LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer today issued a warning and a list of steps the public can take to protect their personal information following the recent disclosure of a massive data breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s largest credit reporting agencies, potentially impacting the information of up to 15 million Californians. Tips for Consumers include:
Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion at
Annual Credit Report.com, a free service. Look for activity you do not recognize.
Consider placing a FREEZE on your credit reports with all three credit bureaus
to make it harder for someone to open a new account in your name.
Check credit card and banking activity at least once a week.
Social Security numbers were affected so there is a risk of tax fraud. If you suspect it,
contact the IRS immediately. Remember - first contact with the IRS will rarely be a call from out of the blue so if you receive a suspicious call from someone saying they are
from the IRS, hang up and call 800-929-1040 to verify.
Credit Reports can affect your mortgage rates, credit card approvals and even
your apartment or job application and that is why you must be mindful of
Identity Theft, signs of which include:
- Bills that do not arrive as expected
- Unexpected credit cards or account statements
- Denials of credit that you did not apply for
- Calls or letters about purchases you did not make
- Incorrect information on your credit reports - accounts or addresses you don't recognize or information that is inaccurate
Finally - secure your child’s personal information. If you think their information is at risk, check whether your child has a credit report and take steps to freeze or flag their credit
reports. Signs that your child may be a victim of identity theft include denial of
government programs, credit solicitations and debt collection or IRS notices.
Click here for the Consumer Tip Sheet. And tips in Spanish.