The State Department has notified approximately 400 passport applicants in the D.C. area of a breach in its database security that allowed a ring of thieves to obtain confidential information so they could fraudulently use credit cards stolen from the mail, officials said.
The scheme, involving two major government agencies, came to light months ago through a fluke. On March 25, D.C. police officers on a routine patrol stopped a car on the suspicion that its windows were excessively tinted, an apparent violation of city law. Smelling marijuana, the officers searched the car and discovered that the 24-year-old driver was carrying 21 credit cards not in his name and printouts of eight passport applications — and that four of the names on the passport applications matched the names on four of the credit cards, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court. (Washington Post)