15 Million T-Mobile Customers Hacked—Here's How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
T-Mobile's credit-checking system was recently hacked, and this one is about as bad as it gets. The names of 15 million customers, their date of birth and social security number, as well as driver's license numbers and additional information was illegally accessed, meaning the potential for identity theft here is huge.
The hack was a breach of credit company Experian's security, but only the server that contained data about T-Mobile's customers was accessed. This means that if you applied for service or device financing through T-Mobile at any point between November 2013 and September 16, 2015, you are now highly susceptible to identity theft.
T-Mobile uses Experian to run credit checks on its potential customers, so any time you apply for post-paid cell service or finance a phone through the magenta carrier, the personal information you provide on the application is sent over to Experian to verify your credit background.
On September 16th, 2015, hackers breached one of Experian's servers, which just so happened to be the one that hosted all of T-Mobile's data from November 2013 onward. The data was encrypted, but Experian has reason to believe that the encryption was breached as well.
With this raw data in hand—which ranges from names to social security numbers—the hackers now have a valuable commodity that any identity theft ring would pay good money for. If the right people get a hold of this information, they can do serious damage to your credit score.
While T-Mo's outspoken CEO, John Legere, has stated just how serious he is to get to the bottom of this breach, vigilance is key when it comes to potential identity theft. Aside from keeping an eye out on your bank accounts for any suspicious activity, you should also be aware of any attempts to apply for credit or financing using your name and social security number.
To aid with tracking all credit agencies for suspicious activity, T-Mobile and Experian have partnered up to offer a free 2-year credit monitoring service to any customer who was potentially affected by this hack. So if you applied for service or financing with T-Mobile at any point during the last two years, be absolutely certain to click the following link:
Once you've signed up for the service, your credit will be monitored daily, and you'll be notified of any suspicious activity. In addition to that, you'll receive free fraud protection insurance for up to 1 million dollars.