A.G. Schneiderman Tells Two Other Major Credit Reporting Agencies To Detail How They're Protecting Consumers' Personal Information.
New York, NY - September 19, 2017 - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that his office has sent formal inquiries regarding data security to Experian and TransUnion, the two other major credit reporting agencies, following the Equifax data breach that exposed the personal information of millions of New Yorkers.
In letters sent to the CEOs of the two companies, the Attorney General's office asks them to detail the security measures that were in place before they learned of the Equifax breach; steps the companies have taken since learning of the breach to ensure that they haven't already suffered similar intrusions and won't experience breaches moving forward; and how they will further assist consumers in protecting their personal information.
On September 7th, Equifax, one of the nation's three major credit reporting agencies, announced a massive breach affecting 143 million Americans and over 8 million New Yorkers. 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.
Attorney General Schneiderman opened an investigation immediately after learning of the Equifax breach.
“The Equifax breach has left millions of New Yorkers vulnerable to identity theft and major financial issues,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Credit reporting agencies have a fundamental responsibility to protect the personal information they're entrusted with. As we continue our investigation into the Equifax breach, it's vital to ensure that consumer data at the other major credit reporting agencies is safe.”
Attorney General Schneiderman continues to urge New Yorkers to take action to protect themselves following the Equifax hack:
- Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Accounts or activity that you do not recognize could indicate identity theft. This is a free service.
- Consider placing a credit freeze on your files. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. It will not prevent a thief from using any of your existing accounts.
- 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 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.
- Since hackers may have access to personal contact info, New Yorkers should remain vigilant against possible hacking and phishing attempts by cybercriminals.