A Conversation with IBM (Part 2)
RSS Explained (Simply)

Identity Thieves Operate Quickly

Many of my coworkers know I write this blog. Matt, a coworker in my employer's New York City office, shared his identity theft story with me. When Matt and I first traded e-mails on July 16th, I gave him the link to I've Been Mugged. Portions of Matt's e-mail message highlighted how quickly identity thieves operate:

I’m neck deep in this BS and the number of places an individual could have obtained the info they have is extremely (dare I say frighteningly) limited. My info isn’t publicly available, but this person somehow got hold of my SS#, too. By the time you’d sent your note, I’d only known about the theft for roughly ten days but had contacted every financial institution and credit granting and reviewing agency under the sun."

"But that wasn’t enough. Despite having had the security alerts placed, the person still managed to open up a bank account in Chicago (complete with checking, debit and credit cards and a massive line of credit), obtain a credit card from Radio Shack and another one from a company I’ve never heard of. Thankfully, they’ve also been denied at another half dozen places so the pseudo helpful protection measures work to a limited extent. It’s been an incredibly time consuming nightmare. Thanks again for the [I've Been Mugged] link!"

When I read a story like this, it confirms with me the need for timely and fast notification by companies (especially prior employers) of data breaches; including when that company was merged or bought by another company. A 2-month delay for breach notification is far too long (do you hear that IBM and TJX?).

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