LexisNexis Notifies Additional 280,000 Consumers of Fraud Risk
DAYTON, Ohio - LexisNexis, a provider of legal, news and business information, has recently revealed that the number of consumers potentially at risk for identity theft has jumped from 31,000 to 310,000. London-based publisher and data broker Reed Elsevier announced that its subsidiary LexisNexis had identified 59 incidents of potentially fraudulent access to information at its recently acquired Boca Raton, Florida-based Seisint unit. The company discovered that unauthorized persons primarily using IDs and passwords of legitimate Seisint customers may have acquired personal-identifying information such as social security numbers or driver's license numbers of individuals in the U.S. LexisNexis has alerted law enforcement authorities and is proactively assisting in investigations. The company has stressed that hackers did not breach the LexisNexis or the Seisint technology infrastructure. LexisNexis will offer free support services to individuals who receive the notification, to monitor and protect them from possible fraud associated with identity theft, including credit bureau reports, credit monitoring for one year and fraud insurance. In addition, the company will provide fraud counseling services or specialized assistance on a case-by-case basis to any individual who has been the victim of identity theft related to these instances. "We have undertaken and completed this extensive review to ensure we have a clear understanding of the extent to which information on individuals may have been fraudulently acquired. We are taking action to notify individuals where we found some indication that they might have some risk of identity theft or fraud, even if that risk did not appear to be significant," said Kurt Sanford, CEO, Corporate and Federal Markets, LexisNexis. "We regret that consumers, who traditionally are the primary beneficiaries of our risk management products and services, may have been affected by these events. We have taken a number of significant actions in recent weeks to further guard against these types of fraudulent intrusions at our customer sites and to enhance our security procedures and policies overall." This marks the second breach of a major information provider. Last month Alpharetta, Georgia-based information broker ChoicePoint Inc. announced that the personal information of 145,000 Americans may have been compromised when thieves posing as small business customers gained access to its database. According to authorities, so far some 750 consumers were defrauded as a result of the ChoicePoint breach. With identity theft on the rise, such breaches have sparked debate among consumer advocates and at least five congressional panels are studying whether more oversight of the data information industry is needed.