Data Breach Tips
Following the announcement of a data breach affecting up to 80 million current and former customers of Anthem, Attorney General Mike DeWine is encouraging consumers to take steps to protect their personal information and watch for signs of identity theft.
Follow these tips if affected by a data breach:
- Check your mail. Open letters you receive and look for notifications that you have been affected by a security breach.
- Monitor your bank accounts. Look for suspicious activity, and if you find any errors, immediately notify your bank, or credit/debit card provider.
- Place an initial fraud alert on your credit report. Contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion) to place an initial fraud alert which will stay on your credit report for 90 days.
- Consider placing a security freeze on your credit report, which will essentially put a lock on your credit so that most third parties cannot access your report.
- Check your credit report at annualcreditreport.com. You are entitled to one free report per year from each of the three reporting agencies.
- Beware of scams related to the breach; calls claiming to provide information about the breach may be scams.
Consumers also should look for signs of possible identity theft, which may include:
- Unexpected mail, such as a bill for a credit card that you never signed up for.
- Credit card charges you never made.
- Unexpected collection calls.
- Another person’s name showing up in your background check.
- Credit reporting errors or a lower-than-expected credit score.