LINCOLN – Credit reporting bureau Experian recently reported that an unauthorized party gained access to a database that contained personal information of an estimated 15 million T-Mobile customers and potential customers, including 4,790 Nebraskans. The compromised data was used by T-Mobile in connection with credit checks of individuals who applied for T-Mobile services from September 1, 2013 through September 16, 2015. The data included name, address, birthdate, Social Security numbers, other ID numbers (such as driver’s license, military ID, or passport numbers), and additional information used in T-Mobile’s credit assessment. Experian’s consumer credit database was not accessed in this incident.
Experian has provided a FAQ page with additional information about the breach.
Because the information accessed could be used for identify theft, Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson offers consumers the following tips to protect themselves.
- Consider placing a fraud alert on your credit report. The fraud alert informs creditors of possible fraudulent activity within your report and requests that your creditor contact you prior to establishing any accounts in your name. You may place a fraud alert by contacting any one of the three agencies, who will then inform the other two of the alert. Click here for the contact information of the credit bureaus and additional information on fraud alerts.
- Consider placing a security freeze on your credit report with all three credit bureaus. A security freeze restricts all credit access to your account. This will prevent identity thieves from applying for credit in your name without you knowing about it. Click here for additional information about security freezes.
- Monitor your credit report for any suspicious activity. By law, you are entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three credit bureaus. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to receive your credit report.
- Take advantage of the free credit monitoring and identity resolution services being offered by Experian to all affected consumers. Visit the Experian FAQ page for additional details of how to sign up. Be aware that credit monitoring only alerts consumers to fraud after the fact. The deadline to enroll is April 30, 2016.
If you need assistance or additional information on protecting your identity, or would like to file a complaint, please contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office at ago.nebraska.gov or 800-727-6432.