow the same algorithm as Social Security Account Numbers (SSANs). Currently, federal law allows individuals to legally use CPNs for financial reporting and protects those individuals who do not wish to disclose their SSAN. Individuals who acquire CPNs are completely responsible for any debt they incur using this number. Acquiring a CPN is supposed to be a free service; therefore, Web sites that offer CPNs for a fee are most likely scammers.

    This is what is stated by the FBI, so if it’s so wrong how is it so legal? Hmmm…

    • Whoever wrote this blurb for the FBI was, I believe, mistaken. I’ve found nothing in federal law (sources: statute, regulations, caselaw) supporting the use of CPNs. More to the point, though, if you are asked for your SSN and you give a number other than your SSN, you’re lying.

      • Mark, it’s obvious that you’re either delusional or are just a plain old liar. I just fond the same quote on the fed’s website,

        “35 Credit Privacy Numbers (CPNs) are nine-digit file numbers that follow the same algorithm as Social Security

        Account Numbers (SSANs). Currently, federal law allows individuals to legally use CPNs for financial reporting and protects those individuals who do not wish to disclose their SSAN. Individuals who acquire CPNs are completely responsible for any debt they incur using this number. Acquiring a CPN is supposed to be a free service; therefore, Web sites that offer CPNs for a fee are most likely scammers.”

        When it comes down to it here is the real situation at hand:

        Some random guy’s opinion concerning the use of CPN vs. the FBI’s statatement.
        Enough said? Of course.

        So as soon I get paid today I’m about to go purchase a CPN so I can move into another apartment again; living in extended-stay hotels are not the business.

        • So even after being warned by the FBI’s anonymous intern that “Web sites that offer CPNs for a fee are most likely scammers,” you are going to “go purchase a CPN”? Not bright.

  23. Mark is extremely ignorant – it is ILLEGAL although mainstream to ask for ssn#s……Hes an agent or just institutionalized

    Illegal = Dont get ahead

    • No, it is not illegal to ask for SSNs. This is a typical non-lawyer mistake.

      I could make giving me your SSN a condition of your commenting on the this blog.

      The bank can choose not to do business with you if you don’t provide your SSN. If you give a fake SSN to get credit, you’re defrauding the bank.

      • what if you generate a 9 digit number using the algorithm, it is not issued or someones ss number already, you file an affidavit of truth as well as intent with, I don’t know, secretary of state, state controller office, BOE, IRS, FBI, DOA, Maybe not the last one but you get the point. The fact is it comes down to contract law, check the UCC uniform commercial code, then read the terms and conditions of each individual credit application, see case by case what the terms mean, in which manner are they requesting “SSN” maybe they have a provision that allows for this type of substitution. I think Mark, you really want to be right here, an you are making a good case for defending a bank or credit card agency here, but I do believe, understanding contract law is the best way to win here. So don’t make that your final answer mark, its too broad, get some case law examples under your belt…… if you can find any….. doubtful….. or quit making a moral ground for a fraudulent system to do things that the rest of society cant do, such as prosper, be free and independent. but bless your heart for this blog mark, you probably have a decent life and will never see the perspective of the common man until you decide freedom is better than liberty.

        • Let’s say we’re in Texas.

          We generate a 9-digit number using the algorithm so that the number will be recognized as an SSN and not rejected by a validator. (If CPNs were legit, we wouldn’t need to use the algorithm to make them look like SSNs.)

          In order for it not to be rejected by a validator, it has to be in a range of numbers that have been issued. (We have no way of knowing that it isn’t someone’s SSN already.)

          So now we’ve got a nine-digit number that we issued to ourselves. It’s not government-issued, so it could be someone else’s social security number, but maybe it isn’t. If it is, just by possessing it we’re risking an identity-theft charge under Texas Penal Code 32.51. (That statute is unconstitutional, but for reasons unrelated.)

          We send the IRS an “affidavit of truth as well as intent.” It’s not an IRS form, so the bureaucracy doesn’t know what to do with it.

          We can’t get credit using our own social-security number (that’s a given), so we put this nine-digit number on a Capital One credit card application where it asks for our social security number.

          Here is the Capital One Credit Card Agreement (the contract between the bank and the customer). There’s nothing in there redefining “social security number” to include our self-generated number.

          There are no published cases discussing “credit privacy numbers” because, I suspect, to the law those are “false social security numbers.” Lots of people have been punished for applying for credit using false SSNs. So what is the difference between our self-generated nine-digit number, which we put in the SSN field in the credit-card application, and a false social-security number?

          P.S. The freedom-liberty dichotomy to which I suspect you refer, the theory that “liberty” is given by the government, is nonsense. Liberty is a specific facet of freedom: freedom in relation to society. Liberty is not given by society or the government or the state. Society or the government or the state can take away our liberty, though—not because they are right or moral, but because they are more heavily armed than we.

  24. Hi,

    So…I’ve done lots of research on CPNs after I was approached by a woman who said she could get me a “renter’s profile number” on Craigslist while searching for a condo to rent from a private owner (I guess she just assumed I had bad credit). I wasn’t stupid enough to buy one but I was interested. After reading A LOT I came across a site that seemed to be unbiased and said that a CPN is the same thing as a “file number” which is already assigned to you and could be found next to your SSN on your credit profile when checking your credit score. The site stated that it will not reflect you actual credit report/score. I’ve tried it out on a few things and it works for some but not everything. Is this a CPN and if not, what is it? Thanks!

  25. Mark,
    please answer the celebrity comment with the Realtor saying how her highend clients used another number other than their social. .. what do you suppose that was?

  26. What are the statute of limitations for using a cpn? What are the statute of limitations for placing a cpn on a credit card as an authorized user knowingly?

  27. @ UnJohn NotDoe how did that work out? Has anyone here had success with these numbers?

  28. I appreciate your insight. Are you licensed to practice in other states besides Texas? The person from May who thinks you are a government agent is just simply a jerk. If you don’t like someone else’s opinion don’t heed the information. You have the right to disagree but to insult and encourage suicide is just ridiculous. Chris, Abduhl, and any other person that thinks you have answers that are better than the “ignorant” Mark, please by all means start your own blog.
    Now Mark’s dad, thank you for continuing a relationship with your son if he is your son and if not figuratively speaking thank you anyway. The problem with me and the rest of this country is we have total disregard for accountability. Credit is a privilege not a right. The companies may be extorting money from individuals and in most cases are exhorting to usury; however, they are acting under the law. If we are to change we have to start by taking personal responsibility for our actions those in the past that may have positive or negative consequences, those presently that may have both implications, and those in those actions in the future that may present both sets of consequences. Now, back to Dad you have chosen to act on behalf, either by conscience or by choice, of moral rightness. Either way thanks again, we have one life to live and living it loving others is far more fruitful than defending our personal agendas.
    Mark your opinion is appreciated even if I disagree with it. Isn’t that what makes this a wonderful place to live? We have the choice to follow advice/opinion or not. The fact remains that you stand to make more money defending us when choices are made contrary to law, than you do offering opinion prior to our decision being made. Then again you get the privilege at that point in saying “I told you so… pay me” if you choose.
    Bottom line we are subject to the law and it’s enforcers, if you want to change it become a Patriot and fight for what you deem as right. Or humble yourself and know that the God uses both good and bad events to “work” it out for those who love Him. Romans 8:28. You’ve now heard the cry, Repent and rescue (Sozo) will follow. Call upon the name of the Lord and you will be rescued. Acts 2:21
    Thanks for your help Mark. God loves you!

  29. I came across this site quite accidentally and it caught my attention immediately, first off Thank you Mike, what you have written and then commented on makes much more sense then the other comments especially “Morally” but I guess “Money hungry people” sometimes have no “Morals” if people are wanting to use a different number other then their SSN for profit then I would have to say they are at the least very dishonest. Until today I have never before heard of a CPN Thank God! And honestly have no desire to do any more research into it, it seems shady as hell. I’m sure I sound naive as all hell but that’s OK I’d rather be Honest and Naive then quite the opposite, on the bottom of every Credit Application I have ever filled out, is that part that States by signing I am confirming that every part of the application is the truth and filled in to the best of my ability or something along those lines, so putting a CPN in place of my Social would just be a LIE and while some people have a broken moral compass mine in fact works quite well, so I guess for me it just comes down to *Right vs Wrong* and I guess I just believe if more people could differentiate between *Right and Wrong* the world would be a different place, I know there’s my Naivety showing again, I’m a 37 yr old mother of two and how much easier it would have been if I didn’t so strongly believe in *Right and Wrong* but then again what would I have taught my children? I have extremely poor credit thanks to medical bills and ex-husband but I would rather slowly repair and rebuild honestly then do so by other means. Like I said using a CPN rather then your SSN when it specifically asks for your SSN is Lying and if you have to lie in order to get more credit, money whatever you HONESTLY DONT DESERVE IT!!! Now if you need to protect your privacy because of who you are, I’m positive there are “Legal” ways to do so or anyone famous would be in deep $H!T and honestly I don’t want to know how they do it, I don’t care it has no affect on my life or how I live my life.
    If you have screwed your credit that is your fault and getting access to more credit shouldn’t be as easy as getting or buying a CPN just so you can do the same thing again, the Companies you are using your “New CPN” with to obtain something you don’t deserve I believe have the right to know who you are especially since you’ll probably end up screwing them also I am not a big Fan of Banking Institutes and the like but I don’t believe you have the right to lie to obtain credit/financial gain and “maybe” not just everyone using a CPN is a liar but like I said if you have obtained it solely to obtain credit/financial gain that you don’t deserve is wrong and when it comes down to it you are doing nothing more then stealing from them and theft is illegal. I may not know enough about this to give an educated comment but I do know the difference between “Right and Wrong” and “Honesty and Deceit” and this whole CPN business just sounds Wrong and Deceitful and everyone that wants to justify it somehow seem to only want to do so to gain financially. I’m sure there is some legal way to do these things but like I said I have never heard of any of this until today and what I’ve just read makes me very Thankful I haven’t.
    Thank you for taking the time to read this comment!

  30. My name is Theo and I currently reside in the metro Atlanta area. The subject of CPN came up during a cook out. There was a gentlemen who express to me the benefits of a CPN and stated it would cost me $1500 to obtain a CPN. So I immediately did my research and ran across this blog and other valuable information about CPN. Honestly, he had me convinced; but I am thankful I did my research! In conclusion, I would like thank my trusted assistant (Victoria) for motivating me to do the research! Thank God that I wasn’t scammed!!

  31. Social Security Website They clearly state CPN numbers are not legal or recognized by the government:

    CPNs are nine-digit numbers that are marketed as “replacement Social Security numbers” to use to apply for and obtain credit.

    But, are CPNs legitimate and recognized by the government?

    We’ll make this easy—No and no.

  32. Ok so a CPN can be created but not used for its purpose. Its like how where not required to pay taxes or file taxes but if you don’t the government will arrest you.

  33. […] get any number, it is probably a stolen social security number. In either case, using a CPN or SCN instead of your social security number is fraud making them illegal for purposes of obtaining credit or a […]