Now more than ever, criminal hackers are hacking into databases that contain Social Security numbers and using the numbers to open new financial accounts. Criminals use stolen Social Security numbers to obtain mobile phones, credit cards, and even bank loans. Some victims whose Social Security numbers fell into the hands of identity thieves have even had their mortgages refinanced and their equity stripped.
WTEN.com reports an arrest has been made of an individual alleged to have illegally downloaded personal information, including Social Security numbers of about 15,000 people.
Police arrested a man “for stealing the collection of Social Security numbers from computers belonging to contractors working for the Office of Disability and Temporary Assistance, which is the New York state agency that decides some initial disability claims for Social Security.”
As in most cases of data theft, the Office of Disability and Temporary Assistance will notify and provide credit monitoring services to affected individuals.
According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse’s Chronology of Data Breaches, more than 500 million sensitive records have been breached in the past five years. The Chronology of Data breaches lists specific examples of incidents in which personal data is compromised, lost, or stolen, for example “employees losing laptop computers, hackers downloading credit card numbers and sensitive personal data accidentally exposed online.”
The fact that the entire population of the United States has had their information compromised more than 1.5 times, why wait for another breach to get personal information monitoring?
McAfee Identity Protection includes proactive identity surveillance to monitor subscribers’ credit and personal information including use of Social Security number and access to live fraud resolution agents who can help subscribers work through the process of resolving identity theft issues. For additional tips, please visit http://www.counteridentitytheft.com