WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorney General Karl A. Racine is recommending District consumers take precautions in wake of a massive data breach that may have affected as many as 351,589 customers in the District. The breach of sensitive personal information maintained by the Equifax credit-reporting agency may have compromised data belonging to 143 million Americans.
Equifax, one of three major credit reporting agencies, said the personal information at risk includes names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. Equifax has established a dedicated website (available here) to help consumers determine whether they are at risk and to enroll in free credit monitoring. The company is also offering free credit monitoring to all Americans, notwithstanding whether their credit files were compromised.
Given the massive size of the breach, Attorney General Racine suggests all District consumers take the following precautions:
- Check to see if your personal information was compromised by visiting the special website Equifax has set up to assist consumers (https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/);
- Regularly review your credit reports to check for any suspicious activity;
- Contact the Office of the Attorney General if you believe your identity has been stolen or your personal information may have been exposed by a retailer by calling OAG’s Office of Consumer Protection through the OAG Consumer Hotline at (202) 442-9828, by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or online using OAG’s Consumer Complaint Form.
- If you are a victim of the Equifax data breach, and you are concerned that your Social Security number may be used to file a fraudulent federal income tax return in your name, you can go to the IRS’s website at https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams/get-an-identity-protection-pin and obtain a six digit PIN to use to authenticate your tax filings.
Resources to Protect Your Personal Information
For more information about how to monitor your credit and protect yourself against identity theft, see our Identity Theft Consumer Resource and browse our Online Consumer Protection Library for more ways to safeguard yourself against fraud.