Iowa Attorney General, Tom Miller, is urging all Iowans to check on whether the massive Equifax data breach exposed any of their personal information. The company has established a data breach website that can be accessed through the link included below. Consumers can run a simple check and it will instantly display a message on whether or not the breach exposed their personal information. “This data breach is astonishing, not only because of the number of consumers that it impacts, but also because of the key personal information that it exposed,” Miller says. “Unfortunately, a criminal who gets a hold of this kind of personal information really hits the identity theft jackpot, and I’m concerned about the potential long-term impact this could have on countless consumers here in Iowa and across the country,” he adds. The breach is believed to have included the social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some cases, driver’s license numbers and credit card numbers of 1,099,125 Iowans. The link is the first step in finding out if your account has been compromised, the next step is to ensure that you are as protected as possible against identity theft by following some of the simple steps also included here.
Equifax link to check personal data breach: www.equifaxsecurity2017.com
Identity theft consumer tips:
Identity Theft Consumer Tips
- Request and review your credit reports from all three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion).You can obtain each one for free once a year through a single website: www.annualcreditreport.com. You can choose to obtain all three at once, or you can stagger and rotate them throughout the year (one report from a different agency every four months).
- Consider placing a security freeze on your credit report.A security freeze locks out businesses from checking your credit report prior to opening a new account in your name. You can allow a credit check to proceed by providing a Personal Identification Number, and can stop the freeze at any time. You must contact all three credit reporting agencies separately for a credit freeze (one for each agency). The fee is $10 per agency for consumers who are not identity theft victims. Equifax announced it will waive security freeze fees for 30 days.
- Consider an initial fraud alert.If you suspect or confirm that someone stole your identity, an initial fraud alert can make it harder for an identity thief to open more accounts in your name. An initial fraud alert requires a business to verify your identity before issuing credit in your name. You only need to contact one credit reporting agency about an initial fraud alert, and that agency will notify the other two.
- Monitor your accounts.Review your statements and report any activity that is suspicious.
- Be wary of breach-related scams.Do not provide or “confirm” personal information to a caller who claims the call is related to the data breach, even if caller-ID information appears legitimate. Be wary of emails, which can be fake but look authentic, and be especially wary of clicking on links, opening attachments, or entering information on website addresses provided through emails or pop-up ads.
Consumers with questions or complaints can contact the Consumer Protection Division through our website at www.iowaattorneygeneral.gov, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 515-281-5926 or toll-free at 888-777-4590 (outside the Des Moines metro area only).
For more information about identity theft, go to our website at www.iowaattorneygeneral.gov. To report and recover from identity theft, go to the Federal Trade Commission’s site at www.identitytheft.gov.