Lawmakers propose new Social Security card

Feb. 12, 2008 at 11:27 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Two U.S. congressmen from Illinois have introduced a bill calling for new Social Security cards with security features to help combat fraud and identity theft.

U.S. Reps. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and Peter Roskam, R-Ill., introduced a bill Tuesday that calls for issuing Social Security cards with photographs, fingerprints, bar codes and other security features, the Chicago Tribune said.

Kirk said the proposed cards would be modeled after Common Access Cards distributed to active-duty military reserve members by the U.S. Defense Department.

"We think that a Social Security card should be hard to forge (and) that it should also make it easy to catch an identity-theft crime," Kirk said.

The Government Accountability Office said in 2005 employers reported 1.4 million false Social Security numbers and Roskam said identity theft amounts to $49 billion a year in losses.

The new cards would cost $8 to make compared to the 50 cents for current versions of the cards.

Current Social Security cards have no security features other than a signature.

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