Wasden: Nearly 179,000 Idahoans affected in original breach; encourages consumers to take steps to protect personal information
(BOISE) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden urges all Idaho residents who believe they were impacted by the data breach announced by T-Mobile in August 2021 to take appropriate steps to protect their information from identity theft.
The alert follows the discovery of a large subset of the breached information 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.
On August 17th, T-Mobile reported a massive data breach compromising the sensitive personal information of millions of current, former, and prospective T-Mobile customers. The breach impacted more than 53 million individuals, including 178,764 Idahoans. This figure includes 26,641 Idaho customers and 152,123 non-customers. Among other categories of impacted information, millions had their names, dates of birth, Social Security Numbers, and driver’s license information compromised.
“This breach was unique in that it affected T-Mobile customers but also prospective customers,” Wasden said. “So if you’ve ever inquired about a T-Mobile phone or other service, this situation may impact you. So I encourage anyone who receives a notice or alert to take it seriously, whether you’ve actually been a T-Mobile customer or not.”
Wasden urges anyone who believes they were impacted by the T-Mobile 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/
- Experian | https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html
- TransUnion | https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze
- 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 – or contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-432-3545 or 208-334-2424.