Protect Your CreditCredit Monitoring and Identity Theft Counseling
Free Credit Monitoring Extended for Second Year
The State recently extended the free credit monitoring services for a second year to victims who have enrolled. The credit monitoring extension is automatic and was completed by April 9, 2013. Those who already enrolled do not need to take any action. Ignore all notices that state your services will soon expire.
Individuals who were affected and have not yet signed up, are still eligible for one year of credit monitoring. This new open enrollment will close on
June 30, 2013.
Am I Really At Risk?
If the hackers took your Social Security number, they could use it to steal your identity and damage your credit. We at the Utah Department of Health apologize for the stress this has caused. We're doing everything we can to help you protect your credit.
One Free Year of Credit Monitoring
The single best thing you can do to protect your credit and prevent identity theft is to sign up for the one free year of credit monitoring. The initial deadline to sign up was September 30, 2012, as the activation codes in the notification letter expired at that time. Victims who missed the deadline are sitll eligible to sign up for one year of free credit monitoring.
This service protects you and your children (if their Social Security numbers were compromised) and is provided through Experian, one of the three national credit bureaus and a global leader in credit monitoring.
Individuals who still need to activate their complimentary membership can call the Ombudsman at 801.538.6923 or email Ombudsman@utah.gov.
Here’s what’s included in the Experian Services
- Daily credit monitoring.
- Email alerts of key changes to your credit files.
- Credit reports and scores, with unlimited, 24/7 access.
- Monthly “no hit” reports, letting you know there were no changes.
- Identity theft insurance that provides $1 million of coverage to adults and $2 million of coverage to households. The policy covers certain costs fraudulent electronic fund transfers, lost wages, legal fees, and other costs.
- Fraud-resolution assistance by representatives who investigate all incidents of fraud; contact creditors to dispute charges, close accounts, and compile documents; and contact government agencies.
Identity Theft Counseling Services with ID Experts
We are currently providing individuals affected by the data breach with selected, no cost counseling services to help safeguard their credit. The contract was awarded to ID Experts, a nationally recognized provider of products and services designed to protect businesses and individuals from fraud and identity theft. Speaking with a trained, experienced Identity Theft Specialist is a smart way to protect yourself and your family.
Here's what's included in the Counseling Services
- Assistance with reading and understanding credit reports.
- Instructing breach victims how to obtain access to free credit reports.
- Instruction on opting out from receiving pre-approved offers of credit and insurance in the mail which reduces the chances of fraud and identity theft.
- Assistance with understanding the credit monitoring and fraud resolution services the State is providing through Experian, and
- Individual advice on additional steps consumers can take to protect their credit, including credit freezes and fraud alerts. Understanding Utah laws and fees related to credit freezes.
The initial counseling by ID Experts will be offered over the phone. If you are a data breach victim and are interested in receiving these services at no cost, contact the hotline or the Ombudsman at: Ombudsman@utah.gov or 801.538.6923.
What Are Other Ways I Can Protect My Credit?
There are many other ways to help keep your credit safe. Below is a list of valuable resources and information for you to consider, but you must initiate them on your own.
Personal Identity Theft
The Utah Attorney General's Office sponsors the Identity Theft Reporting Information System to assist victims of identity theft. For more information and resources related to protecting and monitoring your personal identity, visit http://idtheft.utah.gov.
Child Identity Protection ( https://cip.utah.gov )
The Utah Attorney General's Child Identity Protection (CIP) program helps prevent identity thieves from using the personal identifying information of Utah children in the issuance of credit. CIP provides Utah parents/guardians with a secure process to enroll a child's information with a national credit reporting company (TransUnion).
Upon receipt of an enrolled child's information via CIP, TransUnion will take certain proprietary fraud prevention steps, including but not limited to the entry of portions of that information into its High Risk Fraud database. Such information will remain in the High Risk Fraud database until the child's 17th birthday, at which time it will be removed.
Adults (those older than 17 years of age) seeking protection against identity theft may add a fraud alert or security freeze to their credit files by following the steps described below.
Order Your Free Credit Report
You are entitled to receive your credit report from each of the three national credit reporting agencies once per year, free of charge.
You may obtain your free annual credit report from each of the national credit reporting agencies by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com, by calling toll-free at 877-322-8228, or by mailing your request to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
Do not contact the three credit bureaus individually. They provide free annual credit reports only through the website or toll-free number.
When you receive your credit report(s), review them carefully. Look for any inaccurate information and contact the appropriate credit reporting agency to notify of any incorrect information, including accounts you did not open; requests for your credit report from anyone that you did not apply for credit with; or inaccuracies regarding your personal identifying information, such as your home address and Social Security number.
If you find anything that you do not understand or that is incorrect, contact the appropriate credit reporting agency using the contact information on the credit report as soon as possible so the information can be investigated, and if found to be in error, corrected.
Contact the Federal Trade Commission
If you detect any unauthorized transactions in your financial accounts, promptly notify your credit card company or financial institution. If you detect any incident of identity theft or fraud, promptly report the incident to your local law enforcement authorities, your state Attorney General, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
If you believe your identity has been stolen, the FTC recommends that you take these additional steps:
- Close the accounts that you have confirmed or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
- File a complaint with the FTC using the ID Theft Complaint Form (available at www.ftc.gov/idtheft). Your complaint will be added to the FTC’s Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse, where it will be accessible by law enforcement agencies for their investigations. Use the FTC’s ID Theft Affidavit (available at www.ftc.gov/idtheft) when filing a report with law enforcement or to address disputes with credit reporting agencies and creditors about identity theft related problems such as new unauthorized accounts.
- File a local police report. Obtain a copy of the police report and submit it to your creditors and any others that may require proof of the identity theft crime.
You can learn more about how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft by contacting the FTC:
Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Response Center
600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20580
Place a Fraud Alert on Your Credit File
You can add a fraud alert message to your credit report to help protect your credit information. Fraud alert messages notify potential credit grantors to verify your identification before extending credit in your name in case someone is using your information without your consent.
You can report potential identity theft to all three of the major credit bureaus by calling any one of the toll-free fraud numbers below. You will reach an automated telephone system that allows you to flag your file with a fraud alert at all three bureaus:
Equifax Information Services, LLC
PO Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30348-5069
PO Box 9532
Allen, TX 75013
Fraud Victim Assistance Division
PO Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
Place a Security Freeze on Your Credit File
You may wish to place a “security freeze” on your credit file. A security freeze simply means that new credit accounts will not be approved and your credit file cannot be accessed by anyone without your approval. Even if thieves have all of your personal identifying information, they still won’t be allowed to get credit in your name.
You can freeze your credit lines by contacting the nation's three credit bureaus. By freezing your credit, anytime you apply for a mortgage, car loan, credit card, department store account, or any other type of credit, you will have to confirm your identity and unlock your credit report.
You can request a security freeze by contacting all of the credit bureaus at:
PO Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348
PO Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
Fraud Victim Assistance Division
PO Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
The credit bureaus may charge a reasonable fee to place a freeze on your account, and may require that you provide proper identification prior to honoring your request.
For California Residents:
You can obtain additional information from the California Office of Privacy Protection (www.privacy.ca.gov) on protection against identity theft.
For Maryland and North Carolina Residents:
You can obtain information from your state’s Attorney General’s Office about steps you can take to help prevent identity theft.
You can contact the Maryland Attorney General at:
Maryland Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
200 St. Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202
You can contact the North Carolina Attorney General at:
North Carolina Attorney General’s Office
9001 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-9001
For Massachusetts Residents:
You may wish to file a police report and place a security freeze on your credit report as described below.
1. Police Report. You have the right to obtain any police report filed in regard to this incident and to file your own police report if you have been the victim of identity theft.
2. Security Freeze.
Massachusetts law permits you to place a security freeze on your credit reports. A security freeze prohibits, with certain exceptions, a consumer reporting agency from releasing any information from a consumer’s credit report without written authorization from the consumer. If a security freeze is in place, it means that your credit file may not be shared with potential creditors. While a security freeze can help prevent new account identity theft, it is important to note that it may also delay or prevent timely approval of any request you make for personal loans, mortgages or other services.
You can request a security freeze by contacting all of the consumer reporting agencies as described above under “Place a Security Freeze on Your Credit File.”
Each consumer reporting agency may charge a $5 fee to place, temporarily lift or remove a security freeze, unless you have been a victim of identity theft and you provide a copy of a valid police or investigative report concerning the identity theft to each consumer reporting agency.
In your written request for a security freeze, you must provide the following information to the consumer reporting agencies:
- Your full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
- Social Security Number;
- Date of birth;
- If you have moved in the past five years, supply the address where you have lived over the prior five years;
- Proof of current address (for example a utility bill);
- A legible photocopy of a government issued identification card (state driver’s license or ID card, military identification, etc.);
- If you are a victim of identity theft, include a copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft; and
- If you are not a victim of identity theft, include payment by check, money order, or credit card (Visa, Master Card, American Express, or Discover cards only).
The consumer reporting agencies must place the security freeze on your credit report within three (3) business days from receiving your letter. Each consumer reporting agency must also send you a confirmation letter containing a unique personal identification number (PIN) or password within five (5) business days.
You may request a temporary lift of the security freeze for a specified period of time or to allow a specific creditor to access your credit report by sending a written request to the consumer reporting agencies by mail that includes proper identification (e.g., name, address, social security number, date of birth), the PIN number or password provided to you when you placed the security freeze, as well as information as to whom or during what time period you want your credit report to be accessible. Similarly, you may remove the security freeze entirely by sending a written request to the consumer reporting agencies by mail that includes proper identification and the PIN number or password provided to you. For both a temporary lift and removal of the security freeze, the consumer reporting agencies have three (3) business days to implement your request.
Filing a Claim for Damages from the Data Breach
State Risk Management has created a document on their webpage that provides information on filing a claim for damages from the data breach.
For information on filing a claim, go to http://risk.utah.gov/documents/breach.pdf.