A recent expose on CPN use by NBC’s Scott Friedman shows how the seedy element of the credit repair business is landing some consumers of their services in jail.
The investigation focuses on one consumer – Swatisha Keith. All that she wanted was a better life with better credit to help buy things she needed for her family.
The way to do that, Swatisha thought at the time, was only a computer click away – opening a trove of online sales pitches for CPNs, most commonly known as credit “profile” or “privacy” numbers, that, some websites promised, would increase her buying power.
So she connected with a man she found on CraigsList selling CPN’s.
She paid $1,500 for a nine-digit CPN, the same number of digits as in a Social Security number.
Swatisha said the seller told her she could use a CPN instead of her SSN to apply for credit, and that it would give her a new credit history and a chance to wipe her old history clean, she expected the reward to be a “brand-new beginning.”
At first, it seemed to work. She used her CPN to get a new credit card and a loan for a new car.
“Within two months of me having it, I saw my credit score go up. It was in the 700s. So I was like, ‘This is perfect,’” Swatisha said.
But the dream ended when federal agents showed up at her work.
You can see the video here which was reposted on Youtube.
The video includes Former SSA Special Agent Matt Pannel and Sgt Darren Schloesser with the Houston Police Department – two experts in the field.
I Had My Own Experience Buying A CPN
I worked with Scott Friedman during the course of his investigation into CPN’s and informed him of my own experience going undercover to buy a “Legal CPN” from a seller online.
You can read my story here – I Bought A Legal CPN, Here is What Happened
I knew going in that buying a CPN would result in me getting a stolen social security number and that is exactly what happened. I only hope that my experience will help other people avoid falling into the same trap.
I am hopeful more consumers will begin to understand that using a CPN is a crime and the can land in jail.
Thanks for reading.