With only your email address, login credentials and telephone number, cybercriminals can torch your life. They can use this data to break into your financial accounts, snatch your cash, steal your identity and even commit crimes in your name.
Bottom line: Data breaches are no joke. Often, they are the first step in a dangerous criminal campaign to destroy your digital safety and steal your identity. Tap or click here to avoid the six biggest mistakes that put you at risk for identity theft.
That’s why T-Mobile is investigating an alarming forum post that claimed to sell users’ personal data. A user claimed to be selling over 100 million people’s personal data. Everything, from Social Security numbers and driver licenses, is up for grabs, the post claims.
T-Mobile hasn’t confirmed the data breach … yet
Vice first reported the potential data breach on Sunday, although it didn’t detail the underground forum. Reporters say the seller wants around $270,000 worth of Bitcoin for part of the data, with 30 million driver’s licenses and SSNs.
Apparently, the person is “privately” selling the rest of the data. If this is true, it has frightening implications. Vice also said that the amount of stolen data includes a ton of highly sensitive information, including:
- Full names
- Driver’s license information
- IMEI numbers (Not sure what that means? Your IMEI number is the unique 15-digit serial number that identifies your phone)
- Social Security Numbers
Imagine the havoc a bad actor could wreak over your life with this information. T-Mobile customers should keep a close eye on the news in the next few days to find out if they’re at risk or not. We’ll be especially attentive since — full disclosure — T-Mobile is a sponsor of Kim’s national radio show.
Or, if you’re too busy, you can check out the free cybersecurity tool HaveIBeenPwned. This website checks your email address against one of the internet’s biggest security breach databases to see if you’ve been involved in any recent hacks. Tap or click here to see how it works.
If it’s proven to be real, don’t panic. Here’s what to do
There are few things scarier than finding out your personal data is at risk. Knowing that strangers could crawl all over your private accounts like spiders is pretty terrifying. But instead of panicking, you should take a deep breath and build a game plan.
If your identity does get stolen, there are a few specific steps you need to take immediately.
- Contact your affected financial institution to freeze or cancel the account. If the issue is widespread, consider canceling other accounts that have not yet been impacted.
- Comb through your financial statements to find every instance of fraud.
- Check your credit reports to see if any other new accounts have been opened in your name.
- Report any isntances of identity theft to IdentityTheft.gov.
- If your Social Security number has been compromised, contact the IRS and Social Security Administration to make sure your tax return and Social Security benefits are not affected.
- File a police report, as that will be helpful when working with credit reporting agencies in trying to restore your identity.