Identity Theft

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More than 1,000 Alabama residents may have been effected by a security breach at data warehouser ChoicePoint Inc.

Criminals gained access to the company's massive database of personal information. ChoicePoint sent out warning notices to 1,338 Alabama residents.

The company is a spinoff of credit reporting agency Equifax Inc. It has 19 billion public records in its database, including motor vehicle registrations, military records, names, addresses and Social Security numbers.

The company says thieves apparently used previously stolen identities to create what appeared to be legitimate businesses seeking accounts. The bandits then opened up 50 accounts and received volumes of data on consumers.

The company says it has hired a retired Secret Service agent to help revamp its verification process. It also has paid for a one-year subscription to a credit monitoring service for each of the 144,778 people that may have been affected.