Here's the Scoop:
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. The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers.
When you visit or call us, we will not use the last 4 digits of your Social Security or date of birth. We will ask you questions that only you would know about your relationship with us. Then you can establish a password or security question for future contact with us. This first contact may seem tedious but critical to keeping your account safe.
What can you do?
- Go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to check whether you are one of the 143 million people whose data may have been compromised.
- You can place a credit freeze on your files which makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. This won't prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts.
- If you don't want to do 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 anyone seeking credit in your name is really you.
- Reset passwords, PIN codes and other log-in credentials on financial accounts that may be vulnerable.
- Establish credit monitoring service through Equifax or through other service providers.
- 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.
- Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely. Check your financial accounts on a regular, frequent basis. Be skeptical about email and telephone calls offering assistance especially from businesses you don't recognize.