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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, (This link takes you away from our site. 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 January 31, 2018 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 Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft. Visit 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 to learn more about protecting yourself after a data breach.

Note: This post was updated on October 5, 2017 to reflect that Equifax extended the enrollment period for free credit monitoring from November 21, 2017 to January 31, 2018.




I canceled my Equifax account on July 6--probably too late, as it turns out. I'm not eager to sign back up. Why is it necessary to have monitoring by all three agencies?

Just to say you can't cancel these credit reporting agency's.

You don't join it and you don't quit it.

What about all those credit reports with the wrong names first and last,that they just won't fix. I get offers from companies that send 3 to 5 with partial semi correct name but with same ss# can't they figure that out as well

Seize all assets of Equifax (to be held in a trust for for future fraud settlements.) Close the facility and file charges where applicable.

Ernie. I think that is an excellent idea. There is no end to the nightmare that could and will occur for lot of use whose data was breached. I know stockholders (I may be one) is going to take a hit initially but I think it would be worth it. One because the administration were negligence and two, to show other companies that they need to take our lives more seriously.

Have I been breached

what about your drivers license and health insurance getting hacked? Can you put a marker on both to alert companies in advance that you were on the hit list?

There are different things to do when your information is exposed in a breach, and when your information has been misused by an identity thief.

If your information was exposed in a breach (but it has not been misused by an identity thief), use these FTC tips about lost or stolen information. The page has information about licenses, and the Equifax breach.

When i tried to enroll in the Equifax monotoring service TrustedID my security/virus protection program detected an infection. It said this site may harm your computer. My feeling is if the parent company is corrupted, maybe their monitoring service is also infected. I decided not to try any longer and most likely will place a freeze on our credit reports with all 3 credit bureaus.

Equifax seems discourage us getting their credit monitoring help. When you pay for the service they send you a welcome email but with free service to breach victims, they do not even send an email.

I called FTC and they said you can contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at 855-411-2372 or go to their website at regarding that. They are the government office that regulates business practices of debt collection, banking, the credit bureaus, credit reporting, mortgages, and creditors, so you can file a report with that agency about that and get more information.

The agreement says that it will automatically re-enroll me if I sign up for their free monitoring for the year. Is this correct?

I am so confused? Should i sign up or not? They didn't protect me the 1st time, what's the difference with trustedpremier?

Tried to freeze my credit report but the website is not functioning: getting error message. Can't get customer assistance either. This is a travesty.

None of the credit reporting companies are accessible. A comment comes up about we apologize for the inconvenience but this site can not be accessed at this time. All three were like this.

I already had a freeze in place. Was my PIN compromised? If so, how do I get new PINS? How do we KNOW if we are among those whose credit card numbers were exposed, or do all 143 million of us just ask for new cards with new numbers?

I went to the Equifax website that skupposed to tell me if my account info had been hacked. It did not do this. I spoke with a representative and he also said they could not do this. Very deceiving info from Equifax.

Can information taken from Equifax be used to unfreeze accounts at that agency or any other?

I filled in the info to check and it said I was likely compromised but instead of giving me a date to apply it went right to an application page that wants all the info that may have been compromised!!

I took the credit freeze solution, for this fiasco. You have to contact all 3 of the credit agencies individually. With Equifax and Trans Union, this was accomplished online, with confirmation sent to your email and $ fee charged to your credit card. However, Experian is another matter. They wouldn't honor my request to accomplished this freeze online or by phone. I would have to snail mail this confidential info, to an address in Allen, TX. to get my credit account freeze approved. This is bogus!! I would use more colorful metaphors, but this is a social/info board. This is clearly not in the best interest of the public, if all 3 agencies can't work together to resolve this situation.

looking for name

These companies should NOT be allowed to profit by selling monitoring. Ridiculous. I love the post about you broke my window and I give you money! Brilliant! I do believe this is serious, and the government will hear our voices and NOT allow these companies to charge people for these services. Use your voices to complain. It's all we have right now!

Is this a ploy by Equifax to drum up more business!!!

The people affected would have a high credit score..that's the ones the hacker/hackers wanted.Not the low credit scores which is a waste to use for anything.

I wanted to know if my info was tagged

Visit Equifax’s website, This link takes you away from the FTC site. is not controlled by the FTC.

  • To find out if your information was exposed click on the “Potential Impact” tab. 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 before when you do this. The site will tell you if you’ve been affected by this breach.

I am mad as hell. Why isn't this industry regulated? There is no choice for the consumer in this matter and these good old boys are playing fast and loose with OUR information.

As to an earlier comment "The FTC can't do anything if it has no legislation or regulations that AUTHORIZE to act" . . . Since it was found that upper management sold stock days before announcement of break in, FTC can go after these schmucks for insider trading. Class action suit should force these jamokes to delete all files (not sell them) and bankrupt them. 2 credit reporting agencies is plenty enough. No such thing as to big to fail, it might make the other two do a better job of security.

So does anyone think we should cancel all of our current credit cards, close accounts, and start all over? I don't see any advice on what to do in this article except check to see if you are on the list.

No do not cancel your current credit just make sure they cannot open new credit !

I just tried getting my free credit report from the annualcreditreport and received this message:
We're sorry for the inconvenience.

The system at the credit reporting company you are requesting is temporarily unavailable. Please check back here soon.
I could not access any sites.

You can enter any last name and random string of 6 numbers into the Equifax site and it will give you the same message: "Based on the information provided, we believe that your personal information may have been impacted by this incident. Click the button below to continue your enrollment in TrustedID Premier." This verification has no value it is a sham!! What going on here?!!

Something is definitely wrong with the Equifax site.
This morning I entered my data on the Experian site for a credit freeze, within seconds, process done & credit freeze; Transunion link n/a; Equifax - entered my data, didn't recognize me as having an account, I clicked submit just in case, & it processed & gave my unknown account a credit freeze.

I tried 2 times one time got nothing second time got the you may be affected. Tried spouse's 2 times with same results.
More Equifax SCAM?
Just figure it out if only 1 Million people take the offer and continue for 1 year income at $19.95 per month is a whopping $2,398,800.00. and 143 Million are supposedly affected. Still say someone came up with this wild idea and now it looking at a big promotion and bonus!!!

This is crazy. Equifax is lax on security and it impacts regular Americans and more for life. They don't do credit freezes and they only offer ONE year protection. What kind of SCAM is that!

Equifax is probably already contacting Bankruptcy attorney's and planning a name change.
In the end they will make more money out of this than they will pay out it is all a SCAM to screw the little guy who has worked his whole life to keep good credit and a little money in the bank for his retirement and now let's scare people and penny them to death.

In reviewing the process to 'Freeze' your credit report, the costs are listed by state, but reflect if an 'ID Theft Victim', the cost is Free. Since they are the reason for the ID Theft, are they not honoring this to be at no cost to consumers??

People are worried about class action lawsuits when they should be worried about their information. We should be able to sur them individually and have Congress put them on a grill and into the pen!
And the only way to rectify is to have free credit freezes for life, if that helps.

Here we go again. Another breach and lack of security on yet another big company's part. The little guy gets to suffer and be compromised while these big companies continue to do little to nothing in the effort to protect our information. How long must we suffer and have our information practically given away by these companies?

I already had a Credit freeze in place and yet when logging on it says "May have been" breached.

My information was used 6/14/17, long before the breach was announced. I received a call from a national change store asking if I applied for credit (I already had a card). They would not answer my questions unless I answered theirs. I looked up their 800#, called them back and verified someone used my information. I went into each credit reporting system, paid the $5 fees and am satisfied at this time - no other activity has been reported. I also made a police report not knowing at the time how my info was obtained. I use a free credit system to check my credit report and they had sent me an email within 4 hours of me receiving the call from the store chain.

So Experian CFO sells shares before Experian went public with the hack, denies he knew anything about the hack when selling his shares, really? The Experian CEO is lobbying our members of congress to limit their liability. Experian if you can't do the job of protecting consumers identify then get out of the business.

I signed up for the Equifax free monitoring and the web page said "Next step: you will receive an email with a link to finalize your enrollment". Can anyone report actually receiving the email??

i put in random info with ssn 999999 and it said my info was affected. looks like they just want you to sign up for monitoring

For an INFORMATION company, they do a very POOR job of letting you know what is going on!

First step: Sign up, then wait to see if you've been affected! Really? It takes them days to determine this?

Next Step: Come back to be told "You MAY have been affected" They don't know for sure??

Next Step: Clicking OK takes you without explaining the details to a signup page for yet another company where you have to put in all of your personal DATA!

UNBELIEVABLE that you can not OPT OUT of this company getting your data.

If Equifax were an honorable company, they would NOTIFY the persons affected and give a -say- 20 year free credit monitoring. That is their business, so it would be just part of their business at MINIMAL cost to them.
NO ONE takes responsibility for their actions or inactions anymore!!!

So Equifax will give me a year of protection for free for their failure to properly safe guard my personal information. But crooks will have access to my data for years. Why isn't Equifax offering a longer time such as a decade for free monitoring?

Was able to freeze my credit report with Equifax for free, Trans Union was $10/person. I've been trying with Experian for hours. Experian's phone # tells me it can't process the request at this time and their web-site to do the freeze has been loading for hours. With a breach like this all credit reporting companies should wave the fee to freeze a credit report. This is showing the incompetence of Experian, first they get hacked and then they can't handle the volume of freeze requests.

I experienced the same result with Experian. With the response of "We are unable to honor your request based on the info sent in" Now, check your credit card account. On mine, 2 $ charges posted by Experian, for the 2 attempts to freeze my credit report. That's messed up, charging me for services not provided.

Why should I have to check to see if my information has been breached? Equifax should know which numbers have been breached and they should notify those affected...not the other way around. They allowed the breach...!

Don't know what to do protect me for 1 yr then feed me to sharks they will need a long term plan these quick fixes will not cut it also saw FTC does not regulate Equifax. WHY?


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