back to article Fraudster bought names and address from Experian, says Krebs

Brian Krebs alleges a subsidiary of data aggregator Experian was duped into selling personal information about millions of Americans by a scammer. Detailing his investigations here, Krebs accuses a Vietnamese national indicted in New Hampshire, Hieu Minh Ngo, of using the handle “hieupc” to operate, which …


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  1. Quxy

    Credit bureaus give lawyers a good name

    The headline should read "Experian got caught selling names and address to another fraudster".

    Unfortunately, with most of middle and upper-class Americans in their (presumably compromised) records, this has the potential to turn into a *much* bigger problem than it is at present...

    1. Quxy

      One downvote?

      My sincere apologies to the one lawyer reading El Reg!

  2. William Donelson

    OMG, this means that Experian will have to be more careful who it sells your data to....


    1. vagabondo

      I think that Experian's first concern would be that they could have charged more if they had known the data was being used fraudulently.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    one use sale?

    So its ok for experian to sell your data about someone, just so long as you don't resell it ... sounds like they need some of wonderful clarity that software licenses have.

    When it comes to data about people, there is no law... just the people who have the power and authority to buy it, sell it, plunder it.. with impunity (government / credit reference people / DVLA ) and those who don't... you and me.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Accidently my arse. I sgined up for an experian free trial, within a week I was getting credit card offers from a company called Vanquis.

    Funny enough back then if you typed vanquis into google the first page had numerous posts from the experian forums. And even more funny now even if you type in vanquis and experian at the same time you get 0 pages from experian, making me wonder if they blocked the google crawler from their forums.

  5. adnim Silver badge

    I fail to understand

    how personal data aggregation conducted the way of Experian is legal.

    It shouldn't be.

    A business has a right to keep certain kinds of personal information on clients. That is understandable.

    A third party that collects data for sale to other third parties is a parasite and their behaviour immoral in my rather idealised world view of our right to privacy.

    The law needs to be changed so that personal data cannot be sold without specific permission from the person involved. I am not talking obscure cover all statements in the small print of T&C's. I mean a specific request for permission from the data farmers for EVERY instance of personal data they wish to sell. They should inform the person involved of who the data is going to and exact details of the content of that data and request permission to pass it on.

    Do I care if this breaks the way business is done, the way leads are found and that businesses could no longer spam thousands of people with silent/computer generated phone calls or texts and email. Not at all.

    Do I care that this might make such data farming no longer financially viable? Nope. However, as long as there are sheep to be fleeced, there are victims to bear the cost.

    Do I care that I might have to do a bit of research to determine if that big order from the unknown customer is bogus or not? Yes, it is a small price to pay though if it puts a stop to, or a least a slowdown on the harvesting and selling of personal information.

    In my opinion and without any evidence to back it up, Experian along with all such commercial data aggregators serve a very few whilst providing a real disservice for the vast majority.

    1. Ian McNee

      Re: I fail to understand...capitalism?

      Were you thinking that the law is there to protect ordinary citizens? That's the window dressing. The law is there primarily to protect private property (i.e. of corporations - your house, car, etc. are small beer) and the accumulation of capital.

      So a company like Experian that provides personal data to other corporations to allow them to better profit from you the ordinary citizen is deemed legal and proper. And yeah I think it sucks too.

      1. adnim Silver badge

        Re: I fail to understand...capitalism?

        "Were you thinking that the law is there to protect ordinary citizens?"

        Sadly no, I realised a long time ago that individual rights are those rights that one is ALLOWED to have by the state.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'fail to understand how personal data aggregation conducted the way of Experian is legal'

      Dead on! When you deal with credit reporting shitty corps you quickly realize how much of an unaccountable mafia they are! But in USA-NSA Inc you cannot move a square inch without 3 particular firms influencing your life, not just in banking btw, try renting an apartment, hiring a car, getting a job!

      You must become an expert in legalese to get any justice and even then I had a credit record filled with bad data for two decades despite repeated legal threats to bust a cap in their ass until they fixed the problem! They never did btw! Anyone else on here ever tried calling them to fix errors? They are judge jury and executioner all rolled into one!

      But in the end I really must thank them, because they stopped me from going into debt over stupid car loans, credit cards and mortgages. So thanks guys, you saved me from debt slavery!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 'fail to understand how personal data aggregation conducted the way of Experian is legal'

        To the person who downvoted.... Care to share why you're such a fan of credit agencies?

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