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Calling all T-Mobile customers, your mobile carrier has announced a data breach which might impact you. In a letter posted on their website, T-Mobile said: “Our Cybersecurity team discovered and shut down malicious, unauthorized access to some information related to your T-Mobile prepaid wireless account. We promptly reported this to authorities. None of your financial data (including credit card information) or social security numbers was involved, and no passwords were compromised.”

Compromised information includes consumers’ name, phone number, account number, and billing address. T-Mobile apologized to customers and said they take the security of your information seriously. The company said it is notifying those affected. If you have not been notified, you likely are not impacted by what happened.

This is the fourth data breach the “un-carrier” has had in the past few years. Other breaches occurred in March 2020, and in 2019 and in 2018. According to T-Mobile this latest incident affected a “small number of customers (less than 0.2%).”

A data breach is the unauthorized acquisition or use of sensitive personal information that creates a substantial risk of identity theft or fraud. Data breaches can be the result of criminal cyber-activity, such as hacking or ransomware, or because of employee error, such as emailing information to the wrong person.

If a company you do business with has had a data breach, and you have reason to believe that your personal information has been compromised, there are steps you can take to protect yourself:

  1. Run a credit check with all three of the credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. www.annualcreditreport.com. Read through each report to make sure that all of the information that is listed is correct: name, address, date of birth, lines of credit.
  1. Check your financial statements to make sure that all transactions were authorized by you.
  1. Consider engaging a credit monitoring service (if your social security number has been compromised you are legally entitled to 18 months of free credit monitoring services).
  1. Review the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Consumer’s Check List for Handling Identity Theft: www.mass.gov/doc/a-consumers-checklist-for-handling-identity-theft-0/download.

If you are a T-Mobile customer, you can find more information about the data breach here: www.t-mobile.com/customers/6305378822.

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