pssst. Wanna buy an identity?

By on October 20, 2003

Just in time for Halloween, a scary story about how easy it is to buy buy credit information online. A reporter for the Boston Globe went to a an online service, and for the low, low price of $125 was able to buy personal financial information belonging to Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Goldshield’s website asks:

“‘What are you looking for?’ On sale were Social Security numbers ($30), unlisted telephone numbers ($85), telephone billing information ($95), vehicle information ($65), credit reports ($125), and credit card billing statements ($125). Everything a thief would need to steal an identity.

All the information was sold with no questions asked. John Strange, who identified himself as the president of Goldshield, said he could obtain a person’s credit report or a credit card billing statement without anyone knowing about it. ‘I can pull miracles out of the air,’ he said.”

Goldshield is now in a game of legal hot potato over the release of the Governor’s information, since there are severe penalties for releasing information like this or other than a “permissible purpose.”

Goldshield’s website,, is offline. Any surprise there?