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Iowa Attorney General warns not to ignore Equifax data breach

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) - Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller says the Equifax hack of 143-Million customers is like hitting the identity theft jackpot. Along with other AGs across the country, his office is investigating to evaluate the damage and warn consumers. He says it now appears nearly 1.1-Million Iowans had their critical information stolen in the massive data breach during June and July. The hackers were able to tap in to names, addresses, credit card numbers, and most damaging of all, social security numbers.

In this statement, the office has this advice for Iowans: Miller urges all Iowans to check on whether the breach exposed their personal information. Equifax established a data breach website at www.equifaxsecurity2017.com . Consumers can run a simple check by entering in their last name and the last six digits of their Social Security number. The site will instantly display a message stating whether the breach exposed their personal information.

Regardless of whether a consumer’s information was exposed in the breach, Equifax is offering free credit report monitoring for one year. Consumers can enroll through November 21 for “TrustedID Premier” monitoring through the same site at www.equifaxsecurity2017.com . Request and review your credit reports from all three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). You can obtain each one for free once a year through a single website: www.annualcreditreport.com . You can choose to obtain all three at once, or you can stagger and rotate them throughout the year (one report from a different agency every four months).

Consider placing a security freeze on your credit report. A security freeze locks out businesses from checking your credit report prior to opening a new account in your name. You can allow a credit check to proceed by providing a Personal Identification Number, and can stop the freeze at any time. You must contact all three credit reporting agencies separately for a credit freeze (one for each agency). The fee is $10 per agency for consumers who are not identity theft victims. Equifax announced it will waive security freeze fees for 30 days.

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