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When you apply for credit, a mortgage, a place to live, government benefits, or tax refunds, you need documents showing your income, employment, and other information. But not everyone plays by the rules. Some businesses sell fake documents to people who use them to get products and services for which they might not otherwise qualify.

Today, the FTC announced cases against three sellers of bogus documents. In its complaints against Katrina Moore and Innovative Paycheck Solutions, Steve Simmons and Integrated Flight Solutions, and George Jiri Strnad II and Abstract United, the FTC alleges the defendants sold fake documents used for identity theft and fraud. The bogus documents include fake pay stubs, banks statements, tax forms and medical documents. As part of the proposed settlements, the defendants are prohibited from selling fake documents or services as well as templates or tools for creating such documents.

The sale of fake documents has far-reaching consequences. Let’s say identity thieves get your personal information — maybe from an online hack, dumpster diving, postal mail tampering, or some other source. Then they put your information in templates like the ones sold on the defendants’ websites. This generates real-looking (but fake) documents that let identity thieves get credit, a lease, government benefits, or a tax refund — all in your name. When the thief doesn’t pay those bills, it would be your credit that suffers. And when the identity thief gets benefits or tax refunds in your name, you might not get a needed benefit or a tax refund for many months.

It’s not easy to know when someone is using your information on a fake document, but read more about steps you can take to help keep your personal and financial information secure.

To get more information like this, sign up for the FTC's Consumer Information Updates.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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September 18, 2018
Thank you FTC
September 18, 2018
Great work.
September 19, 2018
Good read. An SSN system automation must be implemented to trigger/signal the individual whenever his/her SSN is being used anywhere in the world except militarily.
Muggi 5
September 18, 2018
Thanks, great advice.........
September 18, 2018
September 18, 2018
How do we report people who advertise that they provide the service?
FTC Staff
September 19, 2018

In reply to by cleReals

Please report them to the FTC at, and to the Attorney General in your state.

To find the Attorney General in your state, go to the National Attorneys General site at, and click "Attorneys General" on the bar on the top.

September 18, 2018
Great job!
September 18, 2018
Thank you for watching out for all of us. Great job!
September 18, 2018
My question about my travel documents passport number card and invitation letter and receipt number and social security card and
September 19, 2018
Thanks for this!! Lets get them all!!
September 19, 2018
Very useful info. keep up the good work.
September 19, 2018
That is great, I wish they could regulate the Robo Callers, who are now getting local phone numbers!
September 19, 2018
I like Terri's response and agree with neng2001.
February 24, 2019
On your crediy reports they should leave out anyone bedides you and a special coding system for you and spouse....if chikreb onky 18 given them a code with verifiable id pics and current on call back phone number to get added and only deleted by you the primary with your direct personal or given automated number by choice to pick..