Attorney General Coffman Advises Consumers to be Diligent After Massive Equifax Data Breach
released on September 14, 2017
found in newsletter: September 2017
DENVER- Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman today advised Colorado consumers to be diligent in protecting their personal identifying information following Equifax’s announcement that as many as 143 million customers may have been impacted by a massive data breach.
“This is a very serious data breach, and I understand that consumers are rightly concerned about any potential impact it may have on their lives,” said Attorney General Coffman, “However, it is important to remember that even if a person’s information was a part of this breach, it does not mean that they will become the victim of identity theft. As we always tell consumers, vigilance is your best friend in these situations.”
The Attorney General advises consumers to take some simple steps when dealing with any data breach:
• Know your options – Contact your bank, credit union, or credit card company if you believe any of your accounts may have been compromised. Some institutions may suggest closing the compromised accounts, while others may have fraud protection programs that will closely monitor the accounts for fraudulent usage.
• Place a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit report and obtain a copy – Contact one of the three credit reporting bureaus to notify them that you may be a victim of identity theft and would like to place a fraud alert on your credit. The contacted credit reporting bureau will subsequently notify the other two bureaus and place an alert on your behalf. Victims of Identity Theft can place fraud alerts and credit freezes, as well as obtain copies of their credit report, for free in Colorado.
• Request a copy of your credit report as soon as possible in order to identify what is on your report before any potential theft has occurred.
• Pay extra attention to your bank statements, credit card statements, and even medical or insurance bills to see if any unknown or unusual charges appear.
• Be wary of any unusual mail or emails – If the identity thief is using your information to open up new credit you may receive notifications about ‘your’ loan application, new credit card, or even an overdue payment on an account you do not recognize.
Equifax has set up a website specifically to address this data breach. Information about special protections they have put in place for their consumers can be found at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com . The Attorney General cautioned consumers to carefully read and understand the terms and conditions of the services being offered by Equifax, as accepting those services may affect your ability later on should you need to take legal action against it.
For more information on protecting yourself please visit the Identity Theft Center. If you believe you are a victim of identity theft call the toll free Colorado Bureau of Investigation 24 Hour Identity Theft & Fraud Hotline at 1-855-443-3489.
Original Press Release