HR Alert: Will E-Verify Know if Your New Hire is Using a Stolen Social Security Number?
For the most part, the E-Verify system does a decent job of identifying and catching stolen SSNs which are submitted from a new hire’s I-9 form. Using various government databases and algorithms, the system will attempt to match the SSN with the employee’s name, date of birth, and various other pieces of information. However, the system has been far from fool-proof; according to a 2009 evaluation report, approximately half of all unauthorized workers used identity fraud or other fraudulent means to obtain an inaccurate E-Verify finding of employment authorized.
The good news is that E-Verify has just launched a new enhancement which is designed to detect and prevent the fraudulent use of SSNs. This new safeguard (which operates entirely behind the scenes) will enable the USCIS to automatically lock a SSN in E-Verify in cases where the SSN appears to have been used fraudulently (based on a combination of algorithms, detection reports and pattern analysis). While E-Verify has not revealed their exact SSN detection logic, it is anticipated that they will most likely flag SSNs that are frequently used, especially those submitted a very large number of times in a short period and/or in more than one area of the country.
How does this affect employers? If an employee attempts to use a locked SSN, E-Verify will generate a TNC and provide the employee an opportunity to resolve the issue at a local Social Security Administration field office.
While this new enhancement to E-Verify will help in the fight against identity theft employers still need to be proactive.