The problem involves three Pacific island nations, each of which has its own, independent Social Security Administration. The three -- the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau.

If your U.S. number starts with 002-6, 003-9, 005-7 or 007-8, it could match a number in Micronesia. Numbers that start 006-4 could match numbers in Palau. Those that start with 004 could match numbers in the Marshall Islands.

That works out to roughly 135,000 possible matches