Victims Can Minimize Effect of Data Theft


Thieves try to use the stolen data as quickly as possible to:

  • Sell the information to other criminals
  • Withdraw money from a bank account
  • Make credit card purchases
  • File a fraudulent tax return for a refund using victims’ names

Victims should:

  • Determine what information the thieves compromised
  • Take advantage of credit monitoring service when offered by the affected organization
  • Place a freeze on credit accounts. At a minimum, victims should place a fraud alert on their credit accounts by contacting one of the three major credit bureaus. A fraud alert isn’t as secure as a freeze, but it’s free.
  • Reset passwords on online accounts. Use different passwords for each account. Experts recommend at least 10-digit passwords, mixing letter, numbers and special characters.
  • Use multi-factor authentication

All taxpayers should keep a copy of their tax return. Taxpayers may need their Adjusted Gross Income amount from their prior year tax return to verify their identity.