Krebs on Security, an important and valuable resource in the security community, has been covering the story of a Vietnamese national who bought identity information regarding 200 million Americans. What makes this number so disturbing, is that as of yesterday, the population of the US is 317.6 Million people. Meaning this man was able to purchase the identities of 62% of the US population. 62%. He apparently did not obtain the information DIRECTLY from Experian, rather, he purchased the information from "Columbus, Ohio-based US Info Search. US Info Search had a contractual agreement with a California company named Court Ventures, whereby customers of Court Ventures had access to the US Info Search data as well as Court Ventures’ data, and vice versa.
Posing as a private investigator operating out of Singapore, Ngo contracted with Court Ventures, paying for his access to consumer records via regular cash wire transfers from a bank in Singapore. Through that contract, Ngo was able to make available to his clients access to the US Info Search database containing Social Security, date of birth and other records on more than 200 million Americans."
We do not often prescribe to a habit of paranoia or fear, but we belive in ensuring people are armed with information to protect themselves. Please take the time to check your credit report regularly. Look for odd accounts, things you are not familiar with. You are entitled by law to one free copy of your credit report under the FCRA. You can obtain a copy for FREE each year through the federal government's official source, Annual Credit Report. Do not fall for scam sites that market services, credit monitoring or the like, such as poular sites freecreditreport.com, and Credit Sesame.