A Credit Profile Number (CPN) is a nine-digit number that resembles a Social Security number and is usually sold to people with low credit scores. This substitution is illegal and is often a fraudulent way to rebuild a credit rating.
What is a CPN?
Scammers present credit privacy numbers (CPNs), aka credit profile numbers, as a replacement for Social Security numbers. Some credit card companies promise that CPNs can give people with bad credit history a way to clear it, while others advertise them as a way to protect their privacy and identity. Obviously, such slogans may seem tempting, but it’s important to remember that using CPNs is illegal.
Substituting your Social Security number on credit applications is considered fraud and a federal crime. Many CPNs are stolen Social Security numbers, including children’s numbers, so using them can also lead to identity theft.
What is a credit privacy number for?
The idea of replacing your Social Security number may seem appealing.
A bad credit score can prevent you from getting new credit or good interest rates. In some cases, bad credit may even prevent you from finding a job or an apartment. The possibility of buying a credit card number (CPN) to use instead of your Social Security number may seem like an opportunity to get a fresh start.
In other cases, people may want to hide their Social Security numbers to protect themselves from identity theft. Many applications for loans, credit cards, jobs and apartments ask for a Social Security number. Using a CPN instead to avoid getting your Social Security number in the wrong hands may seem like a tempting proposition.
Is CPN legal?
Some credit card repair companies may promise you a fresh start on your credit history thanks to CPN. The reasoning is that this process is perfectly legal, but that’s far from it. If you use a CPN on your credit card application instead of your Social Security number, you may be committing a crime. Federal law prohibits people from lying on a credit or loan application or misrepresenting their Social Security number.
What’s worse is that CPNs are often stolen Social Security numbers, including those of children or deceased people. This means you could be involved in identity theft by using CPNs. This can lead to fines or even jail time.
Alternatives to CPN
There are different occasions in life when you may need a CPN, but we can offer more legal and secure options that can help you protect your identity or overcome a bad credit history:
1) Getting a new Social Security number
The Social Security Administration (SSA) can issue a new Social Security number in several cases:
- Members of the same family have consecutive Social Security numbers, and this causes problems
- Two or more people have the same Social Security number
- The number holder has had his or her identity stolen, and this is a problem
- The person is a victim of abuse or their life is in danger
- On religious objections to certain numbers in the Social Security number.
Unfortunately, getting rid of past financial problems is not one of the reasons you can get a new Social Security number.
2) Improving your credit rating
If you’re struggling to qualify for credit or loans because of a questionable credit history, it’s understandable that you would look for alternatives. There are many ways you can take control of the situation and improve your credit history.
Pay your bills on time. The longer you keep your payments on schedule, the more your credit score will increase. Check your credit reports regularly to make sure all the information on them is correct. You can order a free report once a year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Improving your credit takes time. The longer you go without a negative mark on your credit report, the more your score will improve.
3) Identitying Theft Protection
The easiest way to protect yourself from identity theft is to not respond to suspicious phone calls, letters or emails that ask for your Social Security number or other personal information.
There are also credit and identity theft monitoring services. They can track your credit dynamics and let you know if anything suspicious happens to your Social Security number. If you don’t use a credit monitoring service, you can monitor identity theft yourself. If someone has stolen your identity, you’re sure to notice withdrawals from your bank account, debt collectors contacting you about debt you didn’t take on, and unfamiliar accounts on your credit report.
How do I avoid CPM fraud?
If you apply for help to repair your credit, many companies promise to help. To avoid scammers, look out for these red flags:
Any company that tells you it’s legal to use your CPN instead of your Social Security number is lying. “Credit repair” companies that advise you to pay up front, not contact the credit bureaus, dispute incorrect information on your credit report, or lie on loan applications are probably scammers.
Watch out for companies that don’t explain your legal rights when describing their services. They are required by law to be honest about what they can do for you, including explaining your legal rights and how much you will pay in total. If the company violates this law, you can sue them for your lost money and punitive damages.