Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Choicepoint Id Theft Exposure Grows by 17,000

17,000 additional victims of identity theft
resulting from the Choicepoint breach
reported earlier this year.

This latest figure according to Choicepoint's
most recent SEC filing, brings the new total
of 162,000 consumers
to date which will
have to be notified their identity data was
illegally accessed.

You may recall, when the original story broke in
February '05 of Choicepoint's initial required
disclosure to California consumers, the total was only
30,000 but that total grew substantially
over the furor generated by the initial posture
Choicepoint officials elected to take towards
the business need for non California disclosure.

Note, ChoicePoint offers consumer reports covering
employment background checks, tenant rental history,
and insurance claims nationwide.

Since the disclosure, Choicepoint has been supportive
of consumers concerned about how they may have been
negatively impacted by the security breach. Those
consumers who were notified are eligible for free
credit monitoring for 1 year.

In fact, consumers nationwide can get a free copy of
these reports maintained by ChoicePoint if a
prospective employer, landlord or insurer used
ChoicePoint's services for screening purposes. In any
case, it's prudent for consumers to see what actually
the data Choicepoint has on file under your identity.

So, our tip for today is to contact Choicepoint to get
a free copy of these reports:

Employment Background check

or call (877) 448-5732

Tenant History report

or call (877) 448-5732

Insurance Claim report (known as a CLUE Report)

or call (866) 312-8076


Finally, as a general rule to further protect yourself place passwords on credit card, bank and phone accounts. Avoid using easily available information such as your mother's maiden name, your birth date or the last four digits of your Social Security number as your password.

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