New data breach may impact 200 million Americans

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New data breach may impact 200 million Americans
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It’s a data breach that threatens to be twice as large as the Target breach late last year…and you probably haven’t heard about it yet.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions posted on my website and from my callers asking about a data breach that came to light during a court case in New England last year.

During the trial, evidence was presented that more than 200 million people had personally identifiable info like their Social Security numbers leaked, according to Reuters.

The info was leaked from a company that’s owned within the portfolio of Experian, one of the Big 3 credit bureaus.

Experian had no comment about the matter when initially asked by Reuters just days ago. But they’ve since come back with a blog post that explains their position.

‘No Experian database was accessed in this incident,’ writes Gerry Tschopp, the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Public Relations for Experian North America.

Tschopp goes on to explain that a company Experian owned called Court Ventures was in fact involved in a data breach. Court Ventures was breached through a third-party relationship with a company known as US Info Search.

But the breach started before Experian bought Court Ventures, and then continued after they owned it.

Experian has ‘worked closely and in full cooperation with law enforcement’ to bring the culprit of the breach — a Vietnamese national named Hieu Minh Ngo — to justice. Sentencing in the case is set for June.

Meanwhile, Experian has cast doubt on the eye-popping number of 200 million lost customer records that’s been bandied about.

‘Although we do not know the exact number of US Info Search’s records actually accessed at this point, we know that 200 million is false and that the actual number is much lower,’ Tschopp maintains.

This much is certain: This is not the end of the story. We are still in early chapters. As the story unfolds, I hope to be able to give you meaningful recommendations about what to do to safeguard yourself and your information.

For further reading:

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Clark Howard About the author:
Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. More about Clark
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