We haven’t been able to determine to what degree the identify theft letters from mortgage companies are legit. But thanks to an astute reader ‘fotonique,’ we’ve discovered what might be the source of the letters being sent out from other mortgage companies, including ABN-AMRO.
It seems a DHL courier lost a data tape filled with customer information, although it was quickly recovered. (Have a gander at the Google News stories, if you like.) So in that case, it is reasonable—laudable, even—for the mortgage company to send out a letter to its customers warning of the potential identity theft. In the letter to ABN-AMRO customers, the site Truecredit.com is referenced. Truecredit.com is owned by TransUnion.
What we haven’t been able to determine is why Countrywide Mortgage is sending out letters, since they
are owned are offering a credit protection service from Experian, a rival credit agency. Could it be that Experian is taking advantage of the TransUnion data tape theft to push its identify theft protection services? And if their customer data was also on that DHL tape, why would they blame the security infraction on one of their own employees, as stated in the letter?
It’s all very confusing—but not wholly as confusing as why any customer should have to pay a company extra money to guarantee their identity is not stolen from the corporations who hold the customer’s information.
Thanks again to ‘fotonique,’ who did all the initial research legwork on this one.