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Identity Theft

8.1.08

Your company receives a letter from a woman claiming that one of your employees is using her social security number. The woman provides a copy of a letter from the IRS showing that your company has reported wages using her social security number since 2005. What should you do?

You must take immediate action to investigate this allegation. Identity theft or the allegation of identity theft is a real issue that your company must take seriously. An allegation of identity theft calls into question whether your employee is authorized to work, and ignoring this allegation could have serious consequences. A finding that your company had "actual or constructive knowledge" that it was employing an unauthorized worker could result in severe fines and potential criminal charges for harboring and concealing.

This article appeared in the August 1, 2008 issue of Human Resources Fact Finder.

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