Thursday, November 02, 2006

Newest Identity Theft Risk for 1.4 Million Americans from Same Offender

In another example of how a stolen computer needlessly
exposes millions of innocent Americans to identity theft,
1,400,000 potential victims have just been added to the
list of over 94 million others already victimized.

 Newest-Identity-Theft-Risk-for-1.4-Million-Americans-from-Same-Offender audio post - click to play

Evidently, the Colorado Department of Human Services which
is responsible for the confidential personal data of those
individuals who pay or recieve child support. But, an outside
company, Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), actually handles
the payments for the Colorado Department of Human Services.

"That's my personal stuff. That's about me, my
family. We're the only ones that should know
that information"

Somehow, the desktop computer located within an office only
accessible by a security card key, was stolen from a secure
facility of ACS.

That computer contained records of 500,000 people paying
recieving child support within the state of Colorado.

An additional 900,000 new employees just hired in Colorado
or elsewhere in America within the past 8 months were
also impacted by this latest security breach.

But, this is not the first security breach at ACS. The local
Sheriff's department found at least one employee at the computer
consulting firm lied and covered up mistakes that allowed inmates
to gain unauthorized access to personal information.

So, our tip for today is for anyone who's involved with child
support payments associated with the Colorado Department of
Human Service. Contact any of the three major credit bureaus
immediately to place a "free" fraud alert on your file.

Also, it would be wise to also investigate your options for credit
monitoring as identity theft can actually be committed
or even years after an initial security breach.

Make sure, too, to tell a friend or associate you know who
could be negatively impacted by this latest security breach.


At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Tal said...

That's just great.

First I have to pay child support and now because of the state of Colorado I'm likely going to be paying for identity theft.

When will it ever end?

At 4:48 PM, Blogger agent99 said...

Tal asked "when will it ever end?"

Probably not until the CEOs of organizations which lose consumer data like this repeat offender are faced with serious jail time for being an accomplice to identity theft.

In the interim, though, feel free to browse through our entire site of well over 200+ daily tips for many practical ways you can thwart identity thieves.

At 12:51 AM, Blogger strive4impact said...

I used to live in the town (Greeley, CO) where ACS operated the jail system's information systems.

An inmate actually was able to get into Personnel records of over 1,000 from INSIDE the jail and print them out.

Do a Google search for "Greeley Colorado inmate security breach"

Kind of crazy this same company is still having issues.

I don't think you can actually thwart identity thieves, but we'll have to agree to disagree there.

Good post!

At 9:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find alot of information on people who pay child support at risk but it is not only them as you mentioned I am a new hire (Feb 2006) A mother of a new college freshman, my husband has worked in a professional job for years with the same employer. In other words typical middle class american. I recently recieved a letter from ACS and I'd like to know what right they had to my personal information. I think there should be a class action law suit against ACS and the state for compromising my personal information

At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the question most people are not asking is what legal right do they have to collect data from law abiding citizen to search for people who are not. And what are the numbers, do they collect information on millions of innocent people to find 1000's who are not?

At 6:36 AM, Blogger agent99 said...

Anonymous said...

"I think the question most people are not asking is what legal right do they have to collect data from law abiding citizen to search for people who are not. And what are the numbers, do they collect information on millions of innocent people to find 1000's who are not?"
The question we found to be off topic for us in that it appears to be questioning the legitimacy of unnamed sources to amass data on private citizens.

We're surmising the reader's question is referring to some federal government entity.

If, perhaps, the question was referring to credit bureaus and their databases they do maintain on millions of Americans, its simply a byproduct of you either applying for and/or utilizing credit products.

The lenders and other creditors you do business with provide their information to the three major credit bureaus for centralized pooling to review and/or grant additional credit decisions.

Legally, that data is heavily regulated and protected by several layers of both federal and state laws which limits what the credit bureaus can actually do with it.

One of the key applications to protect Americans who do have active credit relationships is to monitor and detect fraudulent transactions.

This type of credit monitoring of American's credit files is one way of many you can minimize your potential for identity theft and credit fraud.


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