Suffered a data breach? Tools to fight identity fraud

Thursday, June 20, 2019

 

Recent reports of a data breach exposing the patient records of 12 million Quest Diagnostics customers reminds us that our personal information is regularly at risk of abuse by fraudsters.

In this case, credit card numbers, bank account information, some medical details, and Social Security numbers were hacked. A debt collection service (called American Medical Collection Agency) used by the lab service company Quest suffered the breach in May.

Sometimes financial fraud and identity theft do not occur for years after a data breach. While consumers cannot fully protect themselves, Consumer Action offers practical tips on what to do if your personal information has been stolen and what steps to take to recover.

If you’re at risk of identity theft:

•    Order a free copy of your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com.
•    Order a free specialty report, such as a Medical Information Bureau (MIB) report or a rent history report.

If you’re a victim of identity theft:

•    File a police report and complete an ID Theft Affidavit at IdentityTheft.gov.
•    If you’re a victim of medical identity theft, correct inaccurate information in your medical files.
•    Place a free security freeze on your credit report (and store the PIN safely).

For more tips, see Consumer Action’s updated ID theft resources and activities to help you protect your community from identity theft.

 

 

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