How to determine possible identity theft
March 3, 2005 5:33 PM   Subscribe

In light of the recent scamming of ChoicePoint, I want to know if my information has been compromised.

This thread seems to cover what happens after your identity has been used, but I am concerned my info might be in a database awating abuse. I didn't receive a letter, unless it looked like junk mail and was shredded.
posted by frecklefaerie to Work & Money (2 answers total)
CP only had to notify Californians because of the CA law. I don't think there's a way to know definitively unless a federal law gets passed. And, even then I doubt it's going to be retroactive.

I'll go out on a limb and say that 1/ you're in CP's database and 2/your info is probably in a database awaiting abuse. However, since chances are this has been happening for quite some time. I wouldn't start to worry unduly. Take a gander at these two threads over at mofi and this yahoo news article that mentions that CP's rival (Acxiom Corp) had the same thing happen to them. Have you heard of Acxiom? Is there a media circus about Acxiom? Nope. FUD, people, FUD. Lots of comapnies have access to your info and they've had their database compromised or had lousy employees. CP is one of many.

That said, you can certainly do quite a lot to keep on top of your credit status and that will prevent major problems. Call the three bureaus and get a free copy of your credit report. You are entitled to a free copy every 60 days (I think) if you've been denied credit.

All three systems have automated credit-report request lines.
equifax: 800-685-1111
transunion: 800-888-4213
experian: 888-397-3742

The paper copy is necessary if there's something there now that you need to dispute. However, there are also lots of places that you can sign up with to watch your credit status on a daily basis. See creditnet and creditboards, for example. Such forums can help steer you to reputable credit-watch companies and give you info on getting the best discount.

Then relax. It's not like a faux twin is going to show up at your mother's doorstep or your workplace pretending to be you. That's what I consider true identity theft.
posted by Jim Jones at 2:00 AM on March 4, 2005

Why don't you call CEO Derek Smith and ask him?
posted by Frank Grimes at 6:03 AM on March 4, 2005

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