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Equifax Breach

About the Equifax breach:

Equifax is one of the major credit report agencies handling millions of accounts worldwide. September 7, 2017, Equifax announced that the records of approximately 143 million Americans were compromised between May and July of 2017. Compromised records contained personal information including names, birth dates, addresses, Social Security Numbers and some driver’s license numbers. 209,000 credit card numbers were obtained, but not debit cards. With this information there is a risk of identity theft. Learn more about the breach at the following sites:

Equifax at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/.

Federal Trade Commission at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do.

Protect yourself after a breach, visit https://www.identitytheft.gov/Info-Lost-or-Stolen.

What Equifax is doing about the breach:

Equifax established a website at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/ which provides information for potentially impacted consumers. Due to the large numbers of compromised records, Equifax is encouraging everyone to visit this site. At this website, consumers can check to see if their information was potentially compromised and enroll for free credit monitoring through Equifax for one year. Fraudulent activity might not occur for a long time so they need to keep watching their credit file and bank accounts for an extended period of time.

What consumers can do:

Enrollees receive a date to enroll, so they visit the site, start the enrollment process, receive an enrollment date and return to the site to finish enrollment. Other options are:

  • Consider placing a freeze or a fraud alert on their credit file. If you will be applying for credit soon or think you might need quick credit in an emergency, it might be better to simply place a fraud alert on your files with the three major credit bureaus.  A fraud alert puts a red flag on your credit report which requires businesses to take additional steps, such as contacting you by phone before opening a new account. Equifax has agreed to waive all credit freeze fees for the next 30 days for people who want to freeze their Equifax credit files.
  • Monitor your credit at annualcreditreport.com
  • Watch for scam emails from Equifax
  • Monitor bank accounts

Contact information for the three major credit bureaus (and one smaller one):

Equifax: Call 800-349-9960https://www.equifax.com

Experian: Call 888-397-3742http://www.experian.com/ 

TransUnion: Call 888-909-8872https://www.transunion.com/

And Innovis: 800 - 540 -2505, a smaller company, https://www.innovis.com/

Your call will be answered by an automated voice prompt.  It will walk you through placing a credit freeze.  Experian and TransUnion have a $10 fee.