Credit Privacy Numbers (CPNs) have increasingly become a subject of debate in recent years. Several credit repair companies have marketed CPNs as a legal and quick way to improve credit scores. However, experts and authorities have often warned against these practices, citing legal and ethical concerns. This article aims to answer the question, “Are CPN’s illegal?” and provide detailed insights into the world of CPNs.

Understanding Credit Privacy Numbers (CPN)

A Credit Privacy Number (CPN), also known as a credit profile number, is a nine-digit identification number that resembles a Social Security Number (SSN). Some credit repair companies claim that CPNs can be used as substitutes for SSNs when applying for credit or dealing with financial institutions.

The argument presented by these companies is that CPNs allow individuals to start afresh with their credit, thereby improving their credit scores. However, this claim has been disputed by several experts and authorities, leading us to the question, “Do CPN’s work?”

The Legalities Surrounding CPNs

Understanding whether CPNs are legal or not requires a deep dive into the legal aspects surrounding their use. CPN sellers often use various false, misleading, or questionable claims to make these numbers appear more legitimate than they actually are.

One common argument made by CPN sellers is the reference to the Privacy Act of 1974. According to this Act, Americans could not be forced to give their SSNs to a third party unless required by federal law. However, providing your genuine SSN to lenders is required by law.

In reality, while the existence of CPNs might not be illegal, using them on any credit application or official document is indeed unlawful. If you use a CPN to apply for credit, you are committing a crime. Therefore, the answer to the question, “Are CPN’s illegal?” is more complex than a simple yes or no.

The Risks of CPN Scams

CPN scams are some of the most common types of credit repair scams targeting Americans. Fraudsters market products like CPNs or services that promise to quickly clean up bad credit history or “start fresh” with a new number and credit report.

When it comes to CPN scams, victims often unknowingly purchase and use stolen Social Security numbers. Illegal CPN scams usually sell SSNs stolen from:

  1. Children through child identity theft
  2. Senior citizens through elder abuse
  3. The recently deceased
  4. Incarcerated individuals who most likely won’t notice that their numbers were stolen

Even if your CPN isn’t a stolen SSN, there’s a good chance it’s merely a fake nine-digit number designed to mirror a legitimate SSN.

Distinguishing between CPNs, EINs, ITINs, and SSNs

While CPNs exist in a legal gray area, scammers often compare them to other legal personal identifiers used by government officials and agencies. Here are a few other common identifiers that you should know about:

  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Social Security Number (SSN)

These numbers are legal to use for their specific purposes. But their existence doesn’t make CPNs any more valid. In fact, if someone suggests you use your EIN or ITIN in place of your SSN, they’re asking you to commit fraud.

Recognizing CPN and Credit Repair Scams

Identifying credit repair scams requires understanding certain red flags. Anyone guaranteeing a higher credit score, offering services you can easily do yourself, requiring you to pay upfront, or asking you to use false information on applications is likely running a scam.

Legitimate credit repair businesses cannot charge you anything before they provide their services. Repairing credit takes time, and any claim of a quick fix is likely a scam.

CPNs and Social Media

The widespread use of social media platforms has facilitated the growth of CPN providers. These providers can be found on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and even Truth Social, where they post videos and content that can mislead vulnerable consumers into obtaining CPNs.

Founder and CEO of Credlocity has been on a social media rampage challenging what he calls “Fake credit repair guru’s” and spending lots of money on ad’s to combat the growing number of CPN providers. Joeziel Vazquez says “Its so frustrating how the Federal Government has not done anything to shut these CPN factories down. They are all over the place like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, even TruthSocial, making videos and post duping vulnerable consumers into getting these CPN’s, which are essentially made up 9 digit numbers, that sometimes turns out to be another persons social security number.” Vazquez goes on to state “I argue with the video authors and challenge these videos almost daily but because I am not a popular social media person consumers tend to believe the popular criminal over the unpopular guy trying to help consumers”. Vazquez says “The social media companies need to shut these account down, when they refuse to do so they are complicit in this crime if they are reading this I hope that Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and even Truth Social get this message loud and clear ‘EVERY SINGLE DAY I report these accounts, and EVERY SINGLE DAY I write law makers and law enforcement about YOUR failure to take these accounts down”. Vazquez can be seen in one TikTok video arguing with TikTok user @user3781428706085 regarding the CPN being illegal (Video) and reply video (Second Video). It shouldn’t be surprising that Vazquez goes on these rampages since he has built his company based off of ethic, and credit repair reform. Joeziel consistently points out the fraud and unethical behavior of bad actors in the credit repair field. In fact Vazquez dedicates a majority of his blogs on this website warning consumers about the signs of credit repair scams and this right here is no different.

Are CPN’s illegal? A Final Word

From the information above, it’s evident that while the existence of CPNs is not illegal, their use for obtaining credit or other financial benefits is indeed unlawful and can result in severe legal consequences. Therefore, the question, “Are CPN’s illegal?” should be rephrased to “Is it legal to use a CPN for financial transactions?” to which the answer is a definitive “No.”

Furthermore, anyone considering buying a CPN should reconsider their decision. The answer to “Should I buy a CPN?” is a resounding “No.” It is essential to use legal and ethical means to improve credit scores and steer clear of quick fixes that can lead to legal and financial problems in the future.

The key takeaway here is to be cautious and well-informed about credit repair practices. Always consult a reputable credit advisor before making decisions that could have a significant impact on your financial future. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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