AG urges proactive response to Equifax hack

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BOISE — Hackers recently accessed the personal information of 143 million Americans at Equifax, one of the nation’s largest credit reporting agencies. The exposed data includes consumers’ names, Social Security Numbers, birth dates, addresses, and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. Hackers also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 consumers and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 consumers.

“This was a large breach and has the potential to affect many Idahoans,” Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says. “I recommend anyone whose information might have been compromised to take the steps outlined below to minimize their exposure. In the meantime, my office is reviewing the matter to determine the appropriate legal steps to take on behalf of the State of Idaho and its consumers.”

Consumers should take the following steps to help protect their information from misuse and to prevent identity theft:

• Find out of if your information was exposed. From a secure computer and an encrypted network connection, visit Equifax’s website at www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and click on the tab “Potential Impact.” Enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security Number. The website will tell you if your information was stolen.

• Enroll in free credit monitoring services. Regardless of whether your information was stolen, you can get a year of free credit monitoring from Equifax. Information about the free service is provided on Equifax’s website. Other companies offer similar programs.

• Monitor your credit reports. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com to obtain free copies of your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Look for unusual accounts or activities that may indicate identity theft. For detailed information about what to do if you suspect identity theft, visit www.identitytheft.gov.

• Consider placing a credit freeze on your credit reporting files. A credit freeze makes it difficult to open new accounts in your name. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be a victim of identity theft. For more information about credit freezes and fraud alerts, visit the Attorney General’s website at www.ag.idaho.gov.

Note: Consumers who take these steps will not waive their right to take future legal action against the company. In the last several days, Equifax has removed arbitration-related language from its terms of use.

Consumers can visit www.identitytheft.gov/databreach for more information about how to protect their personal information following a data breach.

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