Equifax Data Breach
Following is helpful information found on the Federal Trade Commission IdentityTheft.gov website. You need to act now if you haven’t yet taken steps to prevent the misuse of your sensitive personal information that was exposed in the Equifax Data Breach.
The first step, as stated below, is to determine if your personal information was compromised. Equifax is offering free services to all U.S. consumers due to the breach. Visit Equifax’s website, https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.
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 additional steps you might want to take because your Social Security Number was exposed…
1. Consider whether you want to sign up for the free credit monitoring services that Equifax is offering.
2. Get your free credit reports from annualcreditreport.com, and check for any accounts or charges you don’t recognize. You can order a free report from each of the three credit bureaus once a year.
3. Consider placing a credit freeze. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name.
4. If you place a freeze, you’ll have to lift the freeze before you apply for a new credit card or cell phone – or any service that requires a credit check. If you decide not to place a credit freeze, at least consider placing a fraud alert.
5. Try to file your taxes early – 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.
6. Don’t believe anyone who calls and says you’ll be arrested unless you pay for taxes or debt – even if they have part or all of your Social Security number, or they say they’re from the IRS.
7. Continue to check your credit reports at www.annualcreditreport.com. You can order a free report from each of the three credit reporting agencies once a year.
8. Equifax plans to notify people whose credit card information was exposed. If you receive a notice…Contact your bank or credit card company to cancel your card and request a new one.
9. If you have automatic payments set up, update them with your new card number.
10. Review your transactions regularly. Make sure no one misused your card. If you find fraudulent charges, call the fraud department and get them removed.
Going forward, it’s important to monitor your credit card and bank accounts closely. If you find charges you don’t recognize, come back to IdentityTheft.gov to report it.