For good reason, an ITIN card does not look anything like a Social Security card:An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service. It is a nine-digit number that always begins with the number 9 and has a 7 or 8 in the fourth digit, example 9XX-7X-XXXX.
IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
ITINs are issued regardless of immigration status because both resident and nonresident aliens may have U.S. tax return and payment responsibilities under the Internal Revenue Code.
Individuals must have a filing requirement and file a valid federal income tax return to receive an ITIN, unless they meet an exception.ITINs are for federal tax reporting only, and are not intended to serve any other purpose. An ITIN does not authorize work in the U.S. or provide eligibility for Social Security benefits or the Earned Income Tax Credit. ITINs are not valid identification outside the tax system.
IRS issues ITINs to help individuals comply with the U.S. tax laws, and to provide a means to efficiently process and account for tax returns and payments for those not eligible for Social Security Numbers. - IRS
- Put that valid ITIN number onto a fake Social Security card.
- No need to use a number stolen from someone else.
- No risk that you are one of many illegal aliens using the same number.
- Peace of mind that the number has been assigned to you.
I have no idea how popular this type of fraud is. I was only recently made aware of the process.
Pretty sneaky eh?
Update: 4 October 2007
Just to be clear, the process explained above is illegal!
Update: 4 February 2010
I have posted an update here: UPDATE: How Illegal Aliens get a 'Social Security Number' in their own Name