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Experian, Ford, and Identity Theft 193

corebreech writes "The mighty New York Times (I think they might want you to register) is reporting that hackers posing as Ford employees have managed to pilfer some 13,000 credit reports (Quality is Job 1.) Supposedly the info isn't restricted to merely credit card numbers, but rather includes such delectable delights as address, SSN, bank account info and creditworthiness. Glad I take the subway." The original story was from the Boston Globe.
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Experian, Ford, and Identity Theft

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  • by newerbob ( 577746 ) on Friday May 17, 2002 @08:44AM (#3536326) Homepage
    Mr. Girard, the Experian spokesman, said the company would work with the F.B.I. to catch and prosecute the intruders

    While the "crackers" (who did nothing more than use a leaked password), should be held accountable, so should FORD and its executives

    I hope each and every victim files a separate multi-million dollar lawsuit. I'd bet that juries would be very sympathetic to these cases.

  • Ford credit report (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 17, 2002 @08:50AM (#3536358)
    Ford uses employees social security number as employee numbers. This means every time I go visit any type of doctor. get prescription drugs, register for classes, etc. I have to give out my social security number.

    With that said, I do not believe Ford is very concern about giving out peoples
    social security number.
  • Law?? *WHAT* law? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by darkonc ( 47285 ) <stephen_samuel @ b c g> on Friday May 17, 2002 @09:24AM (#3536522) Homepage Journal
    I don't think that Ford did anything illegal. If anybody did anything illegal it would be the credit reporting companies that allow any company or group with enough money to generate identity theft kits with just a victim^w customer's home address.
  • Re:I'd be happy... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by berzerke ( 319205 ) on Friday May 17, 2002 @10:44AM (#3536960) Homepage

    Burden of proof isn't the problem. Damages are. In my case, Experian (gee, the same company mentioned in the article), has royally screwed up my report with incorrect info. I did everything proper to try and get them to correct it. They flattly refused. I went to a lawyer specializing in these matters. He told that while I did have a strong case, suing would be a bad idea. Unless I could prove damages, I wouldn't even recover my attorney fees, let alone be compensated. You have to sue in federal court BTW. Expensive.

  • by hymie3 ( 187934 ) on Friday May 17, 2002 @11:04AM (#3537097)
    I'm on a planet where even trolls are given the benefit of doubt. Give the benefit of doubt to the place with which you do business by at least *trying* to get around the requirement of the SSN. You'd be surprised at how willing people are to use some other identifier (most places take driver's license number).
    My standard script:
    "I'd rather not provide my SSN, I have deeep, personal beliefs against doing so. I'd be happy to provide alternate identification, such as my driver's license or my passport."
    Sometimes this works, sometimes this does not.
    If it does not work, ask to speak to the supervisor. Repeat spiel.
    If you are calm and considerate and polite, they're not going to refuse you. Don't fill out the part that asks for your SSN, or make a big mark through it, or put it "REFUSED". This works. Really.

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