There is no way to obtain a personal credit profile number without the risk of committing fraud, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Companies offering consumers help with establishing a new credit identity by selling nine-digit CPN numbers are often perpetuating a scam.
Consumers have a legal right to withhold their Social Security number when filling out applications for credit cards and loans. However, using a CPN number in place of a Social Security number can backfire when the number turns out to be stolen, according to Freddie Mac. Some companies obtain valid Social Security numbers that belong to children, identity theft victims and deceased persons, and they sell them as legitimate CPN numbers. Consumers should avoid heeding any advice that instructs individuals to provide false information when applying for credit, which is illegal. Although some legitimate companies may provide CPN numbers composed of random nine-digit numbers that are not stolen, verification of their legality is difficult if not impossible.
Some companies selling CPN numbers have been successfully prosecuted for fraud, according to the Federal Trade Commission, which considers the promotion of false credit identity illegal. Use of a CPN number often raises a red flag with credit reporting agencies such as TransUnion, who issues an alert when it discovers these numbers, as explained by Credit Sesame.