795 Oklahomans notified that their personal financial data was stolen

Monday, February 21st 2005, 10:22 am
By: News On 6

Your personal information could be at risk. 795 Oklahomans are being notified that their personal financial data could be in the hands of thieves.

Criminals have gained access to some of the data stored by the company ChoicePoint. That means thousands of people are easier targets for identity theft.

News on 6 anchor Craig Day says ChoicePoint, a company that stores records, says criminals gained access to its massive database of personal information. The thieves apparently used previously stolen identities to create what appeared to be legitimate businesses seeking ChoicePoint accounts.

The thieves then opened up accounts and received volumes of data, like social security numbers and credit applications. James Lee with ChoicePoint "We certainly followed the procedures in place at the time. We now know what occurred and what they did that was able to maneuver around that."

The ring operated for more than a year before it was detected. The company is notifying more than 140,000 people who may have been affected. In an open letter to the company, Attorney Generals' from 38 states, including Oklahoma, are demanding that ChoicePoint provide, "as much detailed information as possible about the security breach."

The company detected the security breach by tracking the pattern of the searches conducted by the scam artist. Privacy watchdog groups say most Americans have no idea companies like ChoicePoint exist.

Daniel Solove, George Washington University "What we have is information that's being traded and sold and used in ways that affect your life and nevertheless you are completely out of the loop."

The company is notifying the people whose personal records were affected. The Oklahoma Attorney General's office is encouraging everyone to check their credit reports for new accounts or suspicious activity.