Experian credit bureau reports data breach, T-Mobile customer info accessed

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UPDATE: If you’d prefer to not use the Protect My ID credit monitoring service, which is a part of Experian, John Legere says that there will be another option “by tomorrow.”

 

One of the big features of T-Mobile are its installment plans and JUMP! On Demand program, which let you pay as little as $0 down for a new device. Unfortunately, one of the credit services that T-Mo uses to process check applications for those programs has had a data breach.

Experian says that on September 15, an unauthorized party accessed T-Mobile data that was stored in one of its servers. During this incident, records that hold names, address, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, ID numbers — like those on a driver’s license or passport — and other info used in T-Mobile’s credit assessment was accessed. It’s said that the records of approximately 15 million people were accessed. The info stored in this server was gathered between September 1, 2013, and September 16, 2015. Experian does say that no bank or credit information was accessed in the breach.

Right now both Experian and T-Mobile are investigating the situation and taking steps to protect the affected consumers. If you think that you may have data that was accessed, you can sign up for two years of free credit monitoring and identity resolution services right here.

Experian says that it’s taken “aggressive steps” to improve the protection of their system and T-Mobile user data. However, John Legere does say that T-Mo will conduct a “thorough review” of its relationship with Experian.

Again, if you had your credit check by T-Mobile between September 1, 2013, and September 16, 2015, you may be affected by this breach. Hit this link to sign up for two years of credit monitoring and identity resolution services.

Thanks, Austin!

Sources: T-Mobile, Experian

Tags: , ,

  • Hurlamania

    no link for free credit monitoring

  • 21stNow

    Whew, I haven’t used EIP since long before then.

  • David

    f***, that’s not good. people can apply new credit cards with my name address, social and date of birth. A lot of people signed up for T-Mobile during the past 2 years.

    • AJ2

      Sign up for the free monitoring. Sadly it’s a regular occurrence in the US these days

      • steven berson

        We are so obsessed with profit we don’t invest in security because the return is $0. Now these companies are forking millions in damages. Hope these incidents opens there eyes!

    • TrippleJay16

      put a credit freeze on your reports as well.

      • thepanttherlady

        *Note: This is not free.

        If anyone is interested, please read about this function first as there are steps to (and fees) to lift the freeze when applying for credit for yourself:

        http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs

      • Carla

        Yes, I have had a security freeze at all credit bureaus for over 10 years. Depending on which state you live in there may be a small fee or it may be free. You can lift the freeze instantly online as needed for a window of time that you select or for a specific merchant. I will check with the merchant beforehand to see which bureau they use first and then only lift the freeze on the bureau. You have to be a fool not to use a security freeze. The bureaus are against it because they make money selling your info.

        • TrippleJay16

          Yea I have a freeze on all of mine – plus it is also a good deterrent for applying for cards that one may not need. Especially great for those who are trying to prepare for a big purchase.

  • AJ2

    Does the Tmobile financing hurt your credit score? I recently tried something similar for a mattress & suddenly my credit score plummeted by 150 points. I quickly paid it off & am back to the excellent credit score I’ve had my entire life. I pay my credit card in full but now weary of any sort of payment plan.

    • thepanttherlady

      They only report to the credit bureaus if you default on your payments.

      • Stefan Naumowicz

        True, but simply applying for and then opening a credit line has a negative impact on your credit. See my reply to the OP above

        • thepanttherlady

          OP specifically inquired into financing which I take as EIP. I’m not aware of T-Mobile doing a hard pull exclusively for device financing. Opening an account? Yes. I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong.

        • Stefan Naumowicz

          Applying for EIP absolutely results in a credit check. This may not be the case for long term customers with good payment history, but any new account or new EIP application has the same implications as applying for applying for any type of credit

        • thepanttherlady

          A hard pull of ones credit may lower a credit score, however, it is usually by very little to matter.

          An inquiry has less score impact at 6 months and is not even counted after 12 months despite them reporting for 24.

        • Acdc1a

          My last inquiry dropped me by 21 points, not insignificant, but not the end of the world either. 150 points seems suspicious.

        • thepanttherlady

          21 point drop from what scoring model? Or what site are you using?

        • Acdc1a

          It’s FICO from TransUnion. My Discover reports it to me every month.

        • thepanttherlady

          I’m not going to say a 21 point drop in your TU score is impossible from an inquiry but it is highly unlikely that it was the sole cause for that amount.

          Anything from utilization reporting, one card reporting a balance versus multiple cards, re-bucketing, AAoA, new account etc. all play a factor in your score at any given point in time. Sometimes a score will change for multiple factors and in both directions. I recently had one of my scores drop 12 points and gain 4 in the same day due.

          As an example, in September I lost 5 points on TU for 8 new inquiries and 4 new accounts reported (not all of them have hit yet :/) That FICO score is coming from CCT as of 9/30/15 and confirmed with Discover (same version, 08).

        • Acdc1a

          It’s possible the new trade line hit before the one it was replacing (a car) was removed. That’s the only plausible scenario that I see.

        • thepanttherlady

          Don’t you just love the guessing game they keep us in? lol

    • Stefan Naumowicz

      A hard inquiry on your credit report (in this case applying for financing) has a negative impact on your score, as does the average age of all your credit accounts (in this case, the brand new account brought down the average age of all your accounts) so there’s 2 examples of how that could have happened.

      • thepanttherlady

        Unless T-Mobile is reporting a new tradeline to the CRA’s, your AAoA will not be affected.

        • Stefan Naumowicz

          EIP accounts are credit accounts, and therefore get reported as such and have the same implications on credit reports

        • Karen

          You are correct. The inquiry will sit on your credit report for 2 years.

        • thepanttherlady

          Would love to have ONE person confirm their current EIP plan is reporting as a tradeline on their credit report.

          Real life experience and several EIP plans later, not one has reported on any bureau. Not for me nor for anyone I know that utilizes these.

  • Matt

    This isn’t T-Mobile’s fault. This falls squarely on Experian!

    • Acdc1a

      T-Mobile selected Experian and are therefore not blameless.

      • itguy08

        There are 3 credit reporting bureaus in the USA: Experian, Transition, and Equifax. Pick one….

        • dtam

          …and they all get hacked

        • Annie Strayer

          last week I bought a brand new McLaren F1 after making $19427 this-past/4 weeks and-over, 18-k this past-munth . this is actually the coolest work I have ever had . I began this 3 months ago and straight away started making a cool at least $97 per-hour . Learn More At
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        • Acdc1a

          Pick none. Scrap the whole system and try again. So called financial responsibility predictions nearly collapsed our entire system.

        • itguy08

          Actually that is false. Being forced to loan money to people with no hope of paying it back was a major contributor. As was those that dreamed up new financial instruments based on nothing (see Enron) that did it in.

          Listening to the credit reporting agencies that said Mr. Jones was a poor credit risk was not the cause. It was loaning Mr. Jones a boatload of money that did it in.

        • Acdc1a

          I’m not quite sure you were in the thick of things. The liar loans and worse, the no doc loans were only given to people with credit scores north of 665. These are the loans that had the highest rate of default.

          True, they did offer no and low money down loans to people with marginal credit, but these were fully documented loans. In short, people had the means to pay them back at the time of origination. When these loans went bad it was more because of job loss. Many of these jobs were lost due to the recession caused in large part by those liar loans.

        • KlausWillSeeYouNow

          *TransUnion

        • itguy08

          Darn Autocorrect – fixed it.

        • Rosco

          Equifax.

    • Carolyn Hoyt

      my last pay check was $17559 working 8 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 16k for monthsnow and she works about 18 hours a week. I can’t believe howeasy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do…
      ..hur…….
      >➤➤➤➤➤➤ http://www.GooglesMoney11.Tk

      !!#############################################################!!v

  • Mirad77

    Never used EIP before til this year then this. Not good.

  • Guest

    If you call, they can tell you if your account is a part of the breach. I just talked to loyalty and they said they have like a red box and a check mark to show whose impacted. Take it for what it’s worth.

  • john

    Sucks! TMO should compensate its customers for this

    • tranceformer978

      Agreed, however only affected customers should be compensated. Everyone else is just looking for a free charger :p

      • thepanttherlady

        If this were T-Mobile’s fault, which it doesn’t appear to be, what exactly are you wanting compensated?

        • mingkee

          1000 512GB iPhone 6s+?

        • Guest

          Maybe an account credit to the tune of the $40 it’s going to cost people to add security freezes on the four credit bureaus?

    • thepanttherlady

      Why? Experian is at fault, not T-Mobile.

      • TK – Indy

        T-mobile collected the data, and are most assuredly accountable for its security. T-mobile is at fault here.

        • Mike

          Experian was hacked not T-Mobile. T-Mobile uses Experian to verify credit history like other cellular companies do.

        • TK – Indy

          T-mobile collected the data. It was not kept secure. T-mobile is to blame. Period.

        • Mike

          And you supplied it to T-Mobile so your at fault then

        • steveb944

          If you collect money for me, and I keep the money in the end…am I supposed to blame you for getting it stolen? No, period.

        • Ascertion

          If other cellular companies used Experian, then why was T-Mobile the only one affected by this breach? T-Mobile is to blame for using Experian. T-Mobile trusted Experian with their customer’s sensitive data.

        • Mike

          What u just said makes no sense Experian already has your personal information on file there a credit bureau T-Mobile is just verifying your identity and credit worthiness. Also Experian offers services to businesses to maintain customer records securely and T-Mobile was one of there customers that unfortunately had their database hacked.

    • Cashpoor

      Money grabber. What loss have you had as a result of this issue? Watching your credit history? You should be doing that anyways. T-Mobile is in partnership with experian and both are responsable for the data. But so far it seems like they are taking appropriate first steps. You don’t want protection just money… So one could assume you already have shit credit and are cash poor.

  • ryan d

    I’m sure Protect My ID doesn’t let you see you credit score for free.

    • thepanttherlady

      It doesn’t.

      • ryan d

        thank you, i figured so.

        • thepanttherlady

          Actually, it may offer a score but it won’t be a FICO score.

      • humpfh

        You don’t have to pay for that. You can get it free at annualcreditreport.com

    • matt

      nope, i just checked

    • itguy08

      No but my credit union does. As does my Discover card as well as one of my Mastercards….

      • thepanttherlady

        AMEX and Walmart do as well.

    • humpfh

      mint.com does it every 90 days…and it’s free.

  • TK – Indy

    T-mobile was responsible for the collection of this data, and has to be held accountable for the security of it after collecting it. Definitely T-mobile’s fault, and trying to dodge responsibility for it is unethical and indefensible. Experian is acting as an agent of T-mobile, and T-mobile has dozens of such agency relationships. Using their weak “not our fault” excuse above means they take no responsibility for anything that they do in their business.

    • Colton Williams

      I worked at T-Mobile and we never even saw a customers SSN, they get put into our system from a keypad and show up on our screen as black dots. Now is it T-Mobiles fault for using a company that clearly had inadequate security measures? Yes. But they can’t help the fact that the only way to check someone’s credit is via SSN, so they have to use them. What we need is a way that an individual can sign up for a credit check service using their SSN one time and then creating a password for all subsequent SSN credit checks, that way when there is a data breach you can just change the password that protects your credit rather than be told “sorry we lost your SSN”.

      • Acdc1a

        Actually companies that use the credit bureaus SHOULD be held jointly liable. The credit bureaus and data collection warehouses should be eliminated.

        • JayMo86

          Great idea…But what exactly would you suggest to replace the credit bureaus?

        • Acdc1a

          I wish I had a good answer. We’ve allowed a system where the consumer is constantly haunted by incomplete and incorrect information with very little recourse except through the company providing the information.

        • JayMo86

          I agree, but the problem isn’t negligence wit the bureaus, it’s the criminals who get away wit it. They’re kinda the victims here too

        • Acdc1a

          It’s fairly negligent to allow your servers to be hacked wouldn’t you say?

        • JayMo86

          It depends on the situation. I’m sure the server wasn’t just protected wit a login like “password 1”. But it still sux for every1. Hackers and fraudsters are a serious problem for every1

        • dtam

          i would think financial institutions have the best firewalls out there. the problem is not that they don’t try to protect their data. the problem is that hackers are more advanced.

          think about it in game of thrones terms. the wall is massive and hard to get past. but if you have more advanced technology (or a mythical dragon), then the wall doesn’t do you any good

        • steven berson

          I don’t know about the elimination part, however, I do think that they should be 100% liable for any cost to consumers due to there inadequate security.

    • G

      You make a horrible argument. It wasn’t a T-Mobile system breach. This was through a highly reputable and trusted company (that trust may have gone down a notch for those 15 million). Point being, if you want to blame someone you should be looking in the direction of who did this. You’re probably the one who blames the government for incidents with guns too right? It’s not the criminals fault, but those who “never do enough” to protect us. “People never kill people, only the guns do.”

      • TK – Indy

        Agency law clearly defines this as T-mobile’s fault – on that there can be no argument. Take a Business Law class sometime.

  • Serge Krawczyk

    Let me make sure I understand this: Experian got hacked and my personal info may have been stolen. To make me feel better, they offer a credit watch service from…wait for it….wait for it, Experian. Is this a joke or something?!

    The folks that got hacked want me to use their protection service. WTF? If the get hacked themselves, how do they expect to protect me?

  • steveb944

    We never used EIP until last year for a damn iPhone and S5 for family members, thanks a lot T-Mobile for increasing family plans past the 5.

    I’m sure it’s not only for EIP sales as they probably routinely check for increasing/decreasing your EIP. I remember we had an increase randomly one time.

    • steven berson

      Increase family plans? They have the lowest prices compared to the other 3 guys.

      • steveb944

        I’m talking about increasing the number of people that can be on a family plan, from 5 to now 9 I think.

        • steven berson

          Oh gotcha. Well I pray for the best that nothing bad happens to any of us.

  • Sushimane

    So let me get this straight anybody that’s on jump on demand from September 1-15 experian might have gotten their information stolen how about those that aren’t on a eip plan. I paid off my phone months ago does this mean I’m safe?

    • Creditmess

      If you are a new customer and have a regular bill then they ran credit. The fact you buy a phone with payments or not means nothing. What matters is are you eligible for this and did you run credit from Sept 2013 to Sept 2015. They never rerun credit for existing customers.

      • Sushimane

        Oh ok I been a customer for 10+ years so I’m good but I’m just gonna wait and see what happens tomorrow then. Thanks

        • humpfh

          Yeah I’m at 15 years myself, and PRETTY sure they haven’t rerun my credit. But you can always get a FREE credit report once a year at ANNUALCREDITREPORT.COM . It is a legal requirement that you are able to get one without cost.

          Despite the misleading advertising, “freecreditreport.com” IS NOT FREE. So don’t use that one.

  • rubi76

    Does T-Mobile check credit when we add lines to existing family plans?

    • Yougood

      No, they only check credit when you originally sign up. Your credit profile will never change with T-Mobile. But your customer tenure impacts policy now for adding line ect. They will always refuse to rerun credit for existing customers as well.

      • rubi76

        But they do re-run credit if we are current customers and we buy a phone and pay for it in installments – correct?

        • Yougood

          Say you setup service 3 years ago. You had bad credit and needed to pay deposits to setup service. You would have credit limits on the entire account. Let’s just say 300 per line up to 1200. Now you have say 2 lines active as well with a max of 4. After three years your credit is much better and you know it. Well T-Mobile never will. What they did was look at your reliability as a current customer and let you add up to 10 lines now and you have a credit limit of 600 per line. Now that’s just how it is now. These things have changed drastically over the years. But one thing has never changed, they only run credit once at the time of setup. After that they will never pay to run your credit again.

        • Rob Karp

          this isn’t completely true. i started out at t-mobile when i was 16. i had no credit. i’m now 28 and have excellent credit. i have paid my phone bill in full and on time for 10+ years … t-mobile however refuses to let me add more than 5 lines to my family plan… it’s actually very frustrating!!

        • Acdc1a

          You can call corporate and they will make an exception. Ask to speak with someone in Mr. Legere’s office…that’s assuming what you say is correct about your payment history…not doubting you but I must throw that in there.

        • Rob Karp

          and how might i get in touch with them? i’m assuming it’s not through 611. it has been suggested to me to try 611 and ask for the Customer Loyalty department but i haven’t tried that yet…

        • thepanttherlady

          You can also reach out to him on Twitter @johnlegere. He’s been good about responding to customers.

        • Acdc1a

          I wouldn’t bother with loyalty though it may work. Corporate is 425-378-4000. You can ask to speak with Mr. Legere or someone in Mr. Legere’s office.

        • brybry

          What plan are you on? If you’re are on one of those grandfathered plans max is 5 lines.
          If you’re on Simple choice I think it’s upto 10.

        • Randy Allen

          If you have been a customer for 3 years with good payment tenure you won’t be charged any deposit any ways and get financing for 0 down

        • G

          No. They use the existing application from when your account was first created. That credit check follows you for your entire time with them. (Unless you file bankruptcy for example)

  • G

    To clarify to everyone who is over reacting. T-Mobile does not run your credit to finance a phone, period. They use your original application from when you FiRST applied to be a post paid customer. If your account number is older than the dates listed above (or newer for a few) then you are not going to be included.
    To those whom are blaming T-Mobile, you need to reevaluate what happened. The service to pull a report is through a third party, as someone mentioned, used by every phone company and almost every credit lender. Although this applies specifically to T-Mobile customers, this has to do with how Experian protected that information. If this was a T-Mobile breach, then Experian would have no involvement… I do not understand how you can say otherwise.

    • Dan

      So you are saying that prior to, or after, entering into a contractual relationship T-mobile has no obligation to audit their vendors who handle highly sensitive customer information like social security numbers? Interesting.

      • NexusPhan

        Do you have any idea how massive Experian is? They have, on average, over 150 data fields per person. They mine data for a living. That includes people that have never even heard of T-Mobile. Auditing them would be like the corner liquor store auditing master card.

        They have some of the best security in the world. It’s more likely than not that they wouldn’t even consider letting T-Mobile audit them.

        • steven berson

          My question is after they ran the checks why wasn’t the data deleted? No need to store sensitive data. When I upgrade again do the credit check and dump that data on approved/declined.

        • NexusPhan

          It wasn’t deleted because Experian is a data mining business. They run these checks and gain more information about you.

        • steven berson

          Then the pricks at Experian should be liable for any damages consumers incur due to there negligence.

        • NexusPhan

          Uh, ya. They are. That’s why they are paying for all they tools to protect you. Don’t be surprised when you see the class-action lawsuit.

        • Acdc1a

          Because they’re legally obligated to keep the data for at least 25 months.

        • Adam

          Hopefully, that dumb law will be repealed after this incident.

        • Adam

          T-Mobile would not be auditing Experian themselves, but instead use a security expert group. T-Mobile lacks the expertise to do an audit. Having a third party do the work also allows the cost to be shared by multiple Experian customers.

          I would be very surprised if Experian was not regularly audited. T-Mobile was negligent if they never checked on Experian audits.

        • … They obviously DON’T have some of the best security in the world.

      • G

        Yes, that is correct. You pay for their service, which includes protecting that data. Plain and simple, hence Experian taking the fall.

    • John Wentworth

      I agree it’s likely not T-mobile’s fault, at least not completely.
      But I’m not so sure that it’s limited to new customer’s in that period.
      The math doesn’t add up.
      I don’t think T-mobile got 15 million new users in 15 days.

      Now total credit transactions, including upgrades and new customers
      that could conceivably be 15 million in 15 days.

      • Marcus Gormsen

        2 years and 15 days.

        • John Wentworth

          Yea, I caught my mistake, and signed up for the free credit monitoring, I switched to T-mobile in Dec 2014

  • Mike

    I’m concerned that TMO has not actively notified its customers of the stolen data situation. It would have only taken An email or a text message referring the customer to the TMO web page. They do this for less significant events, i.e., announcement of the iPhone 6s, why not about your personal data being stolen?

    • Dafuq

      Exactly what I was thinking.

  • Mooch

    Ok, so explain how this is credit monitoring service is free. I follow the link which takes me to a sign up page where I have to submit a payment.

  • Thatguy

    So how do we get this class action law suit started against Experian?
    It time get paid !

    • Dafuq

      You’ll get paid an amazing 3 dollars after all the lawyers get paid!

      • Thatguy

        Cool. I can buy a chilli dog.

    • jr

      Dude im seriouse how????? I got 6 phones during that time fram!!! Im sueing

  • tmobile

    i signed up in march of this year but i dont know what 3 of the credit checks they used. what does tmobile use for people in michigan

    • senseii

      if you got postpaid service, it was likely through Experian.

  • thepanttherlady

    I prefer to get my free paper reports from annualcreditreport.com and utilize CCT electronic access daily which includes my FICO scores.

  • thepanttherlady

    It’s not a FICO score:

    “The credit score provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax.”

  • Dafuq

    How come T-Mobile hasn’t sent out an e-mail or text regarding this breach??

    And why would I want to sign up with an Experian protection plan, when they themselves got breached??? Makes no sense.

    • DDLAR

      Because T-Mobile wasn’t the culprit here. Experian is the company that got hacked. It’s at fault.

  • Aaron C

    I think if our SS#’s and other info got swiped, T-Mobile and Experian should offer us credit protection at ALL THREE credit bureaus, not just Experian. What happens if someone uses my social security number to get credit with some company that uses Equifax or TransUnion?

    • steven berson

      F*** your right I didnt even think about that. Why do these stupid companies need to keep our ssn. Once approved delete the ssn.

  • Adam

    Ironically, it is National
    Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

  • DDLAR

    Great! I can add the free credit monitoring to the other dozen free credit monitoring deals I already received due to other hacks. BTW, has anyone else noticed that it can be very difficult to actually get the free credit monitoring that’s always offered when this sort of thing happens.

    • schwddybllz

      It’s not difficult. Just signed up just in case and took about 3 minutes tops

    • morbid

      hah, exactly! One problem is that some places hold on to your person information for way too long. Last year I got notice that I could get free credit monitoring because a community college I attended about 20 years ago got hacked.

  • Carolyn Hoyt

    my last pay check was $17559 working 8 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 16k for monthsnow and she works about 18 hours a week. I can’t believe howeasy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do…
    ..hur……..
    >➤➤➤➤➤➤ http://www.GooglesMoney11.Tk

    !!#############################################################!!v

  • brybry

    If the credit pull was done via Transunion you’re safe?

  • Annie Strayer

    last week I bought a brand new McLaren F1 after making $19427 this-past/4 weeks and-over, 18-k this past-munth . this is actually the coolest work I have ever had . I began this 3 months ago and straight away started making a cool at least $97 per-hour . Learn More At
    ..qd…………
    >➤➤➤➤➤➤ http://www.GooglesMoney11.Tk

    !!#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#=#!!

  • Philip

    My cc company call me few months ago and said someone open an account in my name, but its to a different address. Since its the same cc company they got my info and they cancel it. SO, my info is out there. Isnt it up to cc company to be more vigilant?

  • alfonzso

    So, why would I sign up for a “free” service from the company that got hacked? So I can get my personal information stolen again?

    • thepanttherlady

      They’re a credit reporting agency. They have and keep all your info regardless.

      • alfonzso

        Not if it’s only the server housing the “monitoring service” customer data that is hacked.

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