Nearly half of Tennessee residents were affected by the Equifax data breach, according to state Attorney General Herbert Slatery.
Slatery has written a letter to the Atlanta-based credit reporting firm to express concern about personal information being stolen, making consumers vulnerable to identity theft and financial loss. His said in his letter Tuesday he was adding his voice to that of 44 other attorneys general.
A news release from Slatery’s office said the personal information of more than 3 million Tennesseans has been stolen. The state has a population of 6.65 million.
“It is distressing that this massive breach leaves consumers exposed to financial and other harm,” Slatery said. “Consumers need to be vigilant about regularly monitoring their financial accounts and credit reports, and Equifax must actively assist consumers in those efforts.”
In his letter, Slatery advised the company of the frustration that many consumers are experiencing when they contact Equifax and face long wait times and interactions with uninformed employees.
He also advised Equifax not to create confusion for consumers who might think they have to pay for credit monitoring when it is now being offered for free. He said the cutoff date for people to sign up for the free services should be extended from Nov. 21 to at least Jan. 31.
In addition, Slatery urged Equifax to advise consumers of scams in which people taking advantage of the crisis are impersonating Equifax employees and asking for personal information and money.
Around 143 million people nationwide were exposed when hackers earlier this year accessed files that were supposed to be protected. Equifax announced the breach Sept. 7.
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Read Slatery’s entire letter: