Friday, 27 May 2022

State attorney general calls on Californians to take important step to protect their personal information

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is reminding all Californians that the deadline to sign up for free credit monitoring is Wednesday, Jan. 31.

In September, Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies, announced that it had suffered a massive data breach, which affected 145 million Americans and over 15 million Californians.

According to Equifax, the breach lasted from mid-May through July, and compromised names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers.

“The Equifax data breach left millions of Californians’ personal information vulnerable. While the California Department of Justice continues to aggressively investigate this massive cybersecurity incident, we urge all consumers – both those who were victims of the breach and those who were not – to take advantage of the free credit monitoring that is available to them,” said Attorney General Becerra. “To enroll in free credit monitoring, Californians should visit . Anyone who experiences trouble signing up is encouraged to immediately file a report with my Office.”

As required by California law, consumers who were impacted by the Equifax breach are eligible for free credit monitoring. Equifax is also offering this service free of charge to consumers who were not impacted by the data breach.

The free credit monitoring product is a one-year subscription that includes credit file monitoring and alerts that report any suspicious activity on your credit report at all three credit bureaus. It also includes Social Security number monitoring, identity theft insurance, a copy of your Equifax credit report, and a free service to lock your credit report at Equifax.

Consumers are also encouraged to take the following steps to protect their personal information:

1. Consider placing a “freeze” on your credit file.

A security freeze prevents your information from being shared with potential creditors and is the strongest form of protection. A freeze costs a one-time fee of $10 (but may cost additional fees to lift or renew). You need to request a security freeze from each of the three reporting agencies. Equifax has waived the $10 fee, but the other two companies, TransUnion and Experian, have not. The Attorney General’s Office does not have the authority to require the companies to waive their fees.

Experian’s credit freeze:

TransUnion’s credit freeze:

Equifax’s credit freeze:

2. Put a fraud alert on your credit file.

A fraud alert helps protect you against the possibility of someone opening new credit accounts in your name. A fraud alert lasts 90 days and can be renewed.

To post a fraud alert on your credit file, you must contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies below. If you contact any one of the three major credit reporting agencies, fraud alerts will be automatically added by the other two agencies as well.

Experian 1-888-397-3742 

TransUnion 1-800-680-7289 

Equifax 1-888-766-0008 

3. Review your credit reports. Look through each one carefully.

Check your credit reports from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax — for free — by visiting Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft, especially accounts opened recently.

4. If you find items you don’t understand on your report, call the credit bureau at the number on the report.

Credit bureau staff will review your report with you. If the information can’t be explained, then you will need to call the creditors involved and report the crime to your local police or sheriff’s office. See the Identity Theft Victim Checklist:

Upcoming Calendar

05.28.2022 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Cobb Estate Sale
05.28.2022 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
12 Tribe yard sale and fundraiser
05.28.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Steele
05.28.2022 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Rodman Preserve public hours
05.28.2022 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Morning cemetery tour
05.28.2022 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Weekly writing workshop
05.29.2022 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Cobb Estate Sale
Memorial Day
05.30.2022 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Middletown Cemetery honors veterans

Mini Calendar



Responsible local journalism on the shores of Clear Lake.





Enter your email here to make sure you get the daily headlines.

You'll receive one daily headline email and breaking news alerts.
No spam.
Cookies! uses cookies for statistical information and to improve the site.