As you may have read by now, data giant Equifax has suffered a massive security breach. Hackers accessed private information (including Social Security numbers, dates of birth, etc.) about 143 million Americans. The company collects data and financial information and it may hold information about you even if you’ve never dealt directly with them. Check here to see if your data has been compromised in this breach. (Click “Potential Impact”)
Even if your data hasn’t been compromised, we strongly urge you to consider freezing access to your credit. A security freeze (also known as a credit freeze) stops “new account fraud” so crooks can’t take out new lines of credit in your name no matter how much stolen private information they have about you. (Note: Equifax is one of the three national credit bureaus that will freeze your credit.).
Unfortunately data breaches are becoming more common. As the FTC notes in its advice about the Equifax breach, security freezes are a great way to fight back. These freezes are free for North Carolinians and they just take a little of your time to put in place. Then, when you are making a major purchase and need to let someone check your credit history, you “thaw” your freezes for just a few days. The inconvenience of setting up and occasionally thawing your security freezes is a small price to pay for the peace of mind you’ll get, knowing you aren’t vulnerable to new account fraud.
To learn more about free security freezes and free annual credit reports, visit ncdoj.gov. If you’ve been victimized by a scam or an unscrupulous business, file a complaint or contact our office at 1-877-5-NOSCAM.
This message brought to you on behalf of North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein.