Consumer Information: Protect Yourself After a Data Breach | So Good News
Friday, October 21, 2022
The latest security breach affects hundreds of thousands of people, which means North Carolinians need to take steps to protect their data. If your data is at risk of a security breach, North Carolina law requires the company or organization that owns the data to notify you and our office. More than 2.4 million North Carolinians were affected by this last year.
A data breach occurs when personal information such as Social Security numbers, bank or credit card numbers, or personal information is lost, stolen, or otherwise accessed incorrectly. Criminals can use this information to steal information, put you at risk of defaulting, damage your credit, or lose your money.
If you have been the victim of a scam, follow these steps to protect your information and reduce the risk of theft:
- View your affected accounts. Analyze accounts that have been compromised in security breaches and identify any suspicious activity. If your credit or debit card number violates the rules, you must request a new card with a different number and change the associated password.
- Sign up for a free credit check. Some businesses or government agencies offer free credit analysis services. Remember, don’t give out personal information without verifying that the service is legitimate.
- Ask for a fraud alert from the credit bureau. A fraud alert requests that banks and other lenders take steps to verify your identity before they will grant you a loan in your name. This alert is free and lasts 90 days. Be sure to review your free credit report for suspicious activity. To request a fraud alert, contact another credit bureau – Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion.
- Consider a safety stop. A security freeze prevents a thief from opening new accounts or obtaining credit in your name.
- Take control of your credit. Thieves may not be able to use your stolen items right away. Continue to monitor your credit report for suspicious activity.
If you believe you have been scammed, contact our office’s Consumer Protection Division at ncdoj.gov/file-a-complaint or 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.