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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.




This is beyond annoying. I have called all three credit companies and after entering all required information, the system tells me "we cannot process your request". They directed me to mail my request. This is absurd. The federal government needs to take the reigns of this corporate fraud that is running our nations credit system and exploiting its citizens.

I've managed to apply a credit freeze at TransUnion and Equifax but was unable to at Experian it rejected it for some unknown reaosn and asks to mail stacks of information in. It's also impossible to speak with anyone at Experian it's only an online or automated phone system. What the hell I want to speak with a representative to apply a credit freeze! In addition I've had to pay $10 to each of them to freeze my credit. Talk about collusion and extortion. So then I tried to run my www. annualfreecredit. com report as recommdned by the FTC and the system crashes and then TransUnion says it can't process the request and to try again later. What the hell is going on. Where is my consumer protection FTC?

Make sure you're using to get your free credit reports.

Go there to get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies once every 12 months. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires the credit reporting companies to provide the reports.


The colossal don't give a damn attitude at Equifax is tantamount to saying "oops, we just screwed thousands of people and the fools can't do anything about it." Aint our government great. Equifax will prosper under the protection of the elected and regulatory officials. No suits, please.

The randomness of the web site they have set up is pretty disturbing.

For those asking "Why do they have my information?". It's because you're in the US. In Europe the underlying principle of personal information is that it belongs to the person it applies to and that person has to approve the use of sale of it. In the US, the underlying principle is that personal information belongs to whomever happens to have it, and with limited exclusions (health information held by a HIPAA entity, post-secondary student information, and your actual credit reports are the big ones) whoever has that data can do whatever they like with it.

This can only be changed by Congress or a Constitutional amendment establishing personal ownership over one's own information. While I'm far too cynical to think that can ever happen in the US, I'm all for people trying to make it happen.

Where do I start to sue? I've had my identity stolen a number of times and sick of it. It's actually affected me and getting credit. And also a house loan. Where do I start.

I submitted everything the site asked
Not comfortable with this site, Didn't know what else to do it's all a mess. I called fox news, was told by petd on there, they signed on too. I feel like a s sitting duck.

Wouldn't the hacker be able to unfreeze my credit even if I freeze it? Afterall he's got my identity data.

Why in the world would I sign up for a FREE 1 year of credit monitoring from TrustedID???? Did you know that Trusted ID is owned by Equafax?? How do I know they would guard my info, and better yet weren't breached as well? No thank you!! Once a fool,,, twice not!! I am going to be with the people that sue this eompany, and I hope they go under, as well as the people that cashed in their stocks ahead of the breach!! Someone has dirty hands here!!

The FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION should provide updated information as to what one should do about the security breech of the credit agencies. The critical websites that are listed are frozen/unresponsive/overwhelmed and do not provide solutions

When I went on line to Equifax to freeze, I was given 3 choices for "unfreezing" meaning I guess that my account is already frozen ... but by whom? I've got a call in to Equifax, they're checking ... but will they call back? Probably not ... so how concerned should I be .. and what can I do?

I just enrolled myself, my husband and my mother (the only family members possibly "impacted" for the year's worth of free monitoring). Not that I trust Equifax now but to not sign up right now and end up having our identity stolen could affect our outcome in any potential class action suit (which WILL happen, probably already in the works.) Signing up will not prohibit you from suing and I took a screenshot of that statement from their site. It is free also to place a freeze on your credit reports and Equifax is sending out refunds for any costs related to placing the freeze. I took a screenshot of that too but I don't think I can upload them here.

We should all find a legal way of fighting back so equifax and other companies that we entrust with our personal information will do everything possible and consistently to keep hackers and others who want to do us harm blocked. I don't know if you all agree but This is Very Serious. I am certain we are all part of this scam, and all our information and identity is at a High Risk. If anyone of you know how we can get a Class Action Lawsuit going, lets consider it and get it going?

Whatever the Government is thinking, I'm not embedding no chips in my body, nor am I going deface any part my body with any device. They need to come up with something more efficient and effective for everyone, something that doesn't invade nor have anything to do with our bodies.

Should I ruin my own credit to save someone else all the fun!

How do we become a part of the class action law suit? And what do we do in mean time?? Hire Security lock?? I sure dont trust Experian to further manage anything.

You people at the FTC get paid by taxpayers to protect us! There is NOTHING THAT EQUIFAX IS GOING TO SAY TO ME THAT MAKES ME BELIEVE OR TRUST THEM. I expect Government action against this Company!

Equifax and Transunion will not allow me to get a credit report. They also will not allow me to freeze my credit or report a fraud. Transunion wants to charge for the so called free report.
Its time for the public to call for an end the credit reporting agencies. They have our sensitive info and are out of reach for the consumer. They should have never been created and allowed to gather our info without our permission. Everyone write your politicians and demand new credit reporting laws.

How can I trust this site. Or, the free Equifax enrollment asks my SSN and DOB again. So it can be hacked again? Trust! That horse has long escaped the barn!

BRAND USA has always been about who holds the keys. It was is and always will be the bank. Don't like that?? then become a EXpat. There ARE countries in the world who do not ENFORCE slavery through their all powerful government contracted monopolies. It is a system of ownership and you kind sir and nice ladies are OWNED. Check the history and the players of the Angelo American corp. You will see that behind the curtain their descendants STILL pull the strings via the 12 regional members of the fed. Someone has to run the world.

I would like to know who has been successful and has done a freeze with Equifax... I am in the same boat as bc above.

Equifax should have to provide complete protection for all affected by the breach. It should not be the victims who have to jump through any hoops or pay any money. Any risk created by this breach should be countered by the agency for all that they have identified as impacted. A lot of people especially those upward in age will not be aware or know what to do if they are aware. They will be completely at risk. Equifax knows who was affected as they can tell you if you are at risk or not. Thus, they should have to bear the cost and the energy to protect every single one without the victims having to push any buttons. I cannot understand why the powers that be don't hold them responsible and make them make restitution by bearing the cost and effort to ensure all are protected from their inadequacy and negligence.

Your management leaders should be prosecuted and you deserve to be shut down. Guess your not the gods you pretend to be.

The more websites you list your SSN at, the better odds for your info to get stolen. Simple mathematics there, duh.
The clincher for me is that they want to send offers when you sign up for their protection and you cannot eliminate that. If they were interested in fixing their screw up, why would they also be trying to turn a buck? No thanks.

On top of Equifax's negligence and ongoing poor handling of this colossal rip-off and failure to protect the personal data of tens of millions of Americans, it's outrageous that the debacle is turning into a windfall for the two other credit-reporting companies in this three-headed-hydra of an industry.

Justifiably, Equifax isn't charging for the recommended credit freeze (although it took five attempts for its website to successfully activate mine, plus a futile call on my part). But the other two companies are. Transunion's fee was $10 and Experian's $11.01, a relatively small sum of money perhaps, but an amount I would rather spend elsewhere—as I'm sure everyone else who's been made vulnerable would like too. If all 143 million potential victims of the breach end up paying these charges, the two corporations stand to reap more than a billion dollars each from the fiasco.

It is completely unfair and unreasonable for consumers who've been put at risk by this major corporate screw-up to be forced to spend any money at all to protect their personal information. And it's pretty outrageous that the other two behemoths—which as far as I'm concerned are all engaged, along with Equifax, in a scam industry that enriches itself by trafficking some of our most private information without our permission—are richly lining their pockets at our expense.

I hope Congress will confront this situation head-on by protecting citizens and severely reining in these three out-of-control, unaccountable companies that hold so much power over our lives and have so little regard for the public they use and abuse to make their profits.

The CEO proudly states that they will give us free freeze and fraud protection for a year, but truly legit companies would automatically sign up the affected people plus any questionable customers automatically without putting us through hell to try and sign up. Trying to sigh up for these services from Equinox is worse than trying to get to the next level of a video game! Shame on the CEO and his fellow executives. May they all rot in jail, but we all know the likelihood of that happening...

The IRS needs to assign four additional digits to every ones social security number so it might help eliminate further problems. If credit companies do not have your thirteen digit social security number instead of nine digits, it automatically freezes everything and we the consumer should not have to pay for freezes and unfreezes. What responsibility does Equifax have to the 143 million? Why do we need three agencies? Close Equifax and make sure Transunion and Experian are secure.

I'll bet the execs at Equifax bought stock in lifelock.

So what I want to know is how we got in this mess in the first place. I never gave permission for all my private information to be given away to these so called credit agencies. Why must I pay now for something I never authorized in th first place?

I think Equifax should be fined and shut down. thieves can get all the information they want but honest folk they want us to pay to fix their mess-ups. If they can't handle the information they shouldn't be allowed to collect it.

I have changed my name but my ssn is the same. It's cofusing that under my new name, equifax says I'm good to go but my previous name info (which is associated with the same ssn, address, phone #,etc), was stolen! So I assume thieves still can do whatever they want with my information.

FTC - Media articles say we should go to and file a report if we were part of the Equifax breach. Is this correct? No theft has occurred at this point, just the potential of one. There is nothing to report.

You are correct; you do not need to report identity theft when your information is exposed in a data breach. Identity theft happens only if someone misuses your information.

Equifax is the worst out of all 3 bureaus. They're terrible in accurate information in their database and they never resolve disputes. They just take it off and it shows right back shortly...only until the other 2 bureaus correct info will they correct theirs. They're a sham or atleast jus suck at what they do. Out of all things to be "properly" regulated why hasn't the agencies been regulated. After all credit is the single most important thing that runs this nation today.

Should one consider locking down one's Social Security number after this kind of breach?

The FTC has information for people affected by the Equifax breach.

Go to this page. Scroll down to the bar that says Equifax and click on it. You'll see a list of tips.

Why doesn't the Government/FTC protect us from this type of atrocity. I did not request or pay Equifax (or any other credit bureau) to collect this information about me that they failed to safe-guard. How do I obtain a new birthdate or social security number?

TransUnion just gives error messages due to "volume." how is the government not suing Equifax into the ground already?! The CEO should be in prison!

You will see no money on a class action lawsuit regardless. You get $ 10 bucks but the attorneys will cash in.

TransUnion has stopped providing a free annual credit report because they are too busy.

All your tips are fine, but the problem I have is I can't get a human on the phone from Equifax, nor do there phone number never work, either busy or no answer today, nor does the website work for trying too place a freeze on my credit work. Been trying since 9/9/17 to put a freeze on my credit and one time it gave me a message that I need to send them my info by mail ( I ain't mailing them anything, I didn't ask them to monitor my credit in the first place) the next 2 times, 9/13/17 and today 9/15/17 - I fill out the form and it keeps giving me a 500 error. And tells me to call the other 2 credit agencies. What is wrong with this company I need to freeze my credit with this company - why can't someone fix this site. All we are getting is stalling tactics. I hope the hackers wait until Equifax gets there stuff together before they start ruining everyone's credit... Is this how a 3 billion dollar company should operate....

Equifax MUST be held responsible for the information breach and violation of trust. They have made money off all individuals and MUST accept responsibility for rectifying any damage caused.

It should not be necessary for individuals to ask if they are affected, EQUIFAX HAS A RESPONSIBILITY TO ADVISE EACH AND EVERY INDIVIDUAL IF THEY ARE AFFECTED BY THE BREACH.

Subsequently, Equifax must do what is necessary to protect the individuals affected by their poor protection of critical data from this day forward.

Equifax is responsible. Equifax MUST take that responsibility and do whatever is necessary to make restitution and protect the affected individuals their failure cause to be in jeopardy.

They made millions, if no billions, based on the trust of the people. Now they must pay the necessary price for the trust in them that was obviously broken.

When I try to click continue, I get the red circle with a line through it. It does nothing. Tried on 2 different computers. Useless.

It's time US consumers weren't left with the total responsibility of protecting their personal information. It's a joke - we just don't have the power to do that.

Experian seems to be blocking consumers from placing a freeze (means less money for Experian) by rigging the pages on their website to either say "loading" (even though you look at the tab and nothing is happening), or directing you to a page that says "We couldn't find that page." I tried calling but the number wouldn't even ring through. Pretty clever way to protect their income.

Why wait until the breech happens? Better controls are needed.We need strict penalties for people who are careless with our data. Give them huge fines. And give the people who have been affected free credit protection for life!

So now the credit report websites are Unavailable! Equifax wants you to mail in you request with Documentation! This is NOT good!

This debacle is so insulting. Equifax will not allow online or by phone fraud alerts let alone freezes. Ironically, the other two bureaus did process my freeze. What are consumers supposed to do when the offender has basically decided not to give a fig. Zero consumer protection. Why is the government not stepping in and protecting us?

For days, Equifax's computer system has been unable / unavailable to process my repeated requests for fraud alert / credit freeze. I know innumerable others are having the same experience, both on-line and on the phone. What is FTC doing to encourage Equifax to get its act together ?

I just want to know when Equifax is going to notify me of the breach on my data. It started in May, it is now September 15th and I have yet to receive any notice from Equifax!!! Execs are selling their stock for profits....all seems corrupt to me.


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