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Hackers gunning for credit reporting websites

Apr 03, 2012 Walt Wojciechowski

Businesses that publish consumer credit reports have had to take extra security precautions lately as they have become a more frequent target of hackers. Hackers can predict which consumers have better credit based on the price of their report, MSNBC reported, as citizens with scores around 750 usually have to pay nearly $80 to see their report, while those with scores closer to 600 pay around $40. This enables hackers to specifically target reports of customers with a higher line of credit so they can run up more in fraudulent credit card purchases. Equifax explained that there are steps customers can take to preemptively stop criminals from stealing their identity, such as setting up an initial or extended fraud alert that tells lenders that the identity attempting to be used to open a new line of credit may have been compromised. Consumers may also want to consider putting a freeze on their reports so that information cannot be obtained and a new line of credit will not be established.Though hackers are targeting larger credit reporting agencies, MSNBC notes that obtaining a credit report is still the best way for citizens to detect identity theft.