Thousands of Iowans may’ve had their personal information compromised after a hacker accessed data from Nationwide and Allied Insurance. Geoff Greenwood with the Attorney General’s office, says information from over 91-thousand Iowans is involved.
“We don’t know exactly what happened, or how it happened or who did it. But Nationwide confirms that someone hacked into its system October third and took a very large amount of personal data. This affects more than a million people nationally,” Greenwood says.
Greenwood says the company has been sending out letters to warn those who may’ve had their information stolen. He says there is some confusion, because you don’t have to be a policy holder to be in the database. Your information could be there if you had been looking around for the best deal on insurance.
“They may have elicited a quote from the company, or they may have had a third party shop around on their behalf for a quote. They may not even know that that third party went to Nationwide and provided them with that personal information,” Greenwood explains.
The information could include a person’s name, Social Security number, driver’s license number, date of birth, marital status, occupation and employer’s address. You may have nothing to worry about even if you get a letter from the company. “The information has been compromised, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s been used. The company indicates to us at least, that it is not aware of any instance where the person has used that information illegally, or used it at all. But the fact of the matter is, it has been exposed,” Greenwood says.
There is help available if you have concerns. “The company has set up a toll-free hotline. That number is 1-800-760-1125,” Greenwood explains. “The company has indicated that it’s providing free credit report monitoring and identity theft protection services for anyone on that list for a year.”
Greenwood says anyone who gets a letter from the company should keep a close eye on their finances. “They should look at their credit card bills, they should a copy of their credit report and make sure there are no unauthorized charges on your credit card. Make sure there are no unauthorized credit cards that have been opened,” according to Greenwood.
“Anything suspicious you need to report that immediately, make sure that the credit agencies understand what has occurred.” Everyone is allowed a free annual credit report from each of the three major credit-reporting agencies, regardless of whether they have been identity theft victims.
Call 1-877-322-8228 or request one online at: www.annualcreditreport.com.