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HACKERS SIPHON FORD CREDIT RECORDS

Source: ZDNet.uk

Posted on May 21, 2002

      Ford Motor's credit arm has warned 13,000 people that their credit reports, full of information that could be used for identity theft or fraud, were illegally downloaded.

      Ford sent letters this week to the 13,000 people, all but 400 of whom were not Ford Credit customers, warning them that Social Security numbers, bank and credit card account information, and other data may have been copied.

      Ford Credit said that a person or group posing as its Grand Rapids, Michigan, office accessed the reports between April 2001 and February of this year in databases run by Experian, an arm of British retail and financial conglomerate GUS.

      The scheme was uncovered after the companies found the hackers were using different software than Ford.

      The data in the reports could be used for any number of crimes, especially getting credit cards under false names.

      Identity theft was the most common type of consumer fraud complaint in 2001, according to US Federal Trade Commission statistics. Hijacking of personal information for fraud or theft generated 85,000 complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission last year, up sharply from the previous year.

      Ford spokeswoman Melinda Wilson said the company had notified the FBI and the FTC about the investigation. She also said that whoever ran the scheme appeared to have targeted wealthier communities, often hitting several addresses on the same street.




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