MADIGAN ISSUES ADVICE FOR CONSUMERS FOLLOWING EXPERIAN BREACH OF T-MOBILE USERS’ DATA
Approximately 15 Million Users Potentially Impacted
Chicago — Following reports that an unauthorized party was able to gain access to an Experian server that contained the personal information of more than 15 million T-Mobile users, Attorney General Lisa Madigan today offered consumers tips to guard against potential identity theft.
“We are taking Experian’s data breach and the potential risks to Illinois consumers very seriously,” Madigan said. “We have been in contact with the company to review the circumstances of the breach and anticipate working with Attorneys General across the country on this matter. Identity theft is a serious threat, and incorporating a few commonsense precautions in your daily routine can greatly reduce any damage done as a result of a data breach.”
Experian reports that more than 700,000 Illinois residents may have had their data compromised, including Social Security numbers.
According to the credit reporting company Experian and T-Mobile, the breach compromised data that was used by T-Mobile in connection with credit checks of individuals who applied for T-Mobile services from Sept. 1, 2013 through Sept. 16, 2015. The data included name, address, birthdate, Social Security numbers, other ID numbers (such as driver’s license, military ID, or passport numbers), and additional information used in T-Mobile’s credit assessment.
Madigan offers these tips for consumers who may have been victims of the breach:
- Monitor your credit report. You are entitled to one free credit report every 12 monthsfrom each of the three nationwide credit bureaus. You can request one free report from a different bureau every four months to monitor throughout the year atwww.annualcreditreport.com.
- Consider placing a freeze on your credit report to block access to your credit report so that potential credit granters cannot see your report unless you provide them the secret PIN that you will receive from the credit reporting agencies when you request a freeze. To obtain a freeze, consumers must write each credit reporting agency individually. Instructions for placing a credit freeze are in our Identity Theft Resource Guide which is available on our website athttp://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/Identity_Theft_Resource_Guide.pdf. Experian will not charge a fee for affected consumers to place a credit freeze.
- Beware of phishing attempts and unsolicited calls or emails offering credit monitoring or identity theft services. Consumers should never provide their social security number, credit card or other personal information in response to unsolicited emails or calls.
- Be suspicious of all calls, email messages, texts, or mail claiming to be from Experian and seeking information from you or claiming to assist you with the data breach. Do not click on any links in emails claiming to be from Experian, do not reply to the senders and do not provide any information on the website if you accidentally click on a link. Also, do not open any attachments that arrive in an email claiming to be from Experian.
- If you receive a breach notification letter, verify that it actually came from Experian by calling its toll-free telephone number: 1.888.397.3742. Consumers can also visit Experian’s website to learn more about the company’s response to the breach.
- Monitor your accounts closely and report any unauthorized charges to your bank or financial institution immediately.
- Check your free credit reports for unauthorized accounts by visitingwww.annualcreditreport.com. Report any unauthorized accounts or other inaccurate information to the credit reporting agency immediately.
- Place a transaction alert with your bank or financial institution for an amount that you choose. If you receive a transaction alert for a transaction that you did not authorize, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.
- Consider placing a 90-day fraud alert on your credit report by calling any one of the three major credit reporting agencies. This alert places a flag on your credit report which gives a warning to potential credit granters that you may be a fraud victim.
Experian is offering two years of free credit report monitoring from all three major credit reporting bureaus to affected consumers. Experian will contact affected consumers and provide enrollment information. Consumers also may go tohttp://www.protectmyid.com/default.aspx?sc=678628 to enroll.
Attorney General Madigan urges Illinois residents to call her office’s Identity Theft Hotline at 1-866-999-5630 (TTY 1-877-844-5461) for assistance. The Identity Theft Unit has helped reverse more than $27 million worth of fraudulent charges on more than 39,000 Illinois consumers’ accounts.