Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Scottrade 1.3 Million Potential Id Theft Exposure

Scottrade, one of the largest online stock brokerage firms in the U.S.,
was itself the latest victim of a security breach which may have exposed
an untold number of it's 1,300,000 clients to identity theft and SSN fraud.

Scott Trade warned their clients, due to a vendor's eCheck server exposure,
that the following personal information may have been compromised to
identity thieves:

  • Your Name
  • Driver's License -or-
  • State ID Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Phone Number
  • Bank Name
  • Bank Code
  • Bank Routing Number
  • Bank Account Number
  • Scott Trade Account Number
All prime information that identity thieves can use to drain existing
banking accounts plus open up new credit accounts and go on a
shopping spree. All told, the damage could be devastating to
the consumers effected by this security breach due to the detailed
banking and personally identifying information that was available in
one file.

As a result, Scottrade has advised their clients who use their
Social Security Number (SSN), Driver's License Number -or-
State Identification Number to access Scott Trade, should
consider placing a fraud alert on their credit file maintained
by the three major credit reporting agencies.

Scottrade is strongly urging customers who use their Social
Security Number to place a fraud alert on their credit file.

Interestingly, Scottrade has seemingly taken a much
moreambiguouss approach in yesterday's update to their original warning.

We know that an unauthorized person accessed TROY Group's server, but
based on the information it received, Scottrade could not determine whether
the file with Scottrade's customer information was opened or taken. Since
we were unable to make this determination, we decided to notify our customers
about the potential misuse of their information so they could make the decisions
that are right for them.

While Scottrade laid the full blame on their eCheck
vendor (Troy Group), the bottom line here is highly sensitive
and detailed personal information was exposed tounauthorizedd parties
at a time of the year when consumers are generally spending more.

So, the potential for an identity thief to hidefraudulentt transactions amongst
your legitimate Christmas shopping ones is higher than most other times of
the year.

Our tip for today, is if you or any family members and associates utilize
Scottrade, follow their original advice and take this personal information
breach very seriously.

Contact the three major credit bureaus and request a fraud alert.
Better yet, if you're fortunate enough to live in one of the few states
which allow you to "freeze" your credit file, now is a good time to
take advantage of that right. Plus, establish automatic credit
monitoring for you and your family. Finally, check your bank
statements online immediately and monitor them frequently
for any signs of suspicious activity.

For your convenience, you can contact the credit bureaus with
the following information:

Equifax Experian TransUnion
www.equifax.com www.experian.com www.transunion.com
800-525-6285 888-397-3742 800-680-7289


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