Attorney General: 1.1 million Iowans hit by Equifax breach

Marie Harrington
September 17, 2017

Attorney General Ken Paxton today issued a consumer alert following a report from Equifax Inc., one of the nation's three major credit reporting agencies, that it experienced a data breach affecting 143 million Americans, including almost 12 million Texans.

The massive data breach had exposed valuable information to hackers between mid-May and July and sent Equifax shares tumbling, the company said last week.

"We learn of new data breaches every day", said Cynthia Erdman, president of Partnership Bank in Tomah.

Since the announcement of the cyberattack - which compromised Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, credit card numbers and addresses - Equifax shares have fallen more than 30 percent. When you sign up with one credit bureau, they'll alert the other two. "Because the Nebraska number is so high for those impacted by the Equifax breach, I would encourage everyone to act immediately to see if their identity information was part of the breach, and if so, take these recommended steps".

If you decide against a credit freeze, consider placing a fraud alert on your files. Experts say as angry as you may be, few companies could handle the amount of demand the credit bureaus are getting right now. While not foolproof, credit freeze is the best way to prevent lenders from having access to your credit report and thieves from opening new lines of credit in your name. The site does require users to enter their last name and the last six digits of their Social Security number - information the company already would have for its customers.

Specifically, the FTC is tasked with ensuring Equifax is using proper security methods to protect consumers' data online.

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Can anyone view your credit report when it's frozen?

Equifax is offering one year of fraud monitoring to everybody.

"Really? How many people have been affected by this?" An emailed statement from the credit-monitoring agency said the executives "had no knowledge" of the breach beforehand.

The first thing you need to do is go to equifaxsecurity2017.com and go to the "Potential Impact" tab.

Check your credit reports from the three major credit reporting agencies: Visit annualcreditreport.com to check your credit reports for free to check for suspicious activity; each credit reporting agency must give you a free copy once a year.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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