Personal Information Stolen From Over 8 Million New Yorkers
Here’s how to check and what to do if you were one of the eight million New Yorkers who had their personal information corrupted by hackers.
According to New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, “Nearly everyone with a credit report,” had their personal information potentially exposed from the Equifax hack.
Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies, experienced a massive breach affecting 143 million Americans and over eight million New Yorkers.
The breach lasted from mid-May through July. Hackers accessed names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers.
Approximately 209,000 individuals had their credit card numbers stolen, officials say.
Schneiderman and the Ulster County District Attorney’s Division of Consumer Affairs encourage everyone from the Hudson Valley to follow the following steps to see if your personal information was stolen.
- To check whether your information was compromised, go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.
- Consumers can contact a dedicated call center at 866-447-7559 to determine if you have been affected by the breach. The call center is open every day, including weekends, from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m.
- Check your credit reports by visiting annualcreditreport.com. This is a free service. Accounts or activity that you do not recognize could indicate identity theft.
- Consider placing a credit freeze on your files. It will not prevent a thief from using any of your existing accounts, but a credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name.
- Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely for unauthorized charges. Call the credit card company or bank immediately about any charges you do not recognize.
- Since Social Security numbers were affected, there is a risk of tax fraud. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Consider filing your taxes early and pay close attention to correspondence from the IRS.
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