At the beginning of October in response to the latest cyber attack on JPMorgan, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a statement explaining that the company was targeted in a massive cyberattack that affected millions of account holders and small businesses, therefore causing trouble for New Yorkers in general. He stated that all JPMorgan account holders are able to take a few basic precautions to protect themselves against identity theft and harm to their credit rating. Not only this, but he also provided a list of useful tips for those who may be a victim of the security breach.
- If you might be a victim, you should report it to any of these three credit agencies: Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian. Make sure to provide the credit agency with your current contact information so they can get in contact with you.
- Another step is to ask the credit reporting agencies to add your credit file to the fraud alert. Don’t worry; this will still allow you to use your credit card. When you put your credit file in the fraud alert, you are eligible to receive a free credit report from each of the credit reporting agencies. Your credit alert must be renewed every 3 months.
- You are also able to put a credit freeze on your credit file that will essentially block others from obtaining credit using your personal information. You won’t be able to apply for any new loans or credit cards, but you are still allowed to use your existing cards. There is no fee for those who have been a victim of identity theft, otherwise, you may be charged a fee of up to $5 if you have not been a victim. To freeze your credit file or remove the freeze temporarily/permanently, you may notify each of the three major credit agencies.
If you are a victim, you should:
- Create an Identify Theft Fraud Report. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and print your Identity Theft Affidavit, or call the FTC at. 1-877-438-4338. Use that to file a police report, creating your Identity Theft Report. An ITR can help you to deal with the credit reporting companies, debt collectors, and other fraudulent accounts that the identity thief made using your name.
- You should also put a freeze on your credit report (not only a fraud alert), notifying each of the agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian) where only you can remove the freeze. You are entitled to free reports once you put a freeze or post a fraud alert on your account.
- Always read the reports carefully to see whether other criminal transactions or accounts are listed, and then follow the steps to correct them. Check your credit card statements often to search for any new fraudulent activity.
All in all, the recent cyberattack at JPMorgan was extremely unfortunate for those involved. However, if you have been a victim of fraud on your account, the good news is that there is plenty of help available and lots of steps to take in order to avoid a similar situation occurring again.
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