A data security breach in May compromised the personal information of current and former Tesla employees, according to a news release from the Nevada attorney general’s office.
The information included employee names, phone numbers, physical addresses and email addresses, the Sept. 5 release said. According to Tesla, 7,409 current or former employees in Nevada were notified about the incident and about 75,000 current and former employees nationwide were affected.
The persons who took the information shared it directly with a German newspaper. Tesla has seen no evidence the information has been misused, the release said, and the newspaper has stated it will not publish the information.
Tesla is offering impacted employees 12 months of free enrollment in Experian’s IdentityWorks credit monitoring and identity detection service, and the notices issued to current and former employees contain instructions on how to enroll, the release said.
“Protecting your identity and credit is both a company and personal obligation,” Attorney General Aaron Ford said in the release. “I want to inform everyone impacted by this incident that they have an opportunity to take advantage of complimentary services offered by Tesla, in addition to proactively taking additional safeguards. Anyone who is concerned about the status of their credit should take steps to ensure it is protected.”
The AG’s office said consumers should:
• Regularly monitor your credit report. Each of the three major credit reporting bureaus — Experian, TransUnion and Equifax — must annually provide one free credit report. By rotating through the three companies, consumers can obtain a free credit report every four months by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com and following the instructions.
• Place a temporary fraud alert on your credit report. If a business checks your credit report and sees a fraud alert, the business is on notice that you may be a victim of identity theft and may take actions to verify your identity before extending credit to you, or anyone claiming to be you. A fraud alert is valid for 90 days and can be renewed. Consumers only need to request a fraud alert with one of the credit reporting bureaus, and it will inform the others.
• Consider placing a security freeze on your credit. When you place a security freeze, creditors cannot see your file and thus are less likely to open a new account in your name and extend credit to you, or someone claiming to be you. However, you may need to temporarily lift the security freeze if you are planning to obtain a loan, apply for employment or sign a new lease.
The Federal Trade Commission has published additional guidance on when consumers should consider credit freezes and fraud alerts: https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/what-know-about-credit-freezes-fraud-alerts.