NC Consumers Could Be At Risk From U.S. Govt. Data Breach

NC Consumers Could Be At Risk From U.S. Govt. Data Breach

By / State News / الأربعاء, 10 حزيران/يونيو 2015 04:00

RALEIGH, N.C. : June 5th, 2015 - Current and former federal employees who could be victims of a security breach reported by the U.S. government yesterday should take immediate action to protect their credit and watch out for scams that attempt to capitalize on the breach, Attorney General Roy Cooper warned Friday.
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management announced late Thursday that a cyberattack could have compromised some of its employee data. The agency says it will notify approximately 4 million people whose personal information may have been stolen during the breach. Affected consumers will get notification emails between June 8 and June 19 sent from the email address عنوان البريد الإلكتروني هذا محمي من روبوتات السبام. يجب عليك تفعيل الجافاسكربت لرؤيته. and individuals who do not have an email address on file will receive the notification by mail, the agency said.
But consumers who think that their information could be affected by the breach shouldn’t wait to take steps to protect their credit, Cooper urged.
“Once hackers and thieves have your personal information, you’re at greater risk of identity theft and other crimes and scams,” Cooper said. “Don’t delay taking simple steps that can help you prevent problems and detect fraud sooner."
Cooper recommends that consumers who could be involved in the breach take certain actions immediately:
• Check your credit reports. Criminals who have personal information such as your Social Security Number can use it to take out credit cards or loans in your name and run up debts. Everyone is allowed a free credit report per year from each of the three credit bureaus.
• Consider a security freeze for your credit reports to stop criminals from opening new accounts in your name. North Carolina consumers can freeze their credit for free online, with details available at www.ncdoj.gov
Once consumers receive official word that their information has been compromised, Cooper recommends the following additional steps:
• Request a fraud alert from one of the major credit bureaus.
• Take advantage of free services offered to victims. The U.S. government has said it will offer 18 months of free identity theft insurance and credit monitoring to all victims of the breach.
Consumers also need to be on guard for scams that may try to capitalize on news of the U.S. government being hacked. For example, following the massive data breach of Anthem Insurance Company earlier this year, consumers received phony emails that claimed to offer credit monitoring to protect them from the breach. Information stolen during a breach can also be used by scammers to target victims with phishing emails, fraudulent phone calls, texts and social media posts.
“Scammers may pretend to be with your bank, utility, legitimate companies or government agencies, and if they already have some of your personal information they may be more convincing,” Cooper warned.
A data or security breach happens when records containing personal information, such as Social Security numbers or credit card or bank account numbers, are lost, stolen or accessed improperly.
 State law requires businesses as well as state and local government agencies to notify consumers if their personal information has been breached. They are also required to report security breaches to the Attorney General’s Office. More than 2,600 breaches that involved information about more than 7.2 million North Carolina consumers have been reported to the Attorney General’s Office since 2005.
For more detailed list of what to do after a security breach as well as other consumer tips, visit www.ncdoj.gov

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