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The Equifax breach: what you need to know

News of the Equifax breach is undoubtedly unsettling. Make sure to monitor your bank and credit card accounts for fraudulent activity. If you believe your account has had fraudulent activity, please contact your banker.

You can also check to see if you were affected by the breach, and sign up for a complimentary monitoring service, at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/.

Due to the sensitive nature of this cybercrime, additional scams are popping up. Pay special attention to emails you may receive from someone claiming to be from Equifax; scammers may be using a phishing email to gain your personal information. Also, be aware of phone scams. Equifax will NOT call you and ask for your personal information.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve been hearing about the Equifax breach in the news. What happened?

Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus, experienced a massive data breach. 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.

Was my information stolen?

If you have a credit report, there’s a good chance it was. Go to a special website set up by Equifax to find out: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Potential Impact,” enter some personal information and the site will tell you if you’ve been affected. Be sure you’re on a secure network (not public wi-fi) when you submit sensitive data over the internet.

How can I protect myself?

Should I place a credit freeze on my files?

Before deciding to place a credit freeze on your accounts, consider your personal situation. If you might 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.

How do I contact the three major credit bureaus to place a freeze on my files?

Equifax: Call 800-349-9960
Experian: Call 888-397-3742
TransUnion: Call 888-909-8872

Although the three agencies above are the major agencies frequently used, there is another agency you could consider freezing your credit with.

Innovis: Call 800-540-2505 or visit its website.

Where can I get more information about the Equifax breach?

You can learn more directly from Equifax at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/. You can also learn more by visiting the Federal Trade Commission’s web page on the breach at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do. To learn more about how to protect yourself after a breach, visit https://www.identitytheft.gov/Info-Lost-or-Stolen.