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Fraud case highlights the need to secure Social Security cards

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WBFO file photo
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A local man pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony scheme to defraud, stealing Social Security numbers of young people and getting credit cards and buy cars.

Darrius Outling pleaded guilty to one count of felony scheme to defraud. Outling and allies would go online and find Social Security numbers they knew were those of young people and use them.

"I remember getting my kids' Social Security card when they were relatively young, infants probably, and I put them in an envelope and I stuck them in a drawer and they have been sitting there ever since," said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.

Flynn said he believes it is a common practice among most parents. He said his approach will change moving forward.

"Four of my five kids now are all 18 or above, so they [run credit checks] on their own. But, I have one 15-year-old who's left at home and I am now going to run a report on her, once a year now, just because of this case," Flynn said.

According to officials, financial institutions took a $133,000 hit from Outling's activities. He faces up to four years in prison when sentenced in November.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.