Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Identity Theft Free Search Service Launched

TrustedID, a California startup company, has launched
a free search engine service where consumers can check
their own credit card and social security numbers for
theft against more than 2 million pieces of information.

Identity-Theft-Free-Search-Service-Launched-audio-post - click to play

While this free search engine service, in concept seems like
a good idea, wouldn't you be concerned of its potential for
abuse by actual identity theft criminals who can also access
this same information repository?

Here's why.

This new identity theft search service currently:

  • Does not have any apparent CAPTCHA or automated robot defeats
  • Does not require a site visitor to pass any registration or validation
  • Is not provided by any of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, etc.)
  • Has unwittingly made itself a huge identity theft target for hackers

So, while we applaud, in concept, this service from TrustedID to help
consumers take their own preventative steps against identity theft,
we would be a bit more bullish about the service if it provided some
more rigourous & commonly utilized defense mechanisms to protect
itself from becoming the next major source of leaked consumer

The company claims in their privacy policy they do not keep the
information you input and also it's encrypted during the form

Our tip for today, then, is to merely be aware of this free
service to check out if your credit card or social security
number (ssn) to see it has been stolen. The source for the
data, according to TrustedID, is various publicly available
website forums where identity thieves traffic stolen consumer

Please note, TrustedID provides this free search service as a
means to get consumers to subscribe to their paid service for
credit & account monitoring.


At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Agent99 for this important new development in the war against identity theft.

I guess my biggest reaction this article and podcast is who authorized TrustedID to make my SSN available to anyone with internet access?

Something about that just does not sit very well with me and I'm sure many other Americans would hold a similar reaction as well.

Isn't there something peculiar about this new, free service from TrustedID?

At 1:36 PM, Blogger agent99 said...

Anonymous asked...

Isn't there something peculiar about this new, free service from TrustedID?

Well, that would depend how you interpret what some of the landmark Federal statutes which govern SSN & credit data would apply:



TrustedID is NOT returning your SSN or credit card number provided - merely providing a way for anyone to check to see if that input number is valid or not.

We acknowledge, however, your uneasiness in anyone (not just credit bureaus & lending institutions) having access to even check it's validity.

At 10:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Encouraging the public to enter their credit card information in to websites that are unkown to them is completely irresponsible.

There will be a bogus site set up in a matter of days now this has been advertised, and people who don't know any better will enter their details there to ensure their credit card is compromised.

At 12:19 PM, Blogger Christi said...

It's almost getting to the point where people should consider doing business checks on the companies that claim that they can check your identity. Who knows what the intention of these start-ups have, and it's not always a good thing.

At 5:42 PM, Anonymous thinsurface said...

I think that one reason (other than their proclaimed reason) could be that they could be a data collection site. I would be wary of entering the infomation, but that's just me. I'm just concerned about things like that.

At 8:36 AM, Blogger katty said...

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