ChoicePoint's Letter to Consumers Whose Information Was Compromised
Names, addresses and Social Security numbers may have been viewed by businesses that are not allowed access to such information.
May 01, 2005 — [Consumer name and address redacted]
I'm writing to inform you of a recent crime committed against ChoicePoint that MAY have resulted in your name, address, and Social Security number being viewed by businesses that are not allowed access to such information. We have reason to believe your personal information may have been obtained by unauthorized third parties, and we deeply regret any inconvenience this event may cause you.
Although we have been informed that disclosing too many details of the crime may hurt on-going criminal investigations, we wanted to provide you with some information related to this incident that may help you protect yourself against identity theft. First and foremost, we are actively working with the appropriate police agencies on this matter.
We believe that several individuals, posing as legitimate business customers, recently committed fraud by claiming to have a lawful purpose for accessing information about individuals, when in fact, they did not. When the fraud was discovered, access to information was discontinued and the authorities were notified.
We are working with local and federal law enforcement officials to identify the people responsible for the theft of the information so they may be prosecuted for their actions. We have adjusted our procedures to help protect against a repeat event.
As information, our business customers use ChoicePoint to verify information supplied by individuals as part of a business transaction, often as part of an application for insurance, a job, or a home lease. We rely on information, including public records that are available to any citizen. This includes information created by a government agency such as a criminal history or property ownership record. We also use publicly available information, such as a published telephone number.
There are some actions, though, that only you can take to protect yourself from the misuse of information about you.
First, industry experts recommend that you place a fraud alert on your credit report by calling the toll-free number of any one of the three credit bureaus listed below. As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the other two credit bureaus will automatically be notified to place fraud alerts on your credit report, and all three reports will be sent to you free of charge.
Second, when you receive your credit reports, please review them carefully. Look for inquiries that you did not initiate, accounts you did not open, and unexplained debts on the accounts you opened. If there are accounts or charges you did not authorize, immediately notify the credit bureau by telephone and in writing.