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 a m not a robot is a joke. It just goes in circles and never takes you anywhere

I signed up and expected an email within a few minutes. Still nothing. Makes me wonder if something is amiss.

6 digits of a SS number seems risky - if they already know what state you were likely born in it doesn't take much to guess the first three. How did they get my SS number to begin with?

I have tried several times to freeze my account, the site goes into la la land, never gives me a pin. Bizarre.

They say my info was taken. That is not good for my position in life. I have tried the 1 yr monitor. they wanted my cc #. So I ask. Why do I only get this for 1 yr. for free then I have to pay for it. This is through their third party company that is a part of Equifax in some third party way from what I read. Question # 1. Is this a scam to get money from people? #2. Why can I not choose who I feel comfortable with watching my info and Equifax can pay this for this until I am dead? As my info is stolen till I am dead not just for 1 yr. I did received a phone call a few weeks ago. The man was trying to set me up for student loan and grant. He asked. 00/00/0000 is this your birth date? Then he asked 000-00-0000. Is this you SSI #? He had them correct. #4 What do I do now? I have spent a lot of time making phone calls. Asking what to do. They all send me around to different places. I just cannot get an answer. Just. We do not control this part of it. This is a lot of time I could be doing something else something useful. Right now I cannot get my free report till Jan. I must pay to get a report. My info was stolen. Out there for life. Now it will cost me money to monitor it. Plus the many things I will need to do to monitor things on my own. #5 I did not create this problem in any way. Why must I pay?

If you want to get credit monitoring from Equifax, you can get information at www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.  That link takes you away from the FTC website. Equifaxsecurity2017.com is not controlled by the FTC.

If you want a free credit freeze from Equifax, call 800-349-9960 or go to freeze.equifax.com before November 21, 2017. Equifax says it will not offer the freeze for free after November 21, 2017.

To get free credit reports, go to annualcreditreport.com.. Under federal law you can get one free report from each credit reporting company every 12 months. There are three nationwide credit reporting companies: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.

If someone calls and offers you a free government grant or student loan, it is probably a scam. The government does not call people and offer free money. The caller might know your name or personal information, but still be a scammer. He will ask you to send money, or share your bank account or credit card number to get that "free" grant. This FTC article tells more about fake "free" government grants.

I know all of this you you are telling me. I have spent a lot of time trying to find and fix problems I might have. This cost me and others time and money that we do not have. So we do we call what do we do to fix? That is why I see it as a scam to get more money from people that do not have it. A big scam.

My husband just found 6 credit cards out of Edgewater, Florida that are in his name that are not his, but are associated with his name and profile on Home Depot. He contacted Home Depot, and there were two orders pending (over $2,000 worth of goods) one order was declined because of 'over the limit' and the 2nd Home Depot said didn't go through. We just found the goods were delivered to an address on Florida.
Go check your credit accounts, people....everything! Including Amazon, PayPal Credit, ALL your accounts. This is becoming frighteningly horrible!

I am unable to place a freeze on my credit reports. The website does not respond and no one picks up calls at the credit reporting agency. Should'nt the
government have all the 143M credit reports frozen by default.This will make life simpler for the consumer. If you want credit, you can call and get the report unfrozen.

Sign of The Times !!! No matter what U do U can never B secure !! One way 2 push in a cashless society/one world government !! Don't mean 2 sound like preaching but everything is falling into place,not just with this situation but look around the whole world !!

Glad to see I'm not alone, I also went through the whole process and have yet to receive the "activate" email. That was over a week ago.

I remember {and miss} the good ole days when a promise and a handshake was all you needed .

I'm tired of giving out my personal information and having to wonder if it is a fake Equifax site now!!! That's the latest, a fake Equifax site!!! Shouldn't Equifax take care of all this with confidential mailings instead of jeopardizing the consumer yet further???
Oh, that would cost money!! Fuming!!!

I tried to create a credit freeze but failed. Their web site failed. I called the # and that failed too. Lastly, I send a certified USPS letter requesting the freeze. It's tracking status just showed an exception at 10:40 PM after having been out for delivery yesterday.

This company needs to be shut down and their database is taken offline.

Received my code today after 4 days.
Signed up OK but the website is now down.
Called support-only a 4 minute wait. They are having server problems and she suggests waiting 24 hours and trying again.

Equifax never received written or verbal authorization to collect information. This is a violation of privacy. When I called Equifax for "Free credit monitoring with 3 credit bureaus for one year. I was given the number 1-888-548-7878 to call. There I was placed on hold for 1 hour and 50 minutes, then TrustedIDhung up on me.

I went ahead and froze all my reports. No reason to take a chance. Of course Experian was the only one that is taking advantage of the breach and charged me $5.

Not only have my credit accounts been compromised, but Equifax continues to be negligent with helping consumers protect their credit. I went to www. equifaxsecurity2017. com/ as instructed by Equifax announcement. I filled out the Equifax form to get free credit protection. Equifax then sent me an email saying that they would send me another email to finalize my enrollment and activate my product. It has been 7 days since then and I have not received an email from Equifax to complete the enrollment.

I can't freeze my accounts until the process is completed. So my credit is still vulnerable.

I called the Equifax call center and they didn't have any info about activating my product, but told me to call another number. How do I know who is on the other end of this 'other number'? My confidence in Equifax is null.

If you try to take advantage of the "free" monitoring, it has you fill out the preliminary information and then says they will email you with a link to complete the registration. The problem is that they never email you with the link to complete the process.

The only way to make them act responsibly is to make them responsible for all of your losses from identity theft and "guilty until proven innocent" - if you identity is stolen, they are responsible unless they can prove it was not a result of the hacking of their system.

Never give your info. on the phone internet, or a company you don't know.

I think they are still breaking the law. They have a requirement to notify everyone affected by the breach and posting it on the internet or making an announcement is not legal notification.

I learned to do it myself, I wont have to worry about my info falling into the wrong hands.

I too miss the good old days!

I wonder as to how much it will cost Equifax to make all questions go away. That question strikes me as most interesting and cogent. By the way, regarding entering six digits of your SS Number, Equifax was less than clear re which 6 digits, first, middle of last, my SS Number, according to my SS Card was FOR SOCIAL SECURITY PURPOSES NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION. Congress blew that stipulation blew that away some years back, I imigane being, at the time, suitably rewarded. I've always wondered as to how much this legislative largess cost those who benefited, a group NOT including John and Jane Q. Public. Questions abound, answers are seemingly a lot less than immediately apparent, one wonders how come.

I have been calling for days and still can't get a straight answer if I am in the date breach.

Once I was registered with the site I have found it impossible to use their logon web site to log on. Any suggestions?

The more I try to do the right thing, the more suspicious I get that I am working with scammers. After enrolling, I got an email from Trusted ID with a link to verify my identity. It asked for my birth date, then asked if I wanted a security code to be texted to me to ensure security. I said yes, and I entered the security code they texted me. Then I got a screen that said it could not access that web page. I called the number listed on the email and finally got connected to a girl who didn't seem to know or care too much about anything. She said that it was probably because too many people were trying to access the trustedid web site at the same time. I checked the original email closer and noted that it was sent by no-reply @ trustedid. com via amazonses. com . Is that a phishing email? Did I just make things worse ?

Has anyone else had trouble with signing up for the Trusted ID Premier credit file monitoring? I entered all of the information and received the message that my application was successful and I should receive an e-mail with a link to complete the set up. I have never received the e-mail and I have checked my junk folder. I tried a second time and still nothing. I have also tried calling Equifax but I haven't been able to get through to their Trusted ID Premier area and speak to someone in person. Very frustrating.

I believe that the credit card companies that use Equifax need to reissue new credit cards to users that have been compromised due to the fact they entrusted our information to this company and the GOVERNMENT should step in and fix this situation concerning our social security/drivers license numbers. Someone must be held responsible for their screw ups and if I am compromised I will sue everyone involved.

Right here with you

Unbelievable that a site (ftc) sending you to a supposedly secure site would use an "http://" link rather than "https://". http is in an inherently insecure unencrypted protocol that provides the possibility for compromising security! Please revise your link in www. equitysecurity2017. com to "https:// www.equitysecurity2017. com"!!

Our link redirects you to the https site.

Reading this whole thread is an enlightening but also saddening experience.

Enlightening in the sense of the many intelligent suggestions made by the numerous posters.

Saddening in the sense of how helpless "we the people" truly are in this modern mass society. We had far more real power in earlier centuries when there were far fewer of us, and we were not so tightly integrated into systems whose workings are mechanistic and essentially low-iq (for want of a better descriptor).

As it is we are the beneficiaries/victims of a world civilization where entertainment and comfort is maximized but where autonomy and control of one's own trajectory is minimized.

Equifax's troubles are truly just the beginning of what promises to be a prolonged period of insecurity for the herd. We are collectively bright, but unfortunately not bright enough to avoid the consequences of the systems we have put in place and the technologies we are employing.

I agree 100%. Foreign countries don't need to drop a bomb or use conventional warfare with the U.S. anymore. All they need to do is disrupt our economic system and we are dead in the water. Uncontrolled capitalism driven by greed has gotten us to this point. Individual freedom/privacy has been not been protected because that threatens the corporate world's ability to make money on our backs.
Time to contact our congressmen and get this system changed. It might have worked in a paper-driven world, but it will not work in a mechanized/automated world.

Hi folks,

After wasting hours trying to set credit freezes at all FOUR credit reporting agencies websites, I turned to the phone. Amazing! It was easy, short, and efficient. TransUnion and Experian will charge $10 if you are a Californian. Other rates apply for different states. Here are their phone numbers. They worked on 9/19 to 9/21/2017. Here is the AARP list of those numbers.

To place a freeze, you need to contact each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax (800-349-9960), Experian (888-397-3742) and TransUnion (888-909-8872). A fourth and lesser-known bureau, Innovis (800-540-2505), also allows for security freezes.

Good luck!

Has anyone else noticed that their FICO scores have dropped (@ 5-10 points) since this Equifax fiasco? Ours have (individual family members). We have excellent credit -- on time, nowhere near limits. FICO scores have been in 800s. Now, dropped to low 800s & 790s. Guess where FICO gets their info -- Equifax! We pulled our credit reports & found that Equifax itself had did a 'search' recently. We suppose when we checked to see if we were affected. How can FICO/FTC rely on this loser company to decide our so important FICO score now??

Where is the "personal impact" tab?

The gov't should force Equifax and other credit report companies to make it possible to actually put a freeze on. So far I've wasted hours trying unsuccessfully.

Called the 18006851111 number a couple days ago to freeze my credit. Gave the automated system my info SSN, address. It told me to hold while it processed my request. Then it gave me a menu if I would like to mail my info in which I'm not comfortable with since I'll have to write my SSN. I'm just wondering if my request was processed or not?

Where is the Potential impact tab this site suggests?

If one places a credit freeze with Equifax does that cover the other two also, or must one go to each and do so? Will the placing of a fraud alert with Experian create a fraud alert with the other two?

When you place a credit freeze, it is effective only at the credit reporting company where you place it. To fully freeze your credit, contact the three nationwide credit reporting companies: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. You may have to pay to place or lift a freeze, depending on your state law. In most states a freeze lasts until you ask the company to lift it temporarily or remove it.

A fraud alert is different. To place a fraud alert, contact one of the nationwide credit reporting companies. The company you call must tell the other credit reporting companies and they will put an alert on their versions of your report. If you are not a victim of identity theft, but you're worried because your information was exposed in a breach, you can get a 90 day fraud alert. You could renew it. A fraud alert is free.

Website is worthless. Enter my married name and SS# says impacted, enter my maiden name and SS# says not impacted. Which one is it? Please hold them accountable and change the system. What does social security even had to do with our credit? Somehow we have allowed it to become or national identity number when it shouldn't have.

In 2016 my husband's identity was compromised and credit cards opened. We have ID theft protection on our homeowner's insurance policy so I had an advocate and counselor. I still had to do most of the work. It was 3 months of emails, letters, and making reams of copies. I had to dig thru old records because nothing gets deleted on those reports. Many listed transactions were long forgotten but still had to be verified as closed or active. A nightmare!

Why are they still allowed to be in business and why are not required by law to notify me by US mail me (not email me) that this has occurred? They have my social, driver license and obviously my mailing address. Get to it FTC and make some useful laws to protect your citizens. There should be very basic laws that state that any person or company that "stores" and retains SS numbers should have severe penalties(i.e you're out of business done!) when and if they allow that information to be mishandled or stolen. I don't even give my SS to these companies and yet the credit card companies freely give it to them to sell for every credit check someone wants to do. If any system needs to be regulated, this is it!

I will say to all who will listen. The big problem is not just Equifax. It is MONEY and GREED. Those at the top are very rich. They have more than they need while those at the bottom get nothing. If you have low income it can be hard to keep bills paid. Yet large companies and those at the top can get all needs met and more and still never be poor. I say. capitalism does not work and communism does not work. We need Equalism. To those at the top I say. You cannot survive without those at the bottom. This is because without us. You can clean your own toilet,fix your own car,run your own farms,ect. We need those with higher education to sort through to work a good process for all. In it all we need each other as a team. My idea of Equalism. Throw the cash in the trash. Create not just a country but a world where we can educate anyone to their best abilities. That can create a workforce where everyone can do something for society. All human needs can be covered because there is no money involved. When I hear this or that cannot be done because the money is not there. That would go away. Theft would fall. Because if it was setup and run correctly. There be no need for it. In this world. As all needs are met. Then we work on wants. They will come. We do not need rich humans running this. Just good kind people with love for others. People that do not need or want more than another. Then a true government could be trusted. I have said this for years. I have been told. I am trying to create a heaven on earth. This is true. Humans would be happier and want to do more. As it comes along all needs and wants can and will be met over time. people say it can never happen. But it can. We just need to start. It will not happen overnight just over time. Would I see a benefit of this? NO. But future generations would. With this Equifax can have my info because there would be no monetary value to it. There would be no debts. Just let good people that are gods people run it for the good of others. To put it in line. I am poor, I will help any human by my morals and means. I ask for nothing in return because at some point someone will help me. Live love not lost living. My final thought on this part for now. Do you love to hate or hate to love.

All of my info. is Frozen, I had a couple of credit cards, I called up my CC companies and had my account numbers changed, nothing looked funny. Freezing is the way to go no matter what...if you need a house or a car, just unfreeze it, then refreeze, simple. So, change all of your CC numbers, get new cards, and Freeze..it only costs about 10.00 bucks per credit bureau, then if you need to undo it, they give you a long PIN number to do so, to either unfreeze it for a day or two, or week, the refreeze which costs about 10 bucks to do each time, and while you're at it get a report, 2 birds with one stone, I say. Don't jack around with your credit, because it will cost you heavy in more ways then you would care to deal with.....FREEZE IT!! Then unfreeze when you have to, because it's not worth the time and high pressure to fix the big mess you will have to deal with if you don't take a pro active move right now!

Don't enter any info on TrustedID! I followed the instructions and received my confirmation email to then set up account. It wouldn't complete process and both the phone number given on the web page and the one in the email were invalid phone numbers. Scammed again!! This is alarming since I followed the link from this webiste.

Please let me know what phone numbers you called.

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