There are many ways to turn around a bad credit score. One way that groups or companies offer their “help” is by selling you a CPN. Now, you might be asking what is a CPN or a credit privacy number?
No one likes a bad credit score. It can affect your future plans of getting loans, getting a job, and availing of other financial benefits. So, it is only normal for one to remove negative accounts from their credit report to increase their credit score.
Some companies take advantage of this and will offer you a CPN to buy from them. The CPN is a nine-digit number that is supposedly an alternative for your social security number (SSN). They claim that you can now be cleared to apply for new credit with this new CPN. Basically, it conceals your previous bad credit record with a new one.
The problem with CPNs is it isn’t as safe and legal as these companies would claim them to be. If you’re someone who had been recently offered to buy a CPN, it’s better to read this article first. Here, we will be discussing what a CPN truly is, if CPNs are legal, and everything you need to know about them.
What is a CPN or a credit privacy number?
Why are there companies selling CPNs?
Companies that sell CPNs are banking on people who have bad credit records. They know that it will be easier to convince them since they desperately need a way to fix their credit reports.
As stated above, a CPN is masked as an alternative for your social security number (SSN). Your SSN is what credit bureaus would usually ask from you to view all records associated with you. Having a CPN will help you hide your actual bad credit score.
However, the problem is each person usually only has one SSN during their lifetime. There might be some cases where you can get a new SSN, but that is through replacing the old one. One example would be if you can prove that your old SSN caused something that might endanger your safety. So, if you still have your SSN and an “alternative” (CPN), many questions and suspicions will be raised.
Are CPNs legal?
To better understand what a CPN or a credit privacy number is, you also must know its legality. Again, a CPN is just like an SSN, but you don’t get it directly from the government. Instead, you are buying it from a third-party company.
In another perspective, you might see it as getting a new identity. It might seem legal, especially with how companies endorse it. Most companies will use the U.S. Privacy Act of 1974 to convince you that this is a legitimate process. This law grants a person the right to not disclose their SSN unless required by federal law. That, in turn, is why they say you can use a CPN instead of your original SSN.
But no one really knows where these credit privacy numbers came from. That is why this is not actually a safe, nor legal, way to apply for new credit. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says that you cannot lie on a credit or loan application by misrepresenting your SSN.
There are two common ways of getting a credit privacy number. The first one is to use a 9-digit algorithm generator to fake a non-existent SSN. The second one is to use stolen SSNs from other people. Either way, you can see that with a CPN you are actually misrepresenting your SSN.
If you use a CPN to apply for new credit, it is also as good as lying to the bank or lender on the application. According to the FTC, misrepresenting your SSN is a federal crime.
Additionally, CPNs gave rise to a form of crime called Synthetic Identity Fraud. This type of crime is charged to someone who mixes real and fake personal information to create a new identity. An example of this would be combining the information of four different people to create a new persona.
Before deciding to agree on buying a CPN, keep in mind the legal consequences of it. It doesn’t only harm you, but also possibly the people who got their information stolen to create that CPN.
How to not get tricked by companies in getting a CPN?
It’s now clear that a CPN is more of a scam than a way to help you improve your credit score. They try to convince you with sweet promises and laws that do not even apply anymore to our current environment. If it seems too hard to believe, then it probably is.
Facing legal charges, in the end, is a lot more complicated thing to handle than fixing your credit report. Remember, these black-market groups know how to trick you into applying for a CPN. To avoid getting scammed by these people, here are some tips we compiled that you can follow:
- Be wary of companies who will suggest making a new “identity” to return your record to a clean slate.
- Even if they say it’s legal, know that CPNs are already on the bureaus’ watchlist of potential credit repair schemes.
- Remember that each person or citizen can only have one SSN. There are no other alternatives for it.
- Even if you are financially broken, know that there are many other ways to turn your credit score around legally.
If a CPN is illegal, then what can I do?
After knowing what a CPN or a credit privacy number is, we can now safely avoid it. There are many legitimate credit repair services out there that you can consult with regarding your bad credit score. Even if the “perks” of getting a CPN sound a lot more alluring, you really shouldn’t risk doing it.
So, what are the best alternatives that you can do instead of getting a CPN? There is no surefire way of fixing your credit score. But here are three things you can always consider doing that might help prevent you from having a bad credit score.