Misuse of another individual's SSN is a violation of federal law and may lead to fines and/or imprisonment and disregarding the work authorization provisions printed on your Social Security card may be a violation of federal immigration law. Violations of applicable law regarding Social Security number fraud and misuse are serious crimes and will be prosecuted.
The following provisions of law deal directly with Social Security number fraud and misuse:
• Social Security Act:
In December 1981, Congress passed a bill to amend the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1981 to restore minimum benefits under the Social Security Act. In addition, the Act made it a felony to
…willfully, knowingly, and with intent to deceive the Commissioner of Social Security as to his true identity (or the true identity of any other person) furnishes or causes to be furnished false information to the Commissioner of Social Security with respect to any information required by the Commissioner of Social Security in connection with the establishment and maintenance of the records provided for in section 405(c)(2) of this title.
Violators of this provision, Section 208(a)(6) of the Social Security Act, shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.
• Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act: In October 1998, Congress passed the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act (Public Law 105-318) to address the problem of identity theft. Specifically, the Act made it a federal crime when anyone
…knowingly transfers or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable state or local law.
Violations of the Act are investigated by Federal investigative agencies such as the U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and prosecuted by the Department of Justice.