Free tool can protect information from security breaches


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Following the data breach of millions of people, a Lutheran Hospital spokesperson says letters should be sent out to affected patients by August 30th.  In the meantime, we checked in with officials from the Indiana Attorney General’s Office.  They say you need to take action now.  They tell NewsChannel 15 the last thing you should do is sit back and wait.  Because often times, cyber hackers will wait awhile before trying to use your information.

“We’ve seen where people have used these same identifiers to open up mortgages, buy cars, to lines of credit,” Spokesperson for the Ind. Attorney General’s Identity Theft Unit Chuck Taylor said.

Yeah, it might be a pain in the neck, but there’s something simple and free you can do to save yourself from a big headache down the road.  It’s called Security Freeze.  Chuck Taylor with the Attorney General’s Identity Theft Unit says what it does is locks down your credit reports so lines of credit can’t be opened without your permission.

“The beauty of it is you are in full control. When you do need access to your account for possibly applying for a mortgage or a vehicle and you need access to your credit line, you can unlock your credit and utilize it for when you need it and then lock it down so that those who shouldn’t have access to it won’t.”

Since hackers with this breach stole social security numbers, the AG’s office recommends people:

  • Sign up for Security Freeze
  • Regularly check bank/credit card statements and credit reports
  • If you see anything suspicious, report it to the Attorney General’s Office immediately

“We recommend that every resident of the state take advantage of that. Indiana is only one of two states where this is a right that is available free of charge to consumers.”

Taylor tells NewsChannel 15 he and his wife signed up for it six years ago after a security breach and have not had any problems.

“It does not affect our credit score or our credit reporting.”

To learn more about Security Freeze or to sign up, click here.  For other free security breach resources, click here.  (If those websites do not work, please wait and refresh page.)

If you are experiencing trouble call:

Consumer Protection Division, Attorney General’s Office
302 W. Washington Street, 5th Floor
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: 317.232.6330 or 1.800.382.5516

Equifax fraud division
800-525-6285
P.O. Box 740250
Atlanta, GA 30374
Experian fraud division
888-397-3742
P.O. Box 1017
Allen, TX 75013
Trans Union fraud division
800-680-7289
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92634

 

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