N.C. attorney general demands answers on Equifax breach

Equifax Inc.
This July 21, 2012, photo shows Equifax Inc., offices in Atlanta. Credit monitoring company Equifax says a breach exposed social security numbers and other data from about 143 million Americans. The Atlanta-based company said Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, that "criminals" exploited a U.S. website application to access files between mid-May and July of this year. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

GREENVILLE N.C. (WNCT) – More than half of all Americans are impacted by the latest Equifax breach.

These breaches led to more than 143 million people’s personal information to be exposed.

“I am extremely concerned about the Equifax data breach that exposed nearly 5 million North Carolinians’ personal data,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “My office has contacted Equifax to demand answers about how it will protect people and prevent future security issues.”

The Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina is urging you to monitor your credit.

Taking action after a breach like this can be crucial in protecting your identity.

The BBB says even before this breach more than 6 billion records have been stolen this year.

They said that now is the time to be looking at your bank statements and credit reports more often.

“I will work with my colleagues from other states to investigate this breach,” Stein said. “Data breaches are becoming all too common among these large companies, and I will continue to take them very seriously.”

Here’s what you can do to if you suspect your personal information has been compromised:

  • For the recent Equifax breach, check to see if your information was potentially exposed through a website set up by Experian
  • Consider freezing your credit reports. It will stop thieves from creating new fraudulent accounts under your name. Your existing credit cards and other accounts will not be impacted.
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit reports, as this provides an extra layer of protection and would make it difficult for an identity thief to open an account in your name Fraud alerts are free and stay on your report for 90 days.
  • Change your passwords. Strong passwords that are regularly changed are a must for account protection.