Tester, Fox Defend More than 367,000 Montanans Impacted by Equifax Data Breach

Senator and Attorney General Outline Ways for Montanans to Protect their Identities

(Helena, Mont.)-U.S. Senator Jon Tester and Montana Attorney General Tim Fox are teaming up to roll out consumer protection tips for Montanans who may have had their data compromised in the Equifax breach.

Tester, a senior member of the Senate Banking Committee, and Fox, whose agency includes Montana’s Office of Consumer Protection, outlined how to determine if personal data may have been compromised, how to monitor for fraud, and what to do if consumers believe they are victims of fraud.

“We need to hold Equifax accountable for this data breach and find out just what they knew and when-if needed, heads should roll,” Tester said. “In the meantime, Montanans need to be prepared to protect their identities, monitor their credit, and prevent fraud.”

“Equifax could have prevented the personal information of 143 million Americans, including more than 367,000 Montanans, from being breached by installing a security patch to its web application. That they did not is inexcusable,” Fox said. “Montana consumers impacted by this massive data breach deserve answers and assistance moving forward.”

At a news conference today in Helena, Tester and Fox’s Consumer Protection Chief Mark Mattioli provided instructions for Montanans on how to protect themselves in the wake of the Equifax breach:

A good offense is the best defense

  • Monitor your credit reports
  • Monitor your mail
  • Monitor your bank accounts

What should I do if I’m a victim?

  • Report any fraudulent activity
  • Request an extended fraud alert
  • Implement a credit/security freeze

Earlier this month, Tester demanded the CEO of Equifax testify before the Banking Committee. Tester is also urging the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate why Equifax executives dumped more than $1.5 million in stock prior to the breach announcement.

Fox has joined a multi-state investigation with other attorneys general to learn more about the circumstances that led to the breach, the reasons for the months-long delay between the breach and the company’s public disclosure, what protections the company had in place at the time of the breach, and how Equifax intends to protect consumers impacted by the breach.

To download a fact sheet about what to do if you think you’ve been impacted by the breach, click HERE.