Advice You Need to Know if You’re a Victim of a Data Breach

  
     
March 23, 2017

In light of a data breach that may have impacted more than 430,000 residents, Better Business Bureau® of Central Oklahoma is offering advice to those concerned that their personal identifying information (PII) may have been compromised.

 

“PII includes name, address, Social Security number, date of birth, and other information that can be used for identity theft,” said Kitt Letcher, president and CEO of BBB.   “An initial breach might not be the only way in which scammers would try to steal your identity.  In fact, this might be the first stage of an ongoing scam targeting Oklahomans.”

 

Letcher explained that when a data breach happens, companies often set up separate websites with information for customers, but BBB recommends that consumers always go to a company’s main website first and follow links from there. Scammers often take advantage of data breaches and subsequent confusion to set up spoof websites and send phishing emails.

 

“We know that American Job Link Alliance, the information technology provider impacted by the breach, is directing users who think their information may have been compromised to contact them via email at AJLAincidentresponse@AJLA.net,” Letcher said.

 

BBB offered the following tips for those concerned that their PII has been stolen (also available at bbb.org/breach):

  • Do not take a “wait and see” approach as you may have done with breaches involving credit card data. You must act quickly. Breaches involving Social Security numbers have the potential to be far more detrimental to victims, and the damage can be difficult to repair.
  • Consider taking a preemptive strike by freezing your credit reports. This will not impact existing credit cards and financial accounts, but will create a roadblock for thieves seeking to create fraudulent accounts using your personal information.
  • At a minimum, if you know your Social Security number has been compromised, place a fraud alert on your credit reports. While less effective than a freeze, this will provide an extra layer of protection.
  • Take advantage of any free credit monitoring services being offered by the company to breach victims. While this is not a preventative measure, this will alert you to new accounts or inquiries using your Social Security number so that you can act quickly to repair the damage.
  • Whether you are a victim or not, it is essential to get your free credit report once a year courtesy of the Federal trade Commission by going to annualcreditreport.com or calling 877-322-8228.
  • For more information and complete step-by-step guidance on repairing the damage caused by identity theft, visit the FTC’s identity theft resources.
  • Contact BBB with any concerns or questions at (405) 239-6081 or by email at info@oklahomacity.bbb.org.

 

BBB also offered this advice for any business or entity that collects consumer’s personal identifying information:

  • Make sure you protect your data. If a data breach can happen to a major retailer or data center with significant data security measures in place, it can happen to anyone.
  • Check out BBB’s online guide Data Security – Made Simpler for free information on how to create a data security plan.

 

BBB also took the opportunity to remind the public about its upcoming Secure Your ID Day event.  Saturday, April 22nd in communities across North America BBB hosts Secure Your ID Day.   A key feature of the event is FREE on-site document shredding, plus tips to protect your identity – online and off.  BBB of Central Oklahoma, in partnership with Absolute Data Shredding, will host the local event at their Film Row Offices off of California and Dewey from 10AM – 1PM.  More information and resources are available at bbb.org/oklahomacity/syid including a records retention schedule and other information to help protect your identity