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Security expert: If you’ve purchased a car or home this year, you may have been hacked

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Ignoring this news story could actually cost you.

“I could spit up a new credit card in your name, and start charging it.”

A Troy cybersecurity firm says you should check now to see if your information has been breached in the Equifax hack.

Cyber Security Specialist Christina D' Antonio of GreyCastle Security says many of you are impacted by this and don't even realize it.

“Don't assume you haven't been compromised,” D’ Antonio said.

She says right now is the time to stop and think back. If you've made any major purchase in the past 3-6 months, your information could have been stolen in the Equifax hack.

“That includes applying for a line of credit, trying to buy a home, purchasing a car,” D’ Antonio said.

She says because someone else often does a credit check for you, you may not realize your identity has been stolen.

“Names, date of birth, social security number, phone numbers, even potentially credit card information as well,” D’ Antonio said.

D' Antonio says there are several ways the hackers can go with your info.

“They could be posting that information on some dark website for someone else to use,” D’ Antonio said.

They can even use it to steal your tax return.

“When you get the paperwork to file, make sure you do it immediately because that information that’s been stolen could be used by a scammer to file taxes on your behalf,” D’ Antonio said.

So what should be your first plan of action?

“Review your accounts, sign up for the credit monitoring they’re providing,” D’ Antonio said.

D' Antonio says the biggest mistake you can make is waiting to act, and finding out the hard way.

“I could start a new line of credit if you haven’t done anything proactively, and buy a $2,000 TV for Christmas,” D’ Antonio said.

Because hacks like this have become so common, D' Antonio recommends setting up fraud alerts on all of your accounts so that hackers don't ever get the chance to spend on your dime.

You can check to see if you've been impacted by the Equifax hack right now by looking under the ‘web links’ section of cbs6albany.com for more Equifax information.

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