January 29, 2014
Attorney General Mike DeWine today reminded all Ohio security breach victims to monitor their accounts and learn about available credit monitoring. In connection with its recent data breach, Target recently announced that it would offer one year of free credit monitoring to all Target customers.
“Anyone who has been affected by a security breach should stay vigilant,” Attorney General DeWine said. “Even if your information hasn’t been used, it’s important to monitor your accounts and to look for any suspicious activity.”
Target announced that it is offering one year of free credit monitoring not only to customers who had information compromised in the data breach but to all Target customers of U.S. stores. Beginning today, consumers can register for the credit monitoring at creditmonitoring.target.com. Additional information from Target is available at www.Target.com/databreach.
Attorney General DeWine also offered the following recommendations for those who have been affected by a security breach:
Check your credit card and debit card accounts regularly. Monitor your accounts to look for suspicious activity, such as charges you don’t remember making. If you find any errors, immediately notify your credit or debit card provider.
Change your PIN numbers and passwords for any affected accounts.
Watch for possible “phishing” scams designed to obtain additional personal or financial information. When a security breach is announced, scammers may create phony messages or websites to take advantage of consumers.
Place an initial fraud alert on your credit report. Contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies — Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion — to place an initial fraud alert, which will stay on your credit report for 90 days. The alert is free of charge and will make it more difficult for someone to open credit in your name.
Check your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com. You are entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. You can pull all three at once, or you can stagger pulling your reports throughout the year.
Identity theft victims can seek assistance through the Ohio Attorney General’s Identity Theft Unit by calling 800-282-0515. The Identity Theft Unit helps victims rectify the effects of identity theft.