What to Know
- 8 million NYers are among the 143 million people in the country affected by the Equifax breach, state AG Eric Schneiderman said Friday
- The breach lasted from mid-May through July, when hackers got names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver's licenses
- Consumers can contact a dedicated call center at 866-447-7559 to determine if you have been affected by the breach
More than 8 million New Yorkers are among the 143 million people across the country affected by a massive breach of Equifax, one of the country's three biggest credit reporting agencies, the state's attorney general has warned.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a consumer alert Friday, and also announced he had launched a formal investigation into the hack. The breach lasted from mid-May through July, when hackers accessed names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some cases, driver's license numbers.
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Equifax has said it is alerting customers whose information was included in the breach via mail, and is working with state and federal authorities. Its private investigation into the breach is complete, the company said.
Schneiderman said about 209,000 individuals had their credit card numbers stolen. He said he has sent a letter to Equifax seeking more information.
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"The Equifax breach has potentially exposed sensitive personal information of nearly everyone with a credit report, and my office intends to get to the bottom of how and why this massive hack occurred,” the attorney general said."
Consumers can contact a dedicated call center at 866-447-7559 to determine if they have been affected by the breach. The call center is open daily from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. ET.
Schneiderman also suggested the following tips for consumers:
- 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.