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What Is a CPN Number?

Sarah Edwards | April 11, 2024

Sarah Edwards
Legal Expert
Sarah Edwards, BS

Sarah Harris is a professional researcher and writer specializing in legal content. An Emerson College alumna, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication from the prestigious Boston institution.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Fact-checked by George Simons, JD/MBA

George Simons
Co-Founder of SoloSuit
George Simons, JD/MBA

George Simons is the co-founder and CEO of SoloSuit. He has helped Americans protect over $1 billion from predatory debt lawsuits. George graduated from BYU Law school in 2020 with a JD/MBA. In his spare time, George likes to cook, because he likes to eat.

Summary: A CPN is a credit privacy number — a nine-digit number designed to replace your Social Security number with a fresh credit history. But this is a scam, and it’s illegal. SoloSuit can help you resolve your debts so you can start rebuilding your credit the legal way.

It sounds too good to be true. A credit privacy number, or CPN, is often marketed with the promise of a clean credit history.

Don’t be fooled.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has already labeled CPN offers as scams. Sure, a new credit identity sounds promising, but you could unwittingly find yourself enmeshed in an identity theft operation.

Here’s what you need to know about CPN numbers.

What is a CPN?

CPN stands for credit privacy number.

If you have bad credit, you may have received offers for a CPN. A CPN is a nine-digit number comparable to a Social Security number (SSN).

Scam artists commonly present a CPN as a way to secure a fresh credit history. But this promise may come with the expectation that you change your driver’s license, phone number, and email address — all of which are warning signs of a scam.

A CPN is not given the same legal or official status as your Social Security number. No government or private entity will allow you to disguise your credit history by using a CPN, and an attempt to do so may expose you to fraud allegations.

How do you get a CPN number?

To get a CPN number, you’ll have to pay money to a scammer who will promise you a new ID number that can replace your SSN when applying for loans. Don’t fall for it; CPN numbers are a scam.

CPN scammers will ask you for your:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Credit card

Let’s look at an example of a real victim of a CPN scam.

Example: Frank signed up for a CPN in California. He had to send the scammers his personal information and $75. After three days, Frank received the CPN: a 9-digit number that was very similar to a Social Security Number. Frank did some research from public data and found that the CPN was a stolen SSN that had been issued by the Social Security Administration in 2009, meaning it probably belonged to someone born that year. In other words, Frank was walking around with a stolen SSN disguised as a legit CPN number.

If you haven’t figured it out already, CPNs are illegal.

Is a CPN legal?

Using a CPN in place of your SSN is illegal. That’s partly because the number itself may have been acquired through illegal means. For instance, some CPNs are just someone else’s Social Security number, such as one taken from a child with no credit history.

When you use a CPN, you could be complicit in identity theft, whether you realize it or not. And if you use a CPN on a form that requests your SSN, you could end up in jail.

So a CPN isn’t just a bad idea. It’s illegal.

What is a CPN scam?

A CPN scam is when someone promises that a “credit privacy number” or “credit profile number” can replace your SSN and help you get access to credit, despite having a negative credit history.

Here's how the scam usually works:

  • Misrepresentation: Scammers market CPNs as a way to hide a bad credit history or bankruptcy. They claim that these numbers can be used legally to apply for credit under a new identity.
  • CPNs are illegal: In reality, using a CPN to apply for credit or government documents is illegal. It's considered a form of identity theft or fraud, especially if the CPN is a stolen SSN or made to look like an SSN.
  • Using a CPN can cause big problems: Individuals who use a CPN (knowingly or unknowingly) might face legal consequences. They could be charged with fraud or identity theft.
  • CPN scams might take your money: Often, scammers charge high fees for CPNs, leading to financial loss for those who purchase them.

How to spot a CPN scam

It seems like a CPN scam should be relatively easy to spot. However, scam artists are not always forthright with what they’re promising. Look for these warning signs of a CPN scam:

  • Promises of a “clean credit history.”
  • Claims that an Employer Identification Number can replace your SSN.
  • Requests to change your address, phone number, or other info.

Avoid these scams at all costs. You could find yourself wrapped up in an identity theft scam or even commit your own acts of fraud.

Watch out—Here are the website of several companies that are currently selling CPN scams:

It might seem obvious, but these sites and many more have fooled people into paying for instant access to credit, but that simply isn’t how credit works. It can take months, even years, to build a good credit score.

Let’s take a look at how to improve your credit without being scammed by a CPN.

Improve your credit score the legal way

Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a fresh credit history, at least not in the way that scammers offer. However, you can take steps to improve your credit history so that you don’t have to hide your true identity.

Improve your credit history by:

  • Committing to paying your bills on time each month.
  • Keeping your credit card balances below 30% of your limit.
  • Checking your credit report regularly and reporting any errors.
  • Applying for credit only when you absolutely need it.

These methods take time, but the sooner you get started, the sooner you can reclaim control of your financial future.

If you’re facing debt collectors, watch this video to find out how to respond:

Settle debt without a CPN

If you’re struggling with bad credit, your first step might be to resolve some of your outstanding debt. SoloSuit can help, thanks to SoloSettle. With this tool, you can respond to creditors quickly and easily.

SoloSettle helps you settle debt in several ways:

  • Helps you settle the debt without a debt relief company.
  • Provides a built-in legal defense.
  • Requires no payments until you reach a debt settlement agreement.
  • Requires no minimum debt amount.
  • Keeps you updated throughout the debt settlement process.

Yes, your credit score may still take a hit. That’s unavoidable, but with SoloSettle, you can begin the process of repairing your credit.

Draft your debt settlement letter today.

Let’s look at an example.

Example: Sonia has been struggling with debt for a while now. She wants to buy a new car but knows her credit history will prevent her from securing the best loan options. An offer comes in the mail, offering a “fresh credit history.” But Sonia realizes that this offer is a clear CPN scam. Instead, she uses the services of SoloSettle. She negotiates a debt settlement and a payment plan that fits her goals and her budget. While her credit score drops temporarily, she resolves her debts and gets back on track. Her credit score improves over time, allowing her to qualify for better interest rates.

Respond to a debt lawsuit

SoloSuit will help if you’ve been hit with a lawsuit. Using SoloSuit, you can prepare your legal Answer to assert your defense. One of SoloSuit’s attorneys can review your Answer, or we can send it to your creditor and the court. You may have as little as 15 days, so start today.

Learn how to respond quickly to debt collection lawsuits.

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