John says that his wife’s identity was stolen two weeks ago and since TransUnion shows your full credit card numbers on your credit report, the thief was able to run up a $10,000 credit card bill in his wife’s name.
The thief got hold of his wife’s SSN, address, and DOB, says John, and used that to access his wife’s TransUnion credit report. He says TransUnion confirmed that someone had accessed her credit report via the credit bureau’s website.
On the credit report, the credit card numbers are listed in full. John says he spoke with the merchants the card numbers were used at and they confirmed that the thief used tried several different expiration dates before successfully charging the card. Since the report also says what date the account was opened, guessing the expiration date isn’t as hard as it might be otherwise.
I just checked my TransUnion credit report, a portion of which I’m showing above, and indeed the credit card numbers are listed in full. I also noticed a disclaimer that said, “the account # may be scrambled by the creditor for your protection.” That “may” should be an “is.” Both the creditors and credit bureuas need to change how credit card and account numbers show up. All the pieces of information needed to access an individual’s credit report can be gotten from public records.
“If you haven’t already done it go right now and check your TransUnion credit report, set a password on the account to prevent thieves who know you SSN/Address/DOB from accessing it. If when you get there there is already a password and you didn’t set it you’re probably a victim,” says John.
(Photo: B Rosen)