It seems crooks today are becoming more productivity conscious and leveraging one stolen credit or debit card into an entirely new enterprise. Scammers are targeting the motherlode of information, your credit report.
By purchasing your credit report online scammers are getting access to a comprehensive report about all of your current and past credit activity. Using that information they could go buck wild in screwing up your identity and trashing your credit.
Cyber security Dan Clements took Houston KHOU 11 News on an online tour of such activities.
“These are American Express cards,” explained Clements, pointing to a screen full of stolen credit card numbers for sale.
“These all happen to be Texas credit cards,” he said, showing off another website.
But the most damaging display was yet to come: Real people’s credit reports sold for as little as $10 each.
“Credit profiles with 650 to 960 scores,” Clements read from one site.
“This is financial terrorism,” said Clements. “These guys are coming from overseas, into the United States and attacking consumers.” – Source
A search online found reports from consumers that were complaining that not only were their credit reports accessed by paying for them but also that free credit reports had been stolen as well.
i found out that someone had taken out a loan using my SS#, name and address when i got a call from a collection agency on friday.
i went to check my free credit reports and wasn’t able to obtain the transunion report because it had already been accessed. i went ahead and got a paid report and found that someone had accessed the ‘free’ credit report on the same day as the loan application.
i’m going to go ahead and do a ‘credit freeze’ with all three credit agencies…
i’m just really shocked that these agencies hold all of our sensitive financial information and they are not required to set up adequate protection. when i logged in to transunion, the security questions were laughably easy, so anyone with my name, current address and SS# could log in after a couple attempts. – Source
Somebody got my credit-card number and used it to open five accounts at FreeCreditScore.com, which is owned by Experian, under names I don’t recognize. Only one account was successfully used to incur a charge. That charge is how I found out my credit-card number had been stolen.
The customer-service person at FreeCreditScore.com told me that the person who pays for a membership on the site is not necessarily the same as the person for whom a credit score and credit report is provided. In other words, the credit card used to pay for a membership does not have to match the information used to verify a person’s identity before giving them a copy of their credit report. – Source
This just happened to me this weekend!! I live in NC and was checking my acct & noticed 2 charges fro mExperian. I called the company. The credit report & credit score was for a woman they gave me her first name and last initial but no other info, except she didn’t live in NC according to address given online to Experian. – Source
If you are not currently monitoring your credit report for suspicious activity, you might want to consider this free service. otherwise, it might just be time to purchase some sort of credit monitoring service to avoid becoming a victim.