How you may be affected by AT&T breach

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A Better Call 4 alert for AT&T customers, past and present: The sensitive information of millions of people has appeared on the dark web.

The company announced that “AT&T data-specific fields were contained in a data set released” sometime in March.

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While it’s still investigating how it happened, AT&T said the data set appeared to be from 2019 or earlier, impacts about 7.6 million current account holders and 65.4 million former account holders, and included sensitive information such as names, home addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers, along with customer account passcodes.

As a “proactive” response, AT&T reset the passcodes of current users and said it is actively contacting all customers. It’s also offering credit monitoring where applicable.

“You know, scams are designed to steal your money. And with identity theft, they’re designed to steal your identity and later steal your money,” said Judy Dollison, president of the Better Business Bureau of Central Ohio.

Better Call 4 spoke with Dollison last month about data privacy and the risk of identity theft when that privacy is breached. And while AT&T said affected customers can expect to hear from the company directly, Dollison said cybercriminals may be quietly taking advantage of your personal information.

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“Often times, it’s a longterm process,” Dollison said. “So, you don’t even know that they’ve had access to your information and that they’ve started taking out credit in your name until a lot of damage has been done. So, really, you want to stay vigilant and monitor your accounts on a regular basis. Look at your credit card statements and make sure there’s no charges that don’t sound right to you, you don’t recognize the name… know when your bills are due. Sometimes, if someone has stolen your identity, they may have changed your address, because they don’t want your credit card bill going to you.”

And check your credit reports.

“You can access your credit reports annually, for no charge,” Dollison said. “So, it’s a good annual review, just to make sure there’s been no additional accounts set up in your name.”

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AT&T also said it “launched a robust investigation” with internal and external cybersecurity experts to investigate the situation further.

You can see the company’s full response here.

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