Court Ventures - 2013
The Experian subsidiary Court Ventures was found to have sold information to unauthorized parties. Consumer Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, bank account information, dates of birth, and credit card data were given to foreign criminals posing as a legitimate private investigator for over a year. The information was then resold to Superget.info, Findget.met, and possibly other underground cybercrime sites.UPDATE (3/10/2014): Last week, Hieu Minh Ngo, a Vietnamese national pleaded guilty to running an identity theft ring out of his home in Vietnam. Last year the Secret Service created a sting operation that lured him to U.S territory where they arrested him. Mr. Ngo posed as a private investigator and created a contract with Court Ventures, paying access to consumer records and access to a larger database through US Info Search (also associated with Experian). With this access he was able to gain Social Security data, dates of birth and other records on more than 200 million Americans. Experian purchased Court Ventures in March of 2012. Court Ventures had agreements with US Info Search. Very little information regarding the scam was released until last week. Officials stated that he devised numerous schemes, from filing fraudulent tax returns, opening new lines of credit, and racking up huge charges on victims accounts. His theft ring was paid at a minimum $1.9 million dollars between 2007 and February 2013 for the stolen information and made approximately 3.1 million queries on Americans.