HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s Bureau of Consumer Protection has opened an investigation into a massive data breach involving Equifax, a national credit-reporting agency, which impacted up to 143 million consumers nationwide. Shapiro is leading this national, multistate investigation along with the Attorneys General of Connecticut and Illinois.
This investigation will review Equifax’s report that cyber criminals gained access to consumers’ names, Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license information. Their report also indicated that credit card numbers for about 209,000 consumers and documents containing personal information related to credit reporting disputes for about 182,000 people were compromised. Equifax said the breach occurred sometime between mid-May and July. The company said it discovered the hack on July 29. It is unclear at this time how many Pennsylvania consumers have been impacted.
“This is a massive data breach of the personal and financial information of millions of Americans,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Consumer Protection is fully investigating this matter, including the months-long delay for Equifax to notify consumers, and we will take every step necessary to hold them accountable for compromising Pennsylvanians’ personal information.”
Attorney General Shapiro is encouraging Pennsylvanians to sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection. Equifax is providing free service for one year through TrustedID Premier. To enroll, go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and click on the “Check Potential Impact” tab. You must submit your last name and last six digits of your Social Security number. Consumers will receive a date when they can return to the site and sign up for the service. Consumers can also obtain a free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com.
Attorney General Shapiro encouraged Pennsylvania consumers to be proactive in monitoring their credit reports and financial account statements and reporting suspicious activity. If you believe you may have been affected by the Equifax breach or any other kind of identity theft, contact the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection helpline at 1-800-441-2555 or at email@example.com. The Federal Trade Commission has also provided www.identitytheft.gov, an identity theft prevention website.