Another Identity Theft Alert

Will Certigy Check Services Be The Cause of Identity Theft?

I had a letter in the mail from Certigy Check Services the other day and the only thing that came to mind after I read it was -- you've got to be kidding me! How in the world can this service, who I never even really gave permission to store information about my checking account, have sold my checking account details to an information broker? I'm not alone. You may have been victimized too.

The Story

If you're worried about identity theft and the wrong people having access to your checking account information, then Certigy Check Services aren't going to be your friends for long. Every time you write a check at a merchant who uses Certigy check services, the company runs your check and authorizes it. They also keep records of your checking information, even if you've never given them permission to do so.

So what's the problem?

Well, it turns out that an employee of Certigy went ahead and sold some information to a data broker, who in turn sold it to some direct marketing organizations. What was this information? Oh, just checking account numbers, information on transactions that Certigy processed, etc. Real personal and sensitive stuff that could lead to identity theft if in the wrong hands.

It's Not Our Fault

Of course, Certigy is insisting that the employee didn't have authorization to do such a thing and that it isn't at all their fault. Ridiculous if you ask me. The employee never should have had access to such information to begin with. Nothing worse than a company whose done something so wrong, something that can lead to the identity theft of thousands, and then won't take responsibility.

What To Do

I personally plan on paying via cash or credit card at any company who uses Certigy. Then I plan on writing letters. If I see a merchant using Certigy, I'm going to let them know how I'm not pleased that paying by check at their establishment can lead to my identity theft. I suggest you do the same.

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