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Recent revelations of lost and stolen records have brought renewed scrutiny on the security of personal information. This page is designed to give at-risk Oregonians the resources they need to help prevent or recover from identity theft.
I believe consumers should be given convenient ways to make choices about how their personal information is treated. I authored one of the first bills in Congress to propose privacy safeguards with respect to the collection and use of personal information by commercial websites. Please be assured that I am working hard to ensure that consumer information is protected.
On May 3, an electronic data file with 26.5 million veterans’ personal information was stolen from the home of a Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) employee. The VA will be sending out individual notification letters to the addresses of veterans affected by the loss of their information. Further information is available on the VA’s website. For the most recent information or to register for emails with the latest updates on the VA data security situation, visit FirstGov.gov.
The Department of Veterans Affairs strongly recommends that veterans closely monitor their financial statements and review the guidelines provided on the FirstGov.gov webpage. The VA has also set up a manned call center that veterans may call to get information about this situation and to learn more about consumer identity protections. Concerned veterans may call 1-800-FED-INFO (1-800-333-4636). The call center will operate from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific time, Monday through Saturday as long as it is needed.
If you feel that your personal information has been compromised and you are at greater risk of identity theft, you may wish to request a free credit report from the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You may request these online at www.AnnualCreditReport.com, or you may call 1-877-322-8228 to request them by telephone.
You should look for suspicious activity on any of your reports. Additionally, you should monitor all of your bills to ensure that they do not show transactions that you never made or accounts that you never opened.
If you do feel there is a problem with any of your accounts, the Federal Trade Commission recommends the following four steps if you detect suspicious activity:
What to do if you detect you are an identity theft victim
Step 1 – Contact the fraud department of one of the three major credit bureaus: