NY AG warns of cyberattacks following Equifax data breach

This July 21, 2012, photo shows Equifax Inc., offices in Atlanta. Credit monitoring company Equifax says a breach exposed social security numbers and other data from about 143 million Americans. The Atlanta-based company said Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, that “criminals” exploited a U.S. website application to access files between mid-May and July of this year. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The New York Attorney General’s Office is warning residents of cyberattacks following the Equifax data breach.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is advising New Yorkers to remain vigilant against possible hacking and phishing attempts by cybercriminals following the Equifax data breach.

Last week, Equifax announced a massive data breach affecting 143 million Americans. More than 8 million New Yorkers are affected by the breach.

Equifax says 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.

New Yorkers should be on the lookout for these possible attacks:

  • Phishing emails that claim to be from Equifax where you can check if your data was compromised.
  • Phishing emails that claim there is a problem with a credit card, your credit record, or other personal financial information.
  • Calls from scammers that claim they are from your bank or credit union.
  • Fraudulent charges on any credit card because your identity was stolen.

Consumers should also consider taking these additional steps to protect their personal information following the 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.

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