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ID theft scam spreads nationwide

ChoicePoint says potential fraud victims in more states

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Some 145,000 consumers nationwide may have been impacted by a breach of their private and financial information, according to ChoicePoint, a commercial information service company at the center of the controversy. Potential identity theft victims may be in all 50 states, the company said today. The company said last week that thieves apparently used previously stolen identities to create what appeared to be legitimate businesses seeking ChoicePoint accounts. The fraudsters then opened up accounts and received sensitive data on consumers, including Social Security numbers, credit reports and addresses. ChoicePoint in late January began notifying customers whose confidential data may have been fraudulently obtained. Starting today, the company will offer consumers free credit reports and credit-monitoring services for one year. ChoicePoint claims the incident did not arise from a breach of its security or a hacking, and today posted a message to consumers on its Web site. "We do n...