Equifax Data Breach
Here are the facts, according to Equifax. The breach lasted from mid-May through July. 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.
You can find out if your information was exposed by visiting Equifax’s website dedicated to addressing the breach and providing consumers with important resources and information. 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. You also can access "frequently asked questions" at the site. Visit Equifax’s website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.
For more information on this breach and other steps to take to help protect yourself after a data breach, please visit the Federal Trade Commission.
These additional steps include:
- Monitor your bank accounts and existing credit cards closely and report any unusual account activity to our Client Services Team and the other financial institutions you use.
- Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — for free — by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft. Visit IdentityTheft.gov to find out what to do.
- Consider placing a credit freeze on your files. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. Keep in mind that a credit freeze won’t prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts. Taking this step means that your credit is frozen and lenders are unable to extend an offer of credit without you lifting the freeze with a PIN. This step can be an inconvenience so it's important you fully understand if a credit freeze is right for your situation.
- If you decide against a credit freeze, consider placing a fraud alert on your files. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name really is you.
- File your taxes early— as soon as you have the tax information you need, before a scammer can. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Respond right away to letters from the IRS.
Reported by the Federal Trade Commission on September 8, 2017