Now more than ever, criminal hackers are hacking into databases that contain Social Security numbers and using the numbers to open new financial accounts. Criminals use stolen Social Security numbers to obtain mobile phones, credit cards, and even bank loans. Some victims whose Social Security numbers fell into the hands of identity thieves have even had their mortgages refinanced and their equity stripped.
WTEN.com reports an arrest has been made of an individual alleged to have illegally downloaded personal information, including Social Security numbers of about 15,000 people.
Police arrested a man “for stealing the collection of Social Security numbers from computers belonging to contractors working for the Office of Disability and Temporary Assistance, which is the New York state agency that decides some initial disability claims for Social Security.”
As in most cases of data theft, the Office of Disability and Temporary Assistance will notify and provide credit monitoring services to affected individuals.