NC attorney general ‘demanding to know’ what happened with Equifax breach

Equifax Inc.
This July 21, 2012, photo shows Equifax Inc., offices in Atlanta. Credit monitoring company Equifax says a breach exposed social security numbers and other data from about 143 million Americans. The Atlanta-based company said Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, that "criminals" exploited a U.S. website application to access files between mid-May and July of this year. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – In the wake of the massive Equifax breach, North Carolina’s attorney general is taking action but you need to take action, too.

Experts say you need to begin protecting your financial information if you are one of those affected.

The data breach actually happened six weeks ago, but the company didn’t announce it until last week.

Now, people are scrambling to deal with the repercussions of all that stolen cyber data.

At least 143 million Americans were victimized by the data breach and that includes 5 million North Carolina residents who are affected.

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“I’ve already written a letter to Equifax demanding to know exactly what happened and what they will do to protect people who were affected,” said Attorney General Josh Stein.

Some who deal with these kinds of situations are worried the breach maybe bigger than what was originally reported.

“I suspect the exposure was pretty extensive, but they had to go through logs and make sure it wasn’t an inside job and they had to patch the hole,” says cyber security expert Todd Plesco.

To see if you’re a victim Equifax says to go to their website.

You’ll need to provide your last name and the last six digits of your social security number. If you’ve been impacted, Equifax will offer free credit monitoring for a year.

“Credit monitoring isn’t bad but it’s not enough,” says Stein. “Each person needs to take steps to do more if you are at risk.”

He says, “Everyone is entitled to a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies and you’re also entitled to a free security freeze. You should put it on with each of the three credit reporting agencies.”

Take this seriously because, with this goldmine of data, the criminals can wreck your life.

“They can take out a mortgage, file tax refunds, file Social Security benefits, you name it, they can take all your benefits away,” says cyber security expert Avivah Litan.

To help you get to the right sites to protect yourself economically, you can use these links.

The North Carolina Attorney General’s page dealing with the breach.

Equifax’s website and FAQ.

Here is a link to the FTC’s identity theft page.

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