THE OBVIOUS SIGN: DIFFERENT SSNs IN FILE

Father-Son, Mother-Daughter, Junior-Senior-Trey [Generational Designators], Common Names, Variations on Social Security Numbers and Other Mixed File Issues
David A. Szwak

THE OBVIOUS SIGN: DIFFERENT SSNs IN FILE

Postby David A. Szwak » Sun Nov 27, 2005 4:30 pm

1
1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
IN AND FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
2
3 LARRY E. CARRIERE, II *
*
4 V. * Civil Action No.
* CV03-1340-S
5 EXPERIAN INFORMATION *
SOLUTIONS *
6
7
8
9
10 ORAL AND VIDEOTAPED DEPOSITION OF
11 SHANNON LEE STAFFORD
12 JUNE 8, 2004
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14
15
16
17 ORAL AND VIDEOTAPED DEPOSITION OF SHANNON LEE
18 STAFFORD, produced as a witness at the instance of the
19 Plaintiff, taken in the above-styled and numbered cause on
20 the 8th day of June, 2004, at 9:57 a.m., before Frances M.
21 Blacha, a Certified Shorthand Reporter in and for the State
22 of Texas, reported by machine shorthand, in the offices of
23 Jones Day, 2727 N. Harwood Street, Dallas, Texas 75201, in
24 the City of Dallas, County of Dallas and State of Texas, in
25 accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

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17 Q Okay. But would you agree or disagree -- I'm
18 just going to say to you I don't think it's appropriate for
19 someone to change personal identification on a bankruptcy
20 item changing it from Larry James Carriere with a different
21 Social to Larry E. Carriere who obviously has a different
22 Social from the man, but is that consistent with Experian's
23 policies and procedures to make that type of change without
24 reinvestigating it?
25 MR. McLOON: Argumentative. You may answer.

73
1 A Yes, we will conduct and make updates to change
2 -- to name and Social information. Sometimes typographical
3 errors come up where maybe the last digit of a Social
4 Security number should have been an 8, but maybe it was
5 mistyped and put as a 9. We go through and update that,
6 especially if we receive some type of documentation.
7 Sometimes it's just a misspelling of a first name.
8 Q Is it correct to say that these two Social
9 Security numbers between Larry James Carriere and my client
10 actually are three digits different? In essence, out of the
11 last four digits, Larry James Carriere is 7983 and my client
12 is 9924. Those would be three digits out of the nine-digit
13 Social that are different.
14 A Yes.
15 Q So at least in terms of what you would expect of
16 a typographical error, that would be a very significant
17 typographical error; correct?
18 A It could be.
19 Q And, in fact, the -- it would not even appear to
20 be a miskeying a key next to a number. For example, the 9
21 would not be next to the 7 on the keypad; correct?
22 A I don't have a keypad in front of me, but --
23 Q You agree with me that these numbers are not
24 numerically next to one another where you might expect to
25 see a 2 and an 8 miskeyed; correct?

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1 A You know, it's hard for me to say, you know,
2 because it depends on the person that is typing the data
3 into -- into the system -- or submitting the data to us.
4 Q Well, you recognize that I'm just trying to try
5 to determine if there are any rules or policies at Experian
6 with regard to evaluating the individual digits and whether
7 they might be miskeyed because the numbers are next to each
8 other in sequence.
9 MR. McLOON: If your question is directed to
10 the NCAC, I have no objection.
11 Q That's what I'm asking. In reinvestigation do
12 you-all consider that, maybe whether the numbers are off by
13 one digit and on a keypad they would be next to each other.
14 A We'd definitely take it under consideration.
15 Q Is there a written policy about that?
16 A Well, we have -- when someone goes through
17 training on these types of issues, then, yes, they would be
18 asked to look at the name and Social rows and address rows.
19 Q But this is my specific point. Would you teach
20 them as part of your policies and procedures to consider the
21 number of digits that are different? In essence, if it's a
22 seven of nine match or a six of nine match or an eight of
23 nine match, is that a consideration?
24 MR. McLOON: Objection. Incomplete
25 hypothetical.

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1 A Well, you know, we don't ask them to necessarily
2 say there's a two on a -- you know, if it has a 2 and an 8,
3 does that correspond necessarily on a keypad. We ask them
4 to take a look at the Social Security number for variations
5 to see could there be a situation that we need to look at or
6 would gain additional information from the consumer. For
7 example, maybe their Social Security card, letter from the
8 Social Security Administration, things of that nature.
9 Q Now, as far as you know, there is no written
10 policy or procedure at Experian in the reinvestigation
11 division that specifically explains to an employee to
12 evaluate whether it's a six of nine or seven of nine or
13 eight of nine match of being a Social Security match;
14 correct?
15 A Well, we teach them to, you know, look at the
16 Social Security number and make sure that, you know, we are
17 working with the correct Social Security number. If that
18 means getting, like I said, the Social Security card, a
19 letter from the Social Security Administration. But as far
20 as, you know, a six or nine inversion, you know, it's just
21 hard to say. It just depends on the circumstances of the
22 consumer's Social Security number at the time.
23 Like I mentioned earlier, you know, if it's
24 one digit off at the end, and especially if the consumer
25 isn't contesting the situation or contesting the Social

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1 Security number, it just all depends on each and every
2 individual file.
3 Q Okay. But I guess the answer to my question
4 would be no, you don't know of a written policy or procedure
5 at Experian, but that verbally you talk to employees about
6 that issue. Is that correct?
7 A We talk to them, and also in the manual does
8 indicate that, you know, you get Social Security number
9 variations.
10 Q Okay. You talk about variations in the Social,
11 but you don't specifically address for them considering --
12 in writing, you don't address with your employees
13 considerations of the number of digits that might match;
14 correct?
15 A Well, I don't have the manual in front of me, but
16 I don't believe it goes into the number of digits
17 specifically.
18 Q And I want to be specific again. In your
19 reinvestigation manual, you don't specifically address with
20 the employees considerations as to whether two numbers are
21 next to each other on a keypad and might actually result in
22 a typographical error or keypunch error; correct?
23 A Are you referring to just the standard training,
24 not outside of what a -- someone in the special services
25 group would look at?

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1 Q Well, let's talk first about just a normal
2 employee in the reinvestigation division. Do they receive
3 that type of written directive?
4 A They're asked to review if there are any Social
5 Security number variations.
6 Q But I'm asking you specifically about keypunch
7 considerations where the number might be next to one another
8 on a keypad or be in sequence.
9 A Not specifically. They may show -- the manual
10 may show examples.
11 Q Okay. What about in the mixed file department --
12 MR. McLOON: Excuse me. I'm sorry. It
13 looked to me like you hadn't finished. Did you finish?
14 A Well, the training manual may show examples of
15 variations that may show where maybe two digits were off or
16 something along those lines, but I don't have those examples
17 offhand.
18 Q Okay. Now, what about in fraud and mixed
19 training, do they get a little extra help in understanding
20 this type of issue?
21 A Well, that's what I was referring to was the
22 mixed manual.
23 Q Okay. Now, the mixed manual is not something
24 that's provided to all of the reinvestigation employees;
25 correct?

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1 A Right.
2 Q That's a subset of employees that specifically
3 deal with mixed files or fraud cases; correct?
4 A Right.
5 Q Now --
6 MR. McLOON: At some point in the next five
7 to ten minutes, could we look for a five-minute break?
8 Q Now, other than -- other than this one dispute
9 that we've identified -- I'm sorry -- not dispute. You
10 called it an update.
11 A Uh-huh.

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