About 1.1 million Iowans are affected by a major data breach of credit reporting company Equifax, the state’s attorney general said this week.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said his office has opened an investigation into the company. Data from 1,099,125 Iowans — including Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, for some, credit card numbers — was exposed in the breach, he said.
Miller called the breach “astonishing” in a news release.
“Unfortunately, a criminal who gets a hold of this kind of personal information really hits the identity theft jackpot, and I’m concerned about the potential long-term impact this could have on countless consumers here in Iowa and across the country,” Miller said.
One of the three major credit rating agencies, Equifax disclosed the breach last Thursday and said it occurred from mid-May through July. The company said information for about 143 million customers was affected.
Equifax has data on more than 820 million consumers and 91 million businesses across the world, Reuters reported.
Consumers who are worried about their data need to monitor their credit reports, available free once a year each from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. They also should monitor their credit and debit card accounts for unauthorized transactions.
Miller also warned Iowans to be aware of breach-related scams. They should be wary of unsolicited calls or email that say they are related to the breach and that ask to confirm or enter personal information.
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Iowans also can visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, a website Equifax established to allow consumers to check if they’re affected. The site does require users to enter their last name and the last six digits of their Social Security number — information the company already would have for its customers.
Equifax has said it will waive its normal arbitration clause for the breach.
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