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Experian sold consumer data to identity thieves' service

TacticalEvilDan

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Experian, the massive data-broker with far-reaching influence over your ability to get a mortgage, credit-card, or job, sold extensive consumer records to an identity thieves' service called Superget.info. Superget specialized in supplying identity thieves with "fullz" -- full records of their victims, useful for impersonating them and for knowing where their assets are. Experian sold the data through a third part called "Court Ventures" -- which they later acquired -- and the sales continued for about a year. Experian bills itself as a service for people worried about identity theft. It's not clear whether Experian will face any penalty for the wrongdoing.

[...]

All told, findget.me and superget.info acquired or sold fullz information on more than a half million people, the government alleges.
Experian sold consumer data to identity thieves' service - Boing Boing

This story brings several of my old pet peeves to mind:
  • If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear
  • It's entirely reasonable for employers to check your credit history before offering you a job
  • Of course a bad credit rating should cost you money and opportunities, you're a bigger risk
... and so on.

I have long detested that the big three credit reporting agencies have so much personal data at their fingertips and that it can so significantly impact so many lives in so many ways. With any luck this will result in a massive paradigm shift when it comes to personal data.

In the mean time, my heart goes out to the hundreds of thousands directly impacted by this massive miscarriage of privacy, and to the millions who will feel its effects in the immediate future.
 

Moot

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They caught the guy responsible.....


"....The U.S. Secret Service declined to discuss the case, but a source familiar with the matter said undercover federal agents set up a phony business deal to lure Ngo out of Vietnam and into Guam, an unincorporated territory of the United States in the western Pacific Ocean. The source said that Ngo was arrested upon his arrival in Guam and transferred to New Hampshire. There he is currently facing 15 separate criminal charges, including conspiracy to commit identification fraud, aggravated identity theft, and wire fraud, among others.

If convicted on all counts, Ngo could be facing a very lengthy prison sentence. According to a statement on the Ngo case released Oct. 19 by the Justice Department and New Hampshire U.S. Attorney John P. Kacavas, the statutory maximum penalties are five years on the identity fraud and identity fraud conspiracy counts; two years each on the aggravated identity theft counts; 20 years on the wire fraud count and wire fraud conspiracy counts; 10 years on the substantive access device fraud count; and five years on the conspiracy to commit access device fraud count....read...."

Experian Sold Consumer Data to ID Theft Service — Krebs on Security



Like the rating agencies, it's not very comforting to know that data collection companies aren't being regulated or monitored. Here's what Experian sold to Superget.info....



"....These services specialized in selling “fullz” or “fulls,” a slang term that cybercrooks use to describe a package of personally identifiable information that typically includes the following information: an individual’s name, address, Social Security number, date of birth, place of work, duration of work, state driver’s license number, mother’s maiden name, bank account number(s), bank routing number(s), email account(s) and other account passwords. Fulls are most commonly used to take over the identity of a person in order to engage in other fraud, such as taking out loans in the victim’s name or filing fraudulent tax refund requests with the IRS.

All told, findget.me and superget.info acquired or sold fullz information on more than a half million people, the government alleges......read...."
 

Superfly

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While it's heartwarming :roll: to know that they caught Ngo, I'm certain he wasn't alone. Terrifying to know that the people who are trusted with almost everything about you, personally and financially, can just give this information away (or sell it to the highest bidder).
 

Hicup

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Experian should face massive and I mean massive penalties for this breach of confidence. Is there a way to know if your information was compromised?

Tim-
 

TacticalEvilDan

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Hicup

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My Google-Fu fails to find an answer to your question -- however, I did find where you can put a lock on your report:

https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html
Hmm, this could be a good way to protect oneself with all of the three reporting agencies. Simply freeze the report requested until given a security pin number. I like it and never knew about it. Would also stop all those credit card offers, and mortgage refi offers.. :)

Thanks,

Tim-
 

TacticalEvilDan

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Hmm, this could be a good way to protect oneself with all of the three reporting agencies. Simply freeze the report requested until given a security pin number. I like it and never knew about it. Would also stop all those credit card offers, and mortgage refi offers.. :)

Thanks,

Tim-
Right -- except that in a case like this, you'd be trusting the agency that sold you out to maintain the freeze on your report. :lol:
 

Hatuey

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I'm shocked there aren't more freemarket advocates going off about how this isn't a problem. Don't they trust the freemarket to correct itself in this matter? Oh wait... that's not a real solution. Hopefully, this company will be sued out of existence.
 

Gipper

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I'm shocked there aren't more freemarket advocates going off about how this isn't a problem. Don't they trust the freemarket to correct itself in this matter? Oh wait... that's not a real solution. Hopefully, this company will be sued out of existence.
You're...kidding, right?

Libertarians also have no problem with privatized police forces that are prone to corruption such as ones often used in African countries, right?
 

tererun

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That is great that they caught someone, but why are we not tossing the guys who sold the information in jail right alongside the guy who buys the information. Until we start holding the credit agencies responsible with criminal punishments for dealing with criminals and not making sure they keep the data as safe as possible there will be no reason for them to bother checking when someone offers them money for identities. The salespeople responsible for the contract, every executive of experian, and possibly every person who holds voter stock int heir company should fqace hefty and long prison sentences with rapists and murderwers for their allowance of such crimes to exist. I would bet we would not have to throw too many of them in prison before they make absolutely sure they are not dealing with criminals.

As for the few who actually suffer the wrath of society for their crimes, they were worthless wastes of flesh to begin with.
 
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