Ohio AG DeWine ‘aggressively monitoring’ Equifax data breach

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Ohio AG DeWine ‘aggressively monitoring’ Equifax data breach

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Mike DeWine

While Massachusetts filed suit against Equifax over its massive data breach, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is “aggressively monitoring” the situation and offering tips to consumers on how to protect themselves.

“Our office cannot confirm or deny consumer protection investigations of this nature unless litigation is filed. Because we cannot comment on those lines, I can only note we are aggressively monitoring this matter,” said DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney.

Massachusetts became the first state to sue when Attorney General Maura Healey filed a lawsuit against the credit reporting company this week. Other states are considering filing suits as well.

Equifax disclosed earlier this month that hackers accessed personal data on as many as 143 million Americans, including roughly 5 million Ohioans. The breach occurred from mid-May to late July 2017, according to Equifax.

DeWine said consumers should take the following steps to protect themselves:

• Check your credit report for potential signs of identity theft.

• Place an initial fraud alert on your credit report by contacting Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — the three major credit reporting agencies.

• Consider putting a security freeze on your credit report to block unauthorized accounts being opened in your name.

• Monitor your bank accounts for suspicious activity.

• File your taxes early to cut down on the chances someone will fraudulently file on your behalf.

Additionally, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown says he’s pushing a bill that would give Americans 10 years of free credit monitoring services. And he is advocating that the Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission investigate the breach, as well as Equifax’s delay in disclosure.

“I will continue to hold Equifax and other companies that compromise our information accountable, and to make sure Ohioans have the resources they need to ensure their financial lives aren’t ruined by corporations’ carelessness,” Brown said in a written statement.

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