Federally subsidized phone service for the poor provides a crucial lifeline for many low-income Americans, but providers of the service appear to have put tens of thousands of users at risk of identity theft, according to a report published Monday.
More than 170,000 records from two companies that provide the Lifeline service -- Oklahoma City-based TerraCom Inc. and its affiliate, YourTel America Inc. -- were posted online, a Scripps News investigation found. The records, from residents of at least 26 states, include Social Security numbers, dates of birth and information about participation in other government-assistance programs. Of those records, 343 were viewed by unknown individuals, an official for both companies acknowledged.
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