Suffolk County is warning residents that “personal information” has been accessed by hackers who attacked the county’s computer system two weeks ago, and is advising people to track their accounts and credit reports.
“While the cyber assessment remains ongoing, we believe that the threat actors accessed and/or acquired certain personal information from one or more County agency servers,” the county said on its temporary website.
The cyber intrusion was first spotted Sept. 8, leading to most Suffolk County phones, email and other electronic services getting knocked out.
The county advised the following:
What Can You Do?
Review Your Accounts and Credit Reports
You should regularly review statements from your accounts and periodically obtain your credit report from one or more of the national credit reporting companies. When you receive your credit report, look it over with care. If you notice anything suspicious – accounts you did not open, inquiries from creditors that you did not initiate, personal information such as a home address or Social Security number that is not accurate – or you see anything you do not understand, call the credit reporting agency at the number listed in the report. If you find fraudulent or suspicious activity in your credit reports, you should promptly report the matter to the proper law enforcement authorities.
Follow the steps recommended below for reporting fraudulent or suspicious activity.
Place a Fraud Alert on your Credit Files
If you are interested in protection against the possibility of identity theft, we recommend that you place a fraud alert on your credit files. A fraud alert conveys a special message to anyone requesting your credit report that you suspect that you may be a victim of fraud. When you or someone else attempts to open a credit account in your name, the lender should take measures to verify that you have authorized the request. A fraud alert should not stop you from using your existing credit cards or other accounts, but it may slow down your ability to get new credit. An initial fraud alert is valid for ninety (90) days. To place a fraud alert on your credit reports, contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies at the appropriate number listed below or via their website. One agency will notify the other two on your behalf. You will then receive letters from the agencies with instructions on how to obtain a free copy of your credit report from each.
- Equifax (888)766-0008 or www.fraudalert.equifax.com
- Experian (888) 397-3742 or www.experian.com
- TransUnion (800) 680-7289 or www.transunion.com
Place a Security Freeze on your Credit Reports
New York residents can also consider placing a Security Freeze on their credit reports. A Security Freeze prevents most potential creditors from viewing your credit reports and therefore, further restricts the opening of unauthorized accounts. For more information on placing a security freeze on your credit reports, please go to the New York Department of State Division of Consumer Protection website at https://dos.nysits.acsitefactory.com/consumer-protection.
Even if you do not find signs of fraud on your credit reports, we recommend that you remain vigilant in reviewing your credit reports from the three major credit reporting agencies. You may obtain a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com, calling toll-free 877-322-8228 or by completing an Annual Credit Request Form at: www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/credit/rights.shtm and mailing to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 1025281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5283
For more information on identity theft, you can visit the following websites:
- New York Department of State Division of Consumer Protection https://dos.nysits.acsitefactory.com/consumer-protection
- NYS Attorney General http://www.ag.ny.gov/home.html
- Federal Trade Commission www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/