News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Steps to take to protect your credit after DMV date breach

 The Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicles department has confirmed that cyber criminals have copied information on an estimated 3.5 million Oregon driver’s licenses and identification card holders as part of the global MOVEit Transfer attack.

That’s bad news because your driver’s license contains plenty of information about you, including your birthdate, home address and even your height, weight, and eye color, according to the state Attorney General’s Office. Scammers can use some of this information to steal your identity and apply for credit cards, loans, and unemployment benefits in your name.

“Learning that personal information most Oregonians gave to their government has been exposed in a data breach is highly distressing,” said Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.

“While the state works to identify who was impacted and what data was exposed, please follow these recommendations to stay safe.”

If you have an Oregon driver’s license or ID card, here’s what you should do:

Order copies of your free credit reports and review them for inaccuracies.

You are entitled to a free copy of each of your three credit reports, one each maintained by the national credit bureaus of Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, each year. You can get these reports from http:// www.AnnualCreditReport.com.

These reports list your personal information, any recent bankruptcy declarations or foreclosures, and your open credit card and loan accounts, including how much you owe on each of these accounts.

If you notice loans or credit accounts on your reports that you know you never opened on your own, you know someone is using your personal information to steal your identity.

Fortunately, even if thieves have already opened accounts in your name, you can take action to stop future damage.

You should notify the banks or financial institutions behind the credit card or loan accounts opened fraudulently in your name. Explain to these institutions that you did not apply for these accounts or loans and that you are a victim of identity theft. The financial institutions will close these accounts. If you act quickly, you likely will not be responsible for charges made on fraudulent credit cards you didn’t apply for, and you may not have to pay back loans that thieves took out in your name.If you receive notices from the Oregon Employment Department about benefits you’ve never applied for, contact them as soon as possible.

Visit unemployment.oregon.gov and click on “ID Theft” to fill out an ID Theft Reporting Form.

• Set up a profile change alert if you use mobile or online banking tools.

• If your personal information on your bank’s website or app changes without your authorization, that is typically a sign of identity theft.

• To stay safe, set up a profile change alert through your bank’s website or app. The alert can warn you when there’s been a change to your login information.

• If you have been a victim of identity theft, report it immediately.

If you suspect that a criminal has used your driver’s license information to steal your identity, make a report online at IdentityTheft.gov.

For more information about identify theft, visit the Oregon Department of Justice online at https://www.doj.state.or.us/consumer-protection/id-theft-data-breaches/identity-theft/ or call the Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392.

Consider freezing your credit. A credit freeze prevents creditors – such as banks or lenders – from accessing your credit reports. This will stop identity thieves from taking out new loans or credit cards in your name because creditors won’t approve their loan or credit requests if they can’t first access your credit reports.

You will have to freeze your credit with each bureau: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

When you freeze your credit with each bureau, it will send you a personal identification number. You can then use that PIN to unfreeze your credit if you want to apply for a loan or credit card. You can also use the PIN to freeze your credit again after you’ve applied for loans or a new credit card.

If you have been a victim of identity theft, place a one-year fraud alert on your credit reports.

This alert tells creditors that they must take reasonable steps to verify that it is actually you who is applying for credit or loans in your name.

To do this, you only need to contact one of the three national credit bureaus. That bureau must then inform the other bureaus of your fraud alert.

– from the Linn County Reporter

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