The Saga of T-Mobile Data Breach

Posted on by David Lukic in Data Breaches August 17, 2020
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T mobile data breach

T-Mobile Data Breach incident occurred many times. Once from September 1, 2013, and September 16, 2015 and the second one on August 20, 2018, and lastly in 2019 and 2020. These incidents were responsible for exposing millions of consumers personal data.

If it wasn’t bad enough that from 2013 until 2015, T-Mobile customers’ information was accessed through the Experian data breach, T-Mobile experienced its own data breach in 2018, affecting 2 million more customers. The Experian incident was far more severe, affecting 15 million customers and exposing things like social security numbers, passport and driver’s license numbers as well as financial data. The 2018 T-Mobile data breach, however, only afforded cybercriminals things like names, billing addresses and zip codes, dates of birth, phone numbers, email addresses, account numbers, and the account types. T-Mobile later admitted the hackers also got away with encrypted passwords. The in-house T-Mobile security team shut down the breach quickly and notified customers through text messages. Moreover, prepaid customers of T-Mobile in 2019 saw their data get breached where about a million people witnessed identity theft. And lastly, in 2020, the incident of T-Mobile became one of the biggest Data Breaches of the year.

When Was the T-Mobile Data Breach?

The original Experian data breach, which affected more than 15 million T-Mobile customers, took place between September 1, 2013, and September 16, 2015. 

The latest breach occurred on Monday, August 20, 2018, and thankfully, the cybersecurity team shut it down quickly. Security experts suspect a foreign country’s involvement. The November 2019 data breach incident was targeted towards pre-paid customers. And the most recent one, the 2020 data breach caused the identity theft of customer’s addresses, rate plans, and features, names, phone numbers, billion information, and account numbers. names and addresses, phone numbers, and account numbers.

How to Check if Your Data Was Breached

If you were affected, then T-Mobile already text messaged you and alerted you via mail or email. They notified customers immediately, assuring them that no credit card data, social security numbers, or other financial information was stolen. However, they first thought passwords were not affected but then later discovered they were. 


checking your data

What to Do if Your T-Mobile Data is Breached

If you are a T-Mobile customer and have not yet changed your account password, do so now. You can also review this notice here that T-Mobile posted for customers regarding the incident. Additionally, you should consider the steps below to secure your account further:

  • If you have a credit card associated with your T-Mobile account, it might be prudent to cancel it and have the PIN # changed.

  • Also, watch your bank and credit card statements carefully scanning for any suspicious activity.

  • Be on the lookout for phishing emails that appear to come from T-Mobile but ask you to verify personal details or supply additional information by clicking a link or downloading an attachment. 

  • Monitor your credit reports and sign up for credit monitoring (IDStrong.com offers this service).

Can My T-Mobile Information be Used to Steal my Identity?

Yes, the information stolen is enough for hackers to steal your identity. The first hack gave cybercriminals a lot of personal information. That data may have ended up on the dark web and combined with the new information stolen; criminals could easily assume your identity and open new accounts and charge fees under your name. And, It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and there are things you can do to protect yourself, most importantly, statistics of identity theft support these claims.

What to Do to Protect Yourself Against Cybercriminals

With all the latest data breaches in the news, it is hard to believe that all your personal information isn’t just out there floating around waiting to be used. Even if it is, you can take precautions against that information being used to steal from you, take control of your computer or steal your identity.

What to Do to Protect Yourself Against Cybercriminals

  • Install the best antivirus software on your computer and run scans often.

  • Be on the watch for phishing emails and scams (emails that look legitimate but sound odd or urgent).

  • Never click links or open attachments from emails.

  • Carefully monitor your bank and credit card statements, always on the lookout for fraudulent activities.

  • Do not give out your personal details to anyone you do not know well.

  • Change your computer and device passwords often and use hard-to-guess, complex ones.

Check Your Records For Breaches, Leaks, & Exposures

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