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This Equifax credit database can boost your risk of phone fraud

Money Watch

Identity thieves may be able to hijack your phone and utility accounts, thanks to a little-known credit reporting database run by Equifax.

The National Consumer Telecom and Utilities Exchange is a non-profit "member" association that warehouses consumer payment data related to utility bills – cable, electric, gas, water and phone. It is run by Atlanta-based Equifax, the same company that had a record-breaking 143 million-file data breach last year.

However, the NCTUE is a separate organization from the credit bureau, according to an Equifax spokeswoman. Thus, freezing your credit file at Equifax does not freeze your NCTUE file. 

That has left a gaping hole in the walls that many consumers have attempted to place around their financial lives in the wake of nearly incessant data breaches that expose individuals to identity theft.


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