Hackers Steal Personal Data of Celebrities, Politicians

Hackers Steal Personal Data of Celebrities, Politicians

March 13, 2013         Written By Lynn Oldshue

Credit reporting agencies TransUnion and Equifax have confirmed that hackers have gained unauthorized access to users’ personal information, including some of the leading political and entertainment figures in America.

The hackers obtained the Social Security numbers, credit scores and birthdates of these celebrities and published the information on a website.

The celebrities reportedly included Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Eric Holder, Donald Trump, Jay Z, Ashton Kutcher, Beyonce and Paris Hilton.

TransUnion said the hackers used personal information such as social security numbers and other sensitive information to access their credit history.

Equifax said hackers collected personal details on their targets from other sources, then used AnnualCreditReport.com to access the target’s credit reports.

AnnualCreditReport.com provides consumers free access to their own credit report once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. AnnualCreditReport.com is jointly operated by these three credit reporting companies.

“We are aware of recent media reports pertaining to unauthorized access to files belonging to high-profile individuals,” Tim Klein, a spokesman for Equifax, wrote in an e-mailed statement. “Equifax can confirm that fraudulent and unauthorized access to four consumer credit reports has occurred.”  Equifax said it immediately took action to freeze the credit files and minimize the impact of the individuals of those victimized by the attack.

If your personal or financial information has been compromised, contact your banks, financial institutions and credit card issuers. They can review and stop any transactions made by another person. Also get a copy of your credit report to monitor any accounts that may have been opened in your name. Set up a fraud alert at Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. Fraud alerts last for three months and a creditor must call you for any new request to issue credit. You can freeze your account to stop anyone from opening a line of credit in your name.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of March 13, 2013. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Lynn Oldshue

Lynn Oldshue has written personal finance stories for LowCards.com for twelve years. She majored in public relations at Mississippi State University.
View all posts by Lynn Oldshue
Featured Limited/No Credit
Top Features : No annual fee; reports to major credit bureaus; access to higher credit line after making first 5 monthly payments on time
Featured Fair Credit Card
Top Features : No annual fee; access to higher credit line after making first 5 monthly payments on time
Featured Low Interest Card
Top Features : 1.25X miles on every purchase; no annual fee; bonus of 20,000 miles once $1,000 is spent in first 3 months
Featured Cash Back Card
Top Features : 1.5% cash back on all purchases; $150 bonus after spending $500 in first 3 months
Featured No Annual Fee Card
Top Features : 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay; 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers
Featured Bad Credit Card
Top Features : Perfect credit not required; Reports to major credit bureaus