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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

I want to see if my credit information was stolen

Minimal difficulty placing security freeze on personal credit report via Equifax internet request form for such and no difficulty at all placing security freeze on personal credit report via TransUnion internet request form for such. However, it is impossible to obtain security freeze on personal credit report via Experion internet request form for such or via Experion telephone request procedure for such. After providing Experion the information requested by either means it responds that it is unable to honor the freeze request and that one must submit request information in writing (along with copies of one's driver's license and of recent bank statement or utility bill and required payment for such - I'm exempt from such payment due to my age) vis US Mail to its Texas address. Why does Experion have internet and telephone provisions for obtaining such freezes if it will not honor such requests. Some governmental action should be taken against Experion. While Equifax has received all the bad publicity, it is my experience that Experion is the greater culprit.

I called the number for Equifax on the Federal Trade Commission site, gave my information and was told that it could not process the freeze for me. Then it hung up!!

just like many of you mentioned, equifax IT department is joke. the basic site doesn't work. the customer service sucks. what good does it do, if they have 2000 reps and they don't have access to the system nor they can help. i sent a email to top exec and got a response, but he pretty much said, sit on your hands. this is a nightmare. govt should freeze these three companies and they don't have any right to have my information, much less to sell it to others.

Unable to get annual credit report because companies reply that they are unable to process requests. Their systems are overloaded because of the Equifax data breach.

Why is this information now updated so that we actually know what to do???

Suppose I were to find ways of collecting the personal and financial information of millions of people and offered them, for a nominal fee, the ability to "freeze" that information so that I didn't disseminate it to others. Am I legally allowed to do that? If not, why are so-called "credit bureaus" allowed to do it? I firmly believe that their activities would be labeled crimes were it not for the fact that they are large corporations with the power to create legality by buying legislation.

already hack my Discover account

What kind of suckers are we?? The fact that financial institutions give our private information to private entities without our consent is a complete violation of our right to privacy set forth by the constitution that no one in America stands up for or even knows it. All we know is what the global elite main stream tells us to do as we fight with the "check to see if you were effect tab" on the site. Oh yeah, don' t forget to renew your credit monitoring after your free year is up, you will need it, after all we are stupid enough to give to the agency more of our private information, like credit card number to pay for the service. Why, because we are told to do it after, this agency collects our private information and violates our constitutional rights. The Government is ultimately responsible for not up holding the laws they sworn to protect! So go get you cancer checks ups through our now socialized healthcare systemas a result of poisoning the lobbied FDA allows in our food. Go enslave yourself to the banks as we are on a civilian and government level due to the financial wild fires created by the central banks. Such as the 15 year engineered subprime mortgage scam that collapsed in 2008, instead of jail time that a civilian would get, the banks got rewarded to buy the peoples' homes back for pennies on the dollars with their own tax dollars. "It pays to do crime in America",as the value of our currency becomes worthless due to debt. We have to be the biggest suckers! Ask yourself who has destroyed our future prosperity, our rights, our health? Let me give you a hint, it's not North Korea, Russia, ISIS, China, Iraq, Alqada. We have to stop accepting this type of government with no accountability even for past actions!! The past administrations should be in prison and families stripped of wealth.

I personally think Equifax should be put out of business. They are in the credit business and yet managed to put half of the country's personal information in the hands of hackers. Unforgivable and a nightmare many people do not understand yet. Simply unforgivable. And now two people have retired thinking this gets them off the hook? Unforgivable, and they all need to be charged with criminal intent because of the nature of their jobs. NOT doing your job is criminal at a credit agency.

Since insurance company's use your credit reports, how will this affect that if you've been compromised.

1 in 4 people are all ready victims of identity theft and after this breach it will be 3 in 4. come on, we were never safe. Equifax are crooks and probably did the hack themselves. WE NEED TO get together and change the laws that make the consumers the victims. If someone uses your identity there is nothing you can do to protect yourself because you don't even know its happening. If someone starts an account in your name then the people responsible are the ones who are offering the account for not making sure it was really you signing up. The laws need to be changed because, no matter what, no one is safe. This hack makes this evident.

Don't bother calling their number. Person answers with the same crap on their web site. What happens to the info they sell to marketing co's to send me Amex/Chase/BofA credit card offers. How did they protect that? How do I know the info I send them now to "enroll" will be any better protected than the info they already couldn't protect? What about year 2, or year 5 or 6? I'm going to pay the same people that could potentially destroy 143 million lives? Why months after they knew the theft pass before they confessed? Why did officers sell major stock holdings before the news was released? Lock 'em up. The company should be sued in a class action suit and brought to the edge of bankruptcy. Now they have 9000+ employees in 14 countries (maybe they have the stolen info) With 3.5 Billion Dollars in revenue, I say, make them pay. Make them pay BIG.

I just heard about this via my cc company. I have no vested interest in Equifax, BUT... the bureaus are necessary in a capitalist society. If you are not credit worthy, credit extending parties need to know this. It sucks, but it is what it is. If you don't like it, I'm sure Somalia or Yemen or North Korea doesn't scrutinize your credit and offer a lifestyle compatible with this freedom of creditors. I've had both great and crappy credit. When it was bad I knew it was bad and why. Currently it's so so, which is closer to bad than good. If someone wants to steal my identity they can have it!

A lot of people hope Equifax will go out of business after they deal with the lawsuits etc. Probably the best way to put Equifax out of business is to freeze your credit account with Equifax and never, ever unfreeze it. Equifax makes their money from selling our personal credit information to businesses, banks, etc. If everyone froze their credit report what can Equifax sell? At a minimum it would so severe damage to their revenue. I froze my credit report at all three credit bureaus. If I ever unfreeze them it will only be Experian and TransUnion. My credit reports with Equifax will remain frozen until I die.

OK, went to the Equifaxsecurity2017 site, went to the possible impact, put in my info, got the may not have been impacted, was given the date to return.....entered my Mother's information...got the may have been impacted and and when clicked on continue, it went straight to the sign up page for the free one year services...it this a change on their website for people who most likely were affected that they are not given a date to return and instead now go straight to the sign up?

Doe we have to sign up for the free credit freeze with each of the 3 main Agencies or only once with one?

If you are thinking about placing a fraud alert or credit freeze, read the Fraud alert or credit freeze? blog post.

It explains some differences between fraud alerts and credit freezes, and how you place them.

I was blissfully oblivious to what I need to do regarding the breach until I noticed Yahoo had inserted 180 emails in my Spam folder. They are all about someone living in Brooklyn (I live in Suffolk County, LI) being notified of job openings and financial benefits. I'm a retiree and NOT looking for a job! I have started the process to enroll with Equifax. I looked my free Experion report that has major errors about where I live and what I do for a living. Have to contact them on Monday. Since someone is ALREADY using my personal info, I have to freeze any activity to borrow against my name.
Need legal help. Plan to contact my Congressman and State Attorney General.

It would be nice if your site would work. When I filled out my personal information on your Trusted ID Premier form and tried to click on CONTINUE I get a circle with a line through it saying NO. So now what?

How do you find out if it has happened to you ?

How I know they got my email? I am supposedly to get the next step and it hasn't happened. Tried to freeze my credit and the response was wrong address. Now What???

Why is my information not protected? Why do I have to pay for services now because someone exposed my information? Yet, another way for money making machines.

At this point, good luck trying to get through to any of the three for anything; be it obtaining your credit report, requesting a freeze or fraud alert! Been trying for days now!

I called the Equifax phone number the day the breech was announced on the news. We had Equifax for a few years & have since changed to a better company& plan. But, I knew we would've been on the list; and we were. I was told to call back the Equifax phone number on 9/12 . After a rep that was unhelpful she told me she was transferring me to the correct info. The number she transferred me to was yet another credit report bureau! I waited on hold for 90 minutes before giving up. What to do now?!? We are very concerned and need guidance from an official source.

On the first day this broke I went to site and entered my name and last six and the response was that my info was not compromised and I was given a date to return to enroll in free credit monitoring. So when I return on my given date and input my credentials I am now informed that they believe my info WAS compromised!. BTW, I already had placed a freeze on my credit info with the three credit bureaus several years ago. At first I thought this had protected my information. Haha

Interesting that we are all commenting and voicing our opinions and concerns on the actual website of the federal government's answer to consumer fraud, the FTC...and yet, I do not see one single response from them out of the hundreds of comments and concerns regarding this breach of personal information. Whoever came up with the idea of allowing a private company safeguard such sensitive data, unknowingly to many people, should be held responsible as well. When will our government finally show some honor and put an end to this Equifax debacle and use the FTC the way it was intended.

after completing the process on line for fraud protection, i have not recieved an E-Mail to complete process as stated i would on line.

My son's information has been hacked, however, he is under 18 and Equifax will not provide credit monitoring because of his age. Shouldn't they provide this for anyone whose information was hacked, regardless of their age?

This FTC article about Child Identity Theft has information about steps you can take.

Were they thinking this was just going to fade away? no one would find out about it? Just stall until they could unload stock. They had plenty of time to be prepared with the proper response and resources. Not fast busy signals and poorly trained response centers. Where's my data now Equifax???? Applied for your free TrustedID on Wed and have not rec'd an acknowledgement, email...nada. Call your response team who have not heard of TrustedID and know nothing about it. Get referred to another 888# with fast busy's and/or wait in the bottomless queue. Watch the cryng CEO on their website...just want to punch the screen ...the lying skunk

This is like breacbreach of Anthem few yrs ago They're the company that had all our medical info as well as personal info if we ever had Blue Cross or Blue Shield EVER! Anthem offered 2 yrs of free monitoring Equifax should offer a lifetime of free monitoring bc they have even more info on us Today everyone who has ever had a credit card incl store cards or ever rented an apt or ever bought a house or ever went to a Dr or hospital are in a computerized file and there are 3 credit reporting agencies Not just Equifax! We are subject to ID theft at anytime from anyone Unfortunately this is what happens in age of technology There are people all over the world who devote their entire lives to doing this so they can then sell the info and screw up your life for a long time You have to straighten it out Its disgusting but a fact of life Wish I could go live in the forest not have an acct and just use case like the old days Equifax should be mailing letters to each and every person whose info was hacked to let us know directly! And they should automatically enroll us for life in a credit monitoring service

143 affected...1million should be paid to each person. A mere 143 million. Credit protection agencies cover you for up to 1 million in damages should your information become compromised. Problem solved. I'm suing them for 1 mil plus the cost of filing. Im sure Trump had something to do with this. He's a jinx!

On September 13, I enrolled in the free credit monitoring. Here it is, more than 72 hours later, and I don't have an email yet. Are they running late? Or is it possible that my credit alerts (which have been in place for two years) are blocking the process? I don't want to stop them, for obvious reasons. I'm getting more worried by the day.

This is an absolute disgrace. This breach was going on for months, yet when I tried to address the problem, the site wasn't yet working; then you get a date several days later to set up your profile; then you get a message saying it will be several days before you get access! I'm still waiting for access. Just a couple of weeks ago my Amex card was used to pay for something in Europe. I assume this is why. I cannot begin to understand how a credit reporting agency over which I have absolutely no control can mishandle my data so fundamentally. I've already had one ID theft courtesy of mismanagement of my data by the government -- and just as I reach the clear on that, now this. No one has time for this. And the fix is supposed to be to go back to Equifax's website and re-submit your information to them? HOW CAN THIS BE HAPPENING?!

so in order to apply to enroll in the theftID with equifax one must give all personal info: DOB, social security number, email and address, sex etc wait a few days for date to enroll. then apply and wait a few days checking spam and email before things are finalized. this creates a credit lock which is similar to a freeze and only lasts a year. It is not a freeze which lasts until one chooses to remove it. at this time I was told it is impossible toplae a security freeze on equinox. So we are vulnerable for about a week and unable to put a permanent freeze on equifax account. AND we are giving our vulnerable information to them once again that they couldn't keep safe the first time. Are people trusting their site now to give them this info to lock it???? if we don't do it by Nov 21 the deadline. it is a catch 22. what do people think is safe to secure our info at equifax info. SLS

It is impossible (per Equifax) to put a freeze on info. must go through their system to enroll giving ll of our sensitive/vulnerable ID info.once again that the could protect the first time. What are people doing???? What is recommended. I was able to put a freeze on experian ($5.0)). Equifax should be responsible for this fee. They should freeze all of our accounts PERIOD. ANY IDEAS??? HOW TO GET AROUND ALLOF THIS WITHOUT GIVING OUR INFO TO EPEDIA ONCE AGAIN? HOW DO WE KNOW THEIR SIR=TE IS NOW SECURE \? CAN THEY PROVE IT???

The Federal Trade Commission should make it mandatory for Equafax to send out a paper notification to the individuals that have been compromised. This makes sense to me, but I guess that why it will not happen.

Their system is designed without any security. I was able to enroll my wife and myself withe same e-mail address. But later I found out that they use the email address as the userID. I got an email back for me to continue to set up the account for my wife. But i never got email for myself. Then I tried to enroll myself with different email address. but I never get email back from them for the new e-mail address and never got set up the account. Then I got the email to my very first address and tell that my account is already set up. I called their supporters and the guy cannot find information at all.
how security is their mind?

Mine said I was. The site always comes up. Because of High volume we can not process. Come back later. I have been going to different sites and change my security passwords and security questions. My information has been compromised many times. It is scary. Years ago SS former employee walks off with computer after being fired. That was in NY. Ten Target, some medical company, and a couple others. It is sad that we can not protect ourselves.

So why doesn't this company just get closed down
Creditors should not to provide any information to this unworthy company-or be held accountable, too.
Also why doesn't equifax freeze all credit accounts immediately and then unfreeze upon request. If the technology cannot be used safely then it shouldn't be used at all
The FTC and SEC should do the right thing and hold the company and its executives properly accountable

When I did as told, it said I was not impacted. I WAS. My Discover card was hit. I now have a new one. I want to enroll but am afraid to give them my social security number.

To institute a credit freeze, an individual must enter all of their personal information and social security number on a webpage. Is that a safe?

It is worth 9 to 10 dollars a month to have alerts sent to you if found on a credit card. I am in the midst of working with a fraud manager and he has helped me a lot. It is wise to contact all three (well, I am not paying much attention to Equifax after seeing how they operate.)Experian and TransUnion seem better but I have learned a lesson about fraud even though I watch my accounts very closely and as recent as yesterday, I received a note from Apple that someone used my account to purchase a $399 fitness program.. Quite interesting and maddening when I just had back surgery which allows me to walk as the only fitness I may do right now. Even when you attempt to CLOSE an account, it does not get done.

So now, because I live in California, I must pay Equifax $10 to Freeze my credit report and another $10 when I want to Thaw my account when I want to apply for a loan and then another $10 to refreeze after loan processes have been accomplished.....Really !!! The guys that bungled my data now want to charge me fees !!!!

THEY (ALL 3 CREDIT COMPANY) SHOULD OFFER AUTOMATIC CREDIT MONITORING FOR ALL AFFECTED CONSUMNERS. THIS INCIDENT SHOULD BE TREATED AS A NATIONAL SECURITY.

I find the advice to file your income tax early pathetic, though it is a good idea. But it is also an open acknowledgement that the IRS lacks competence to identify false returns, especially those that produce refunds.

OK - Does anyone wonder why they will only protect you for free for 1 year? These hackers don't always use your private information immediately. They aren't stupid, many of them will wait for a year or longer before using your information to attempt to get to your money, assets, etc.

Equifax should by default offer lifetime credit monitoring service since the data will be out there for ever.

Did my account got hack

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