Experian exposes millions to identity theft

Leak was plugged before Target sent victims to Experian

NEW YORK (CNN) – Target hack victims were directed to Experian for protection, but if you think credit bureaus are safe from data breaches, think again.

It seems like companies just can’t keep your data safe. Remember the big Target breach? When the retail giant lost data on 110 million customers, it sent them to Experian for “identity theft protection.”

It turns out Experian, one of the big three credit bureaus, had its own data leak. One of Experian’s subsidiaries accidentally sold the personal data of millions of Americans to a fraudster in Vietnam. Then that guy sold the info to identity thieves around the world.

The leak was plugged before Target sent victims to Experian, but it shows that even companies we expect to protect us from data theft have problems keeping our info safe. In Experian’s case, the Vietnamese fraudster tricked the company, by posing as a private investigator in Singapore. This happened more than a year ago.

Experian has stayed pretty quiet about the details. A spokesman called it “an unfortunate and isolated issue.” target and Experian both say the credit monitoring service is unrelated to the incident involving Experian’s data-selling business.

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