Large amounts of personal information offered for sale on the “dark web”
OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson urges all Washingtonians who believe they were impacted by the data breach announced by T-Mobile in August 2021 to take appropriate steps to protect their personal information from identity theft.
The data breach affected approximately 2 million Washingtonians.
“Data breaches continue to be an escalating threat to Washingtonians,” Ferguson said. “We want to make sure Washingtonians have the tools they need to protect themselves in the wake of a data breach.”
On Aug. 17, 2021, T-Mobile reported a massive data breach compromising the sensitive personal information of millions of current, former and prospective T-Mobile customers. The breach affected more than 50 million individuals nationwide. Millions of people had their names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and driver’s license information compromised.
Recently, a large subset of the information compromised in the breach was for sale on the “dark web” — a hidden portion of the internet where cyber criminals buy, sell and track personal information. Many individuals have since received alerts through various identity theft protection services informing them that their information was found online in connection with the breach, confirming that impacted individuals are at heightened risk for identity theft.
Ferguson urges anyone who believes they were part of the August 2021 T-Mobile data breach to take the following steps to protect themselves:
- Monitor your credit. Credit monitoring services track your credit report and alert you whenever a change is made, such as a new account or a large purchase. Most services will notify you within 24 hours of any change to your credit report.
- Consider placing a free credit freeze on your credit report. Identity thieves will not be able to open a new credit account in your name while the freeze is in place. You can place a credit freeze by contacting each of the three major credit bureaus:
- Equifax | https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-freeze/, (888) 766-0008
- Experian | https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html, (888) 397-3742
- TransUnion | https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze, (800) 680-7289
- Place a fraud alert on your credit report. A fraud alert tells lenders and creditors to take extra steps to verify your identity before issuing credit. You can place a fraud alert by contacting any one of the three major credit bureaus.
- Additional Resources. If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, go to identitytheft.gov for assistance on how to report it and recover from it. Washingtonians can also visit https://www.atg.wa.gov/guardit.aspx for additional information.
Washington’s Attorney General serves the people and the state of Washington. As the state’s largest law firm, the Attorney General’s Office provides legal representation to every state agency, board, and commission in Washington. Additionally, the Office serves the people directly by enforcing consumer protection, civil rights, and environmental protection laws. The Office also prosecutes elder abuse, Medicaid fraud, and handles sexually violent predator cases in 38 of Washington’s 39 counties. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.
Brionna Aho, Communications Director, (360) 753-2727; Brionna.email@example.com
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