Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Identity Theft continues to Grow out of Control...

Think you are not already an identity theft victim?


As recently reported by Wired News:

"Six million other people in the United States have
received identity theft disclosure letters from their
financial institutions in less than four month, and
the number is growing, according to San Diego based
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse."

In one of the latest breaches to come to light,
Citigroup's consumer finance division last week said
social security numbers, addresses and credit
histories of 3.9 million customers were lost."
Now, view those figures against previous disclosures
from other data aggregators and financial institutions
listed below:

ChoicePoint - 145,000
Lexis Nexis - 32,000
Time Warner - 600,000
Wachovia - 100,000
Bank of America - 100,000
Ameritrade Holdings - 200,000

By any measure, identity theft is a major problem with
the growth potential to touch more consumers than ever
imagined.

Given most identity theft & subsequent credit fraud
goes un-detected for many months, we would not be
surprised to learn of more large disclosures to come
in the near future.

So, the key take-a-way from this posting - you
probably stand a higher chance of becoming a victim of
identity theft than winning the lottery. We'd
recommend consumers should proactively protect
themselves with credit monitoring services. Any of
the major credit monitoring services available from
Fico, Equifax, Experian, & Trans Union are better than
not having protection.

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