After OMV data breach, state recommending residents take additional steps to protect themselves
BATON ROUGE - Nearly a week after state officials first alerted residents to a massive data breach impacting everyone with a Louisiana driver's license, the governor's office is recommending people take more steps to protect their identities.
The state has also published a series of commonly asked questions along with answers to those questions. Read them here.
Read the latest statement from GOHSEP below.
The State of Louisiana takes the security of its citizens' data very seriously. Therefore, all citizens are strongly encouraged to review the list of FREE steps that can be taken to mitigate the risk of identity theft. Please carefully read the steps below.
Step 1. Freeze Your Credit
You can freeze and unfreeze your credit for free, which stops others from opening new accounts and borrowing money in your name. Freezing your credit does not prevent the use of any existing credit cards or bank accounts. If you need to apply for a new loan, account, or credit card, simply unfreeze your credit temporarily to allow the financial institution to receive your credit report. Freezing your credit does not impact your credit score and may be done quickly online or by contacting the three major credit bureaus by phone:
Please also request and review your credit report from these agencies to look for suspicious activity. If you notice any suspicious activity, immediately contact the credit agencies and the specific organization reporting that activity to report the suspected fraud.
Step 2. Change All Passwords
As an additional precaution, consider changing all passwords for online accounts (examples: banking, social media, and healthcare portals) in the event your personal data was used to access these accounts. Utilize multi-factor authentication when able. Learn more about password protection at www.CISA.gov.
Step 3. Protect Your Tax Refund and Returns with the Internal Revenue Service
To prevent someone else from filing returns or receiving your federal tax refund, request an “Identity Protection Pin” from the Internal Revenue Service by signing up at: https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams/get-an-identity-protection-pin or calling the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.
Step 4. Check your Social Security Benefits
All individuals who are eligible, applied for, and/or are receiving social security benefits (including disability), please consider registering for a ssa.gov account at https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/ to stop others from stealing your benefits. If you suspect Social Security fraud, call the Office of Inspector General hotline at 1-800-269-0271, Social Security Administration at 1 (800) 772-1213, or file a complaint online at oig.ssa.gov.
Step 5. Report Suspected Identity Theft
If you suspect any abnormal activity involving your data, including financial information, contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP or visit www.ReportFraud.FTC.gov immediately. Please also consider the following proactive measures:
- Contact the financial institution reporting abnormal activity and advise it that any such activity was fraudulently conducted without your consent.
- File a police report with your local law enforcement agency.
- File a complaint with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Internet Crime Complaint Center (“IC3”) at www.ic3.gov.
- Complete and submit a Form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit with the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service (found online here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f14039.pdf).
- Report fraud to the Social Security Administration through the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or submit a report online at https://oig.ssa.gov/.
- Review signs of a scam online at https://www.ssa.gov/scam/.
Step 6. Monitoring Additional Government Benefits
Please note that many cyber criminals use stolen personal identifying information to apply for government benefits. While the state is unaware of any incident affecting the agencies below, please remain vigilant for letters or communications that you receive from the following agencies regarding recent and/or denied applications for benefits (unless legitimately applying for such benefits), as this can be a sign of fraudulent activity and contact them with questions or concerns:
- The Small Business Association (“SBA”): SBA fraud may be reported via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Office of the Inspector General via written correspondence at 409 3rd Street, SW, Suite 7150, Washington, DC 20416.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”): FEMA may be contacted at StopFEMAFraud@fema.dhs.gov or 1-866-720-5721.
- The Louisiana Workforce Commission at www.Laworks.net and other state Unemployment Benefits Offices — a list of which may be found through the Department of Labor at: https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/unemployment-insurance.
Cybersecurity incidents impacting personal identifying information are becoming more frequent in modern society. Therefore, and even if no unusual activity was found on your credit report, please continue to monitor your credit report regularly.
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