News on the Recent EQUIFAX Data Breach
If you have a credit report , there’s a good chance that you’re one of the 143 million American consumers whose sensitive personal information was exposed in a data breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies.
Here are the facts, according to Equifax. The breach lasted from mid-May through July, 2017. The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people. And they grabbed personal information of people in the UK and Canada too.
There are steps to take to help protect your information from being misused. Visit Equifax’s website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. (This link takes you away from our site and is not controlled by FSCU.)
- Find out if your information was exposed. Click on the “Potential Impact” tab and enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. Your Social Security number is sensitive information, so make sure you’re on a secure computer and an encrypted network connection any time you enter it. The site will tell you if you’ve been affected by this breach.
- Whether or not your information was exposed, U.S. consumers can get a year of free credit monitoring and other services. The site will give you a date when you can come back to enroll. Write down the date and come back to the site and click “Enroll” on that date. You have until November 21, 2017 to enroll.
- You also can access frequently asked questions at the site.
Here are some other steps to take to help protect yourself -
- Closely monitor all credit accounts and loans, to catch and report any suspicious activity on any one of those accounts.
- Immediately report any suspicious credit or loan account activity – no matter how remote the suspicion – to the financial institution and/or lending institution.
- Sign up for the fraud alerting services offered by the three credit bureaus to to receive notifications about potentially fraudulent activity:
- Sign up for free credit monitoring services, to monitor and report unauthorized activity.
- Place a freeze on all three credit bureau accounts to prevent fraudsters from opening new accounts.
- Sign up for email/text alerts with live card activity through the financial institution and through the card issuer’s website:
- Visit the FTC’s page on the Equifax breach to learn about what happened and what to do.
- Visit the FTC’s identity theft website to learn what steps to take in response to proven identity theft.
We will continue to keep you updated with any new information as we continue to monitor the Equifax cyber security breach.
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