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The Resource Center Identity Theft & Protection | article

Immigration-Exploitation and Identity Theft Scheme Exposed

For illegal immigrants, living in the United States poses a host of challenges, as getting a visa to work in the first place can be such an unreasonable challenge that ever gaining citizenship in the country is a goal some never plan on reaching. As a result, identity theft runs rampant among illegal immigrants, as it is often easier for them to steal the social security number and personal information of someone who is already a citizen than to jump through hoops – and even face deportation – going about attaining citizenship the legal way.

Because immigrants are so desperate for citizenship, they often find themselves in situations where they are exploited in exchange for work and a Social Security card. This was the case with a June 2013 sting that uncovered one of the largest ID theft rings in the country operating up and down the East Coast.

Eight men and one woman were arrested in the sting for harboring illegal aliens and supplying them with fake identities. The nine individuals were all franchisees of 14 7/11 convenience stores in Long Island, New York, and Virginia that were staffed with more than 20 immigrants who had entered the country illegally. The owners all committed identity theft to supply them with work documents and even went so far as to give them lodging in communal residences purchased to harbor the workers.

Essentially, in exchange for safe asylum here in the United States, these immigrants would have to operate as underpaid indentured servants. This just goes to show that in some cases of ID theft, the person whose identity was stolen is hardly the only victim.