Attorney General Mike DeWine issued a statement, on Monday, reminding Ohioans to monitor their accounts following at least two data breaches at retailers during the holiday shopping season.
DeWine also advised residents to take advantage of credit monitoring now being made available by
Target following its breach
The retailer has announced it is offering one year of
free credit monitoring
to all customers, not just those who had their information compromised.
â??Anyone who has been affected by a security breach should stay vigilant,â?? Attorney General DeWine said. â??Even if your information hasnâ??t been used, itâ??s important to monitor your accounts and to look for any suspicious activity.â??
DeWine has also offered several other recommendations for those who have been affected by the security breach:
- Check your credit card and debit card accounts regularly. Monitor your accounts to look for suspicious activity, such as charges you donâ??t remember making. If you find any errors, immediately notify your credit or debit card provider.
- Change your PIN numbers and passwords for any affected accounts.
- Watch for possible â??phishingâ?? scams designed to obtain additional personal or financial information. When a security breach is announced, scammers may create phony messages or websites to take advantage of consumers.
- Place an initial fraud alert on your credit report. Contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies â?? Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion â?? to place an initial fraud alert, which will stay on your credit report for 90 days. The alert is free of charge and will make it more difficult for someone to open credit in your name.
- Check your credit report. You are entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. You can pull all three at once, or you can stagger pulling your reports throughout the year.
Identity theft victims can also seek assistance through the Ohio Attorney Generalâ??s Identity Theft Unit by calling 800-282-0515.