FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 8, 2017
Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216
Albuquerque, NM – This morning, Attorney General Hector Balderas released the following fraud alert regarding the massive Equifax data breach impacting up to 143 million Americans:
Equifax, a credit reporting agency has announced that it had a massive data breach affecting more than 143 million Americans. Last night’s announcement informed the public that the breach occurred sometime between May and July– Equifax discovered the breach on July 29th.
Equifax has set up a secure website with information here: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/
There is also a secure link where consumers can check to see if their data was compromised: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/potential-impact/
Equifax also has stated they will be alerting consumers whose information was compromised via U.S. mail.
Attorney General Balderas reminds consumers to be diligent by watching their bank accounts and credit card statements. It’s important to not just watch your accounts now, while this is in the news, but to continue to monitor them months from now, since the criminals who took the information may be very patient. Report any suspicious activity to your bank or credit card company right away. Any delay in reporting the fraudulent activity could make it harder for you to get that money back. Also, consumers should check their credit report periodically and be sure to dispute any information that is not accurate.
Another option is to put a credit freeze on your credit report. A credit freeze restricts access to your credit report, which makes it much more difficult for criminals to open false accounts in your name. However, placing such a freeze should be considered carefully, since the lead time needed to unfreeze it may be significant. For more information about placing a freeze on your credit report visit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs
This past legislative session, New Mexico became the 48th state to adopt a data breach notification law which requires companies who experience a data breach to notify any New Mexico residents who may be affected within 45 days. It also requires them to inform the Office of the Attorney General of the number of affected residents and provide a copy of the notice sent to those residents.
The Office of the Attorney General has not yet received any notice from Equifax.
# # #