The Equifax Data Breach: What to Do

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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. 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.

There are steps to take to help protect your information from being misused. Visit Equifax’s website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. (This link takes you away from our site. Equifaxsecurity2017.com is not controlled by the FTC.)

  • 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 other steps to take to help protect yourself after a data breach:

  • 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.
  • Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely for charges you don’t recognize.
  • 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.

Visit Identitytheft.gov/databreach to learn more about protecting yourself after a data breach.

Comments

Nothing happens when I press Continue on the Equifax Getting Started web page.

when you entered your name and partial ss# it gave you a date. hat's the date for you to enroll

took me awhile to figure it out

It also binds you to arbitration, making you give up your right to sue them. They hide it in their terms and conditions.

This language was retracted after pressure from Gov't officials. You no longer give up your right to sue if you sign up for the free monitoring service. You can find confirmation on the abc news site.

Do you have a direct link for this bit of news?

So, I just entered "Test" and 123456 and got the shocking news that "based on the information I provided, Equifax believes my data may have been compromised...

The way I've heard it: If you have any kind of credit in the United States (car loan, mortgage, a credit card, applied for a credit card, etc.), you have the potential to be affected by this. Equifax monitors ALL credit holders and if you are one of those people - your information could have been compromised.

Amazing, I tried and got the same result, BUT, HERE's EVEN BETTER! (OR PROVING THEIR SITE IS TOTALLY BOGUS!!), I entered "Testdoe" (as in Ms. Jane Doe), and "123456", and I GOT THIS: "we believe that your personal information was not impacted by this incident." NOTICE THE "NOT IMPACTED". This is LUDICROUS!!! They really should be held accountable!

Seems like JaneDoe if you used a fictitious name to impute information, you would receive a message "NOT IMPACTED ".

I entered my info and the site indicated I was not likely affected by the breach, then it asked me to enter info, the site froze, I returned, reentering all information, and it returned a message that indicated I may have been affected. So which is it guys? This info would say the site appears to just randomly draw a NO or MAYBE!!!

It has given me conflicting information and a new enrollment date each time I try to complete the enrollment.

After entering my ID to check on whether my personal information was POTENTIALLY IMPACTED the response I received was, "Your personal information was NOT impacted by this incident." Then when I clicked the button to ENROLL in the Trusted ID Premier, the message changed to "Your personal information WAS IMPACTED by this incident." I guess their covering all their bases!!!!

Assume the worst, that your information WAS stolen. Take action now. freeze credit w/all 3 agencies, change pw & logins to all existing accts, and enroll in an outside credit monitoring service. Watch accts weekly.

I attempted to call the numbers listed for the 3 credit agencies to freeze my reports. In all 3 instances, I was unable to complete the actions. I answered all questions appropriately. I am very frustrated!

i did the same last week and got one agency "frozen" (equifax), then had much trouble with transition and gave up in frustration. Got back on it and froze the other 2 agencies just now, only to find out there's a new agency, Innovis!! It is beyond me why my credit is being used for profit by yet another entity!

Smells like a Phishing expediction :)

Yes. Equifax or somebody in Equifax (those that sold their stock before making this breach public) are in on this. Because when you put your information in, they prompt you to sign up for their protection. Why in the world would I want to sign up for their protection when this company is obviously shady, at the very least, or criminal. Everyone should make sure their state's attorney general's are investigating the company and its executives on the selling of their billions in stock.

Thank you. I totally agree with you. Why provide a broken site any MORE in formation???

Now this is making sense.

I totally agree! Who do you trust?

Yea, and backed by the government, the ones telling you all this is safe. Smh. Just go back to cash, send money orders to pay bills, get off the grid, I did.

How'd you do that?

Same here. I always use cash. Very little goes on my credit card.

I totally agree that enrolling may be a way to sell you something later or another tactic, but did you ever think your info can be used to create a new identity of you. It won't touch you current accounts, but may open all new one's that you will find out way too late? Just implement all 3 credit freezes is probably the safest action in my opinion.

Sounds Like A Crime Has Been Committed By The 3 Executives. Stock has fallen 50 bucks a share as of today.

Trading on insider information is a "federal" offense and is or should be prosecuted by the Securities & Exchange Comission SEC.

Good test. I like the way you think!

It could be that the "123456/test" gave 'might be' because Equifax could not reconcile the number and name. Or it could be the site was designed to get as many as possible to sign up for their (cannot sue-->subsequently rescinded) product. But a friend of mine entered her info and it told her that her credit information was not compromised, which would suggest that maybe it is trying to validate the identities correctly.

Classic, I figured that! You can NEVER trust a big company! It's almost like they gain something from having you sign up for the service. I AM NOT INTERESTED IN THE "FREE" service!!!!!!!!!!!!! They just need to be a better custodian of everyone's personal information!!!!

Why do they have access to my personal information anyway? Who gives them the right to dig into my financial history? I didn't even know these agencies existed!

This is something I worry about. Is this simply a ploy to make sure the hackers have access to all vital information to enable them to hack us? Equifax was just hacked, what have they done to correct the problem? Is it just going to happen again?

I hate living in Trumps America, I'm afraid all the time!

Thanks! bogus test and it has been breached, why are they still in business!

Because of "Too big to be allowed to fail"... something we in the US really, really need to fix... by chopping up those corporations and banks.

I believe the language was not retracted but Equifax now allows us to send them a letter stating that we still maintain our right to sue.

The arbitration clause doesn't apply to the cybersecurity incident. Equifax already came out and stated publicly that you are not waiving your right to sue. People who aren't lawyers misread the terms of service and created an uproar

Not exactly. They came out and gave a carefully worded statement that it wasn't related to the data breach. You're still enrolling in their free tools. Some lawyers still think the language is controlling. It's a gray area at best.

The NY, MS, OR, and other Attorney Generals seen to disagree with you on that one.

You are incorrect. The NY Attorney General was the principal figure in convincing Equifax to remove the binding arbitration language from the Terms of Service. What portions of the contract I can find, they incorporate document by reference but do not provide them, it does include an Entirety Clause, which basically means that only the contract itself can be used to interpret the agreement, or put simply, the FAQs, public statements by the CEO or anyone else are essentially legally irrelevant.

So now I'm really confused. I got the wording "may have been impacted" when I put last name and last 6 digits. I didn't go any further on the website, just "X" out. Should I be worried? My credit is in the toilet any ways so I don't know how it could get any worse. What can happen with this breach?

I also put my information in and it stated I may be impacted. I continued on the web because I just filed bk in July and got a car as well and my email keeps telling me my fico is changing.... I have done anything since. So this could be for REAL

All, Ican say is if the scamners can find the money the goverment has taken from me over the years, may I have some too please!

So let me get this straight, Equifax somehow got my personal data, failed to store it, it got hacked, and now I have to pay for monitoring service? Does anyone else see a problem here. I want the heads of all the top execs at Equifax. NOW!

NO they are offering the service for free for anyone who's information may have been compromised.

Equifax is offering their TrustedID Premier service free for only 1 year.
So, what happens after that? What if the perpetrators decide to hold the information for over a year and try to use it when the free TrustedID Premier service has expired? I should not have to pay for ongoing service like that because a company, with whom I am not a paying customer, has collected personal financial information about me and did not take the necessary steps, such as encryption, to guard that information appropriately!

Free credit monitoring for a year. Yeah. But isn't my name, dare of birth and social security number the same forever ??

There is one robot for customer service, and his name is Bud, and Bud's circuits went on overload so, try calling your Congressman for answers. I did and I was told I would get a call back. I think they also use Bud.

No they are offering a one-year trial and then you have to pay after that. They should be required to give us the service for the rest of our lives, not just a one year trial.

you left something out Rick ... 3 Equinox execs sold stock before the announcement was made to the public...Equifax claims these senior executives did not know there was a data breach...they may not have known, but the perception is really really really bad.

What a joke! Their system was hacked & the whole database was open for over a month & the senior execs didn't know. Give me a break>

Latest news says they were lobbying congress to get little or n to penalty for their lax service. That's why they didn't tell us right away -
The whole company should be shut down- and the top 3 guys who sold ahead of time- to jail for acting on insider information

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