Attorney General Andy Beshear issued a scam alert on Monday to help make Kentuckians aware of the Equifax data breach, and provided tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.
Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit-reporting agencies, last week announced a major data breach that could affect about 143 million American customers.
Equifax said that from mid-May through July of this year hackers gained access to customers’ names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and some driver’s license numbers. Credit card numbers of about 209,000 consumers, and personal information in credit file dispute documents for about 182,000 consumers were also accessed.
Beshear said in a news release the Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection is investigating the events surrounding the data breach, including the company’s response and the protections being offered to affected Kentuckians.
“Kentuckians who may be involved should take immediate steps to closely monitor their credit, and report any suspicious credit activity to my office,” Beshear said in the news release.
The Office of the Attorney General is asking Kentuckians who might be impacted by the breach to follow these steps to help protect against identity theft:
1) Check to see if your information was compromised. Verify if your personal information was impacted by visiting the Equifax website, equifaxsecurity2017.com.
2) Sign up for the free credit monitoring service. Equifax is offering a free year of TrustedID Premier credit file monitoring and ID theft protection for all U.S. consumers, whether or not their information was impacted. To sign up for the protection service, visit equifaxsecurity2017.com or call 866-447-7559, which is open every day, including weekends, from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Eastern time.
3) Follow the Identity Theft Toolkit. The Office of the Attorney General’s online Identity Theft Toolkit provides systematic instructions on how to respond to possible identity theft. The toolkit includes information on how to place a credit report fraud alert, order credit reports and other helpful resources and contact information.
4) Report suspicious activity. Contact the Attorney General’s data breach hotline, toll free at 855-813-6508 if you are a victim of a data breach or identity theft.
As part of Beshear’s effort to protect Kentucky families from scams, fraud and identity theft he initiated Scam Alerts – the state’s first direct text and email scam notification system.
Kentuckians have recently received Scam Alerts on Hurricane Harvey scams, IRS scams Targeting Western Kentuckians and a scam targeting Kentuckians’ generosity to veterans.
To stay up to date on new and trending scams Kentuckians should sign up to receive Scam Alerts from the Office of the Attorney General. To enroll text the words KYOAG Scam to GOV311 (468311), or enroll online at ag.ky.gov/scams and select text message or email alert.