Even non-customers may have had personal information compromised
DES MOINES — Attorney General Tom Miller urges all Iowans who believe they were affected by the data breach announced by T-Mobile in August 2021 to take appropriate steps to protect their information from identity theft.
On August 17, T-Mobile reported a massive data breach compromising the sensitive personal information of millions of current, former, and prospective T-Mobile customers. The breach affected more than 53 million individuals, including 134,999 Iowa residents. Among other categories of affected information, millions had their names, dates of birth, Social Security Numbers, and driver’s license information compromised.
Recently, a large subset of the information compromised in the breach was for sale on the dark web — a hidden portion of the Internet where cyber criminals buy, sell, and track personal information. Many individuals have since received alerts through various identity theft protection services informing them that their information was found online in connection with the breach, confirming that affected individuals are at heightened risk for identity theft.
"It has been nearly seven months since T-Mobile's latest data breach came to light. Affected Iowans are now receiving notice of this breach, even those who are not actual T-Mobile customers,” Miller said. “It is important that every Iowan who receives a notice of this breach take the steps to protect themselves.”
Iowa is participating in a multistate coalition of attorneys general investigating the breach and whether T-Mobile had appropriate safeguards in place to protect personal information.
Attorney General Miller urges anyone who believes they were affected by the T-Mobile breach to take the following steps to protect themselves:
Monitor your credit. Credit monitoring services track your credit report and alert you whenever a change is made, such as a new account or a large purchase. Most services will notify you within 24 hours of any change to your credit report.
Consider placing a free credit freeze on your credit report. Identity thieves will not be able to open a new credit account in your name while the freeze is in place. You can place a credit freeze by contacting each of the three major credit bureaus:
Equifax | +1 (888) 766-0008
Experian | +1 (888) 397-3742
TransUnion | +1 (800) 680-7289
Place a fraud alert on your credit report. A fraud alert tells lenders and creditors to take extra steps to verify your identity before issuing credit. You can place a fraud alert by contacting any one of the three major credit bureaus.
Additional Resources. If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, go to identitytheft.gov for assistance on how to report it and recover from it.
You can also contact the Iowa Attorney General’s office or file a complaint with our Consumer Protection Division. To file a complaint, go here or call 515-281-5926 (in the Des Moines area) or 888-777-4590 (outside the metro area).