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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, 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 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 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.

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.

 

 

Comments

AGREE, Citibank might have been informed by equifax. I received a letter from Citibank dated 613 telling me that I needed to call them right away and when I called I was told that I needed to close my credit card immediately my data might have been breached sounds like they knew. I WILL BE A WITNESS IN CLASS ACTION. How many others were told by Citibank that they had to close the credit cards for a data breach?

Need help finding my credit score and to find if my information has been stolen

This is total BS! These companies should be sued to kingdom come. Confidential information doesn't mean crap anymore. Those politicians better do something about this!

the big three execs got us good they made money selling their stock now they will make money on us because after a year they will start to charge everyone for the monitoring service. they all need to go to jail. but we all know the rich get richer and the poor get ripped off again

When I enrolled in the credit protection they offered, it asked for me FULL SS# -- is that legit?

No it isn't.

Cannot request a 90 fraud alert from Experian "Our system is currently unavailable"

Should I cancel all my credit cards and only keep two?

Yes my information has been exposed and I would like to strike a deal with Equifax just pay me to make it better and to settle

I've tried countless days and times each day to put a freeze on my credit report following all the links and instructions. All I ever get is pages that don't load or an error message asking me to try later. Really? And these are the clowns in charge of our life, identity and credit? And who do I complain to? Nobody! What a dream scam they have going on.

the best part is... you never gave them permission to have your information. forget Russia, this is all about collusion between wall street and the government.

So here is how the conversation went on the phone with the Equifax customer call center guy. I told him I've been trying to put a freeze on my husband's account and my account for days and the page itself freezes up when I hit submit. I DO see a number on the screen He said to keep trying, they can't do it for us. Then I said, maybe Equifax should put a blanket freeze on all these accounts since they know how many were affected so we all should not have to go through this mess. There was no answser. I said "Hello?" He said I'm sorry Im here I was just laughing so hard." I hung up. GREAT HELP CENTER PEOPLE EQUIFAX! WE WILL BE THE FIRST ONES TO SIGN UP FOR THE CLASS ACTION SUIT.

What a laugh, Equifax credit monitoring free for a year, this won't go away after one year once out there for crooks it's going to stay out there for ever. So all 143 million are going to be stuck paying the three companies for this glorified monitoring till the cows come home and the execs are raking in massive bonuses due to the increased revenue from the 143 million customers of their services at 10 to $11 a head. That's a billion and a half each, I'm sure the free product from Equifax will be like trying to get rid of an "auto-ship" product.

the government needs to reissue everyone a new SS#

How can this happen? With all the security available today, Equifax should be held responsible and provide free protection service indefinitely for those I D's compromised.

Equifax needs to offer settlement to individuals affected rather than pay millions and billions to others who won't be affected for the rest of their lives. These people filing class action law suits are ruining everything. They file a suit to get everyone $20-$50 and have to worry the rest of their lives. ****Ridiculous*** I would say Equifax pay each individual a nice settlement and then be charged from the FTC or whoever to go after the rest. But for $20 if it does happen isn't worth it for me to worry the rest of my life while these bi time attorneys who want to cash in are going to be making millions if not billions off of others.

So, let me get this straight. Equifax is hacked exposing sensitive information to the bad guys. You go to their web site to see if you were affected--probably were. So then your asked to enroll in a paid security program from the folks that allowed your sensitive information to get out in the first place. Smells tuna fishy to me.

Where's the "potential impact" tab?!

tried Test Doe 123456 and was compromised
tried Test Doe 654321 and not
I would not enter anything into this site

Why is equifax not required to contact persons that have had their data breached instead of making everyone play a guessing game. i did not allow or authorize equifax to have my data in the first place.

I read that they are supposed to notify people that were affected via United States Postal Mail. It didn't say how soon.

The website to sign up for protection is not letting me finish

So I have completed Credit Freeze on Innovis Trans Union and Experian.

I go to freeze Equinox site , enter all my personal data AGAIN ... and site indicates that I cannot complete freeze on-line BUT MUST MAIL all same data and credit card to Equifax. They will send a letter confirming!

They lose my info in blink of an eye .... keep it secret for months .... insiders unload millions of shares of stock .... I try to freeze my credit .... can't do it ... and I have to use USPO.

Give me a break.

WHERE IS CFPB WHEN 1/2 of all Americans need them?

there is no consumer protection, business can be too big to fail, can even have person-hood to bribe the elections, and then have no consequences at their failure. Equifax needs to be made an example.

The CFPB has pretty much been defanged, it'd budget has been cut, thank you congress

Friday, September 15, 2017 - I called the domain name owner for equifaxsecurity2017. com - which is not Equifax - its markmonitor. com @ 800.337.7520 and they confirmed a true business relationship with Equifax as their contracted domain name registrant. This should not be the case in a normal business relationship the domain registrant should be Equifax.
Upon clicking this trick link – it tries to get you to sign up for: TrustedID Premier To enroll and activate your complimentary identity theft protection and credit file monitoring product, called TrustedID Premier
This is NOT What I Want – I need a “credit freeze”!
FTC needs to CHANGE THIS WEB PAGE IMMEDIATELY

To place a credit freeze, contact each of the nationwide credit reporting companies:

You'll need to supply your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information. Fees vary based on where you live, but commonly range from $5 to $10.

what are the going to do to protect us for the next year and then some who ever has this info of ours may not use it for years from now then what we need to be protected for a very long time and at NO COST to us

It would be nice if I could file my taxes early but the government gives the banks and brokerages (the ones with the supercomputers) up to 90 days to get the information to me, while I get as little as 2 weeks to figure it all out (make sure it is correct) and fit it into the right places on my return.

All entities are required to send out your tax information by January 31.

So let me get this right. Their solution is to give me free enrollment to a service which is proved to be vulnerable? Hmmm. I thought the whole credit reporting company thing was a bit wierd. Who gave them the authority to keep record of my credit anyway?

So out of 3 adults in this house, I am the only one that has been able to successfully signup for the credit monitoring. My husband has now waited 2 days for a link that's never come to complete his. Today was my elderly fathers turn, and he immediately got a link. 2 matter of fact. Too bad neither one works when you put in the last 4 of his social and his birth date. You click on continue and it does nothing. Not even the cursor throbs like it's doing anything. SMH What a complete screw up. Kind of makes you wonder if these people that live out in the middle of nowhere that shun technology like this, keeps money in their mattresses instead of banks, buys nothing on credit, and is considered old fashioned or out of date is not really the ones that have it together. If companies like this can't keep our data protected, who can? Of course that wouldn't work either. So much depends on social security numbers and credit. Even jobs, taxes, medical, utilities, and more. SMH

Did your husband ever get his email? I've been waiting since Wednesday. I have never checked my spam folder so frequently... Nothing. Four days now.

equifax account freeze number is fast busy and the website doesn't let me do it online.
as far as i am concerned it is time for them to no longer exist.

I was just advised over the phone that they could not help me that I would have to go to Equifax Web page. Went to the Web page and it says We're sorry. We cannot process your security Freeze request at this time?

I cant freeze my account?

The stolen information would be worthless if there was a National ID Card to identify people. This semi-secret SSN is a very weak form of ID. Replace it with a modern encrypted ID card!

I lost 100 points on my credit in the last 3 months would this have anything to do with it

5 credit cards were opened with my info (without my consent). How do I know the impact of that on my credit score and who let these hackers open these accounts? (Target and Amazon approved the application, sent credit cards, and later sent letters that "my" application had been flagged.) I want to know for a fact that my credit score has not been affected by this event and I definitely want a guarantee that this won't happen again.

I've been charged a monthly fee for years for their services, but they won't or can't do a credit freeze or fraud alert. They still have an incorrect former address which caused my interest on a re-fi to go up some years ago. Isn't it obvious that the credit report industry needs change and an end to the monopoly these agencies enjoy while the consumer--me in this case--does not get what he pays for.

Equifax needs to pay for all of our credit freezes or credit freezes need to be the default for free. We don't leave our garage doors open 24/7/365 why should our credit info be open that way.

I had been receiving phone calls from unknown numbers originating from PA, MD, and NJ area around the time of the breach. I do not answer unknown phone numbers before I reverse lookup the caller. The white pages said that the numbers were landlines and safe to call. However,I am worried that these numbers are spoofed. I am wondering if they already have my sensitive information, why do they still have to call me. One time I answered a call, the caller just said "sorry", is there any more they can achieve by calling the victims? I am really concerned.

do you feel like a codfish in a swimming pool full of sharks? Congress doesn't seem to care, oh sure they want to hold a hearing, I bet you can't wait to here the CEO give the standard Sgt Schultz of Hogan's Hero's answer of "I know nothing, I see nothing, I hear nothing". Those that are impacted by this are stuck with it for the rest of their life, so every time you want to get a new credit card, or get a loan you will have to pay up to get the credit freeze removed to get what you want. This freeze does not protect money you have in the bank, to get it protected you get to pay up to the bank. what a Crock!

I've been paying for Equifax credit monitoring since 2007. September's statement said no news is good news, nothing to report. How good will free monitoring be?

Submitted all information requested online to request credit freeze. Received a comment back that I had to submit BY MAIL all the information I had just entered online. Why do they make it possible (or make it look like) it can be done online?????

i believe the attorney for class action will enrich themselves more than the persons affected. it is better to close equafax and destroy all records

I find this very disconcerting and confusing. I have requested credit freezes from Experian and TransUnion. I am reluctant to request any services from Equifax, since they already have information on my credit and mishandled it. In addition to no longer trusting anything that they do or say. Is it safe? Is it necessary to also make a request from Equifax for a credit freeze?

Last night I was able to put a freeze on my Experian and TransUnion accounts. I coudn't get through to Equifax. Today I called Equifax to begin the freeze process and it says I already have one. ? Anyone else have this happen?

I just went on Equifaxsecurity2017.com site and clicked on the potential impact tab. After giving my last name and partial SS # I received the message that my info was probably NOT affected. No date appeared, so I clicked on "enroll", which asked for all of my personal data. Of course, I will not give that to these folks. Then I scrolled back to the potential impact tab, which this time said my info WAS probably affected. I repeated this process twice, with the same bizarre results. Now what do I do???

Earlier today I went to sign up and was expecting to get an enrollment date, instead after telling me that I may be impacted, and clicking the only button to move forward I was at the enrollment page, so I did. Googled to see if Equifax had changed the signup process but didn't find anything to support that they had.

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