9/14/2017 11:47:04 AM
For Immediate Release
SAINT PAUL – Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman is urging consumers to be aware of the steps they can take to protect their financial information and prevent identity theft in response to the report of a large-scale data breach at Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting companies.
Equifax recently announced the breach that occurred from mid-May through July this year, affecting an estimated 143 million consumers in the U.S. Hackers gained access to names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, drivers’ license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers and credit card dispute documents with personal identifying information.
“The depth and breadth of the Equifax data breach is alarming,” said Rothman. “Identity thieves could use this personal financial information to open fraudulent credit card accounts or obtain loans. While Minnesota law does not allow the Commerce Department to regulate Equifax, we are advising the financial institutions we do oversee to be vigilant by taking appropriate additional measures to protect their customers’ accounts and prevent any fraudulent activity due to the Equifax breach.”
Equifax has set up a special website to assist consumers. The company says it is also mailing notices to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute documents were exposed. Whether or not your information was stolen, Equifax is also offering consumers one year of free credit monitoring services.
The Commerce website offers practical tips on what you can do to prevent identity theft and protect your sensitive personal information from being misused. These tips include:
Commerce is here to help
If you have a question or believe you have been a victim of fraud, contact the Commerce Department’s Consumer Services Center by email at email@example.com or by phone at 651-539-1600 or 800-657-3602 (Greater Minnesota).
Director of Communications
Minnesota Department of Commerce
p: 651-539-1463 | c: 651-368-5050 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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