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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

If the SEC was on ball these guys should have been arrested and given a bail hearing. The bail amount should be the same as the proceeds from the stock sale.

The sign-up for Equifax's monitoring service is not working. I signed up on September 13 and was told to wait for an email to confirm. Seven (7) days later and no email. When I called Equifax I was told to wait for a few more days! Pure crap!

Talked to a rep. Said govt is to blame. Also said I shouldn't be afraid to give SS# out. she had an attitude too. Company is a joke.

So I understand they 'might' have recended the you can't sue us clause, but I will take no chances, though it says I'm safe, I seriously doubt that. At this time, Equifax is looking more and more like Enron and does NOT need to be in business anymore. Should there be even one thing popping up on my credit monitoring service that is third party(not signing up for credit monitoring through a company who just had one breach that they told us about) I know exactly who to come after with pitchforks and torches.

It doesn,t matter what we do to protect ourselves,. The system is such that we are screwed!!! The big boys will do what they can get away with, we don't count. That,s not bitterness, that,s just how it is. If at all possible pay cash, live within your means!! it

I signed up and have yet to receive my confirmation email. That was a week ago. I checked all folders in my email and nothing, nothing in spam either

I signed up and have yet to receive my confirmation email. That was a week ago. I checked all folders in my email and nothing, nothing in spam either

I enrolled for the Trusted ID monitoring and after a few days received an email saying "There was a problem activating your product" with no further information. I replied to them and never heard back. Then, I called Equifax Customer Care Team at 877-742-1415. After 25 minutes, the representative told me I should have called TrustedID at 888-548-7878. There was not even an automated menu that prompt caller through it. The phone kept ringing until it gets disconnected. I feel like I am getting the goaround without a resolution in sight.

This same thing happen to me. I don't trust them. So now I'm reading articles to learn how to protect myself and my mother's credit and identity. All this seems so wrong that we should be punished because Equifax failed to do their job.

I have heard that if you have signed up for the frre 1 year coverage in order to retain your rights to sue individually or as part of a class action lawsuit you must deliver in writing to Equifax a disclaimer of releasing those rights. If you do not, then you have thrown those rights away. Where do we send that letter and who pays to have it sent registered mail?

The Equifax site has some Frequently Asked Questions for Consumers. That includes information about what happens to your legal rights if you enroll in the monitoring and other products.

Last week I checked equifax, response was my records may have been impacted, I enrolled in the free one year monitoring, then got message I will receive an email with link to finalize my enrollment to activate it. Still haven't received the e-mail. Just tried to enroll again, got the same message, wait for e-mail with link to finalize.(?) Anyone else get this response? Thanks.

Same thing here, after signing up I got an email on 09/14 saying that I would receive an email link to finalize, but I still haven't received it yet.

Same thing. Frustrating!

Equihacks you suck. I hate you.

Hey, we may have given your info to scammers so here, enter your DOB & Social Security number on this form so we can protect you...
Thank you, no.

I would like to end my relationship with Equifax. Please delete my information from your files. You no longer have my permission to have my information.

What do you mean I can't end my relationship with Equifax? I don't think you understand. I am not happy with your failure to protect my most sensitive and important information, so I would like to cease doing business with you. There are two other agencies that can keep my information. It is MY information isn't it?
I am officially requesting that Equifax no longer keep my information. Why can't I do that? Do you have some legal right to gather and keep personal information on people against their will?

If you file a credit freeze online you should receive a PIN but according to the Equifax website as of Sept. 14, 2017 some people who signed up "were not able to view their PIN." The cause was because of the customer's "browser settings" and Equifax is working on a fix for this issue. They claim to display a phone number that consumers may call to receive a pin but no number is displayed to call. Their call center gives out a number that might help but it is always busy. So now I have a Credit Freeze but no way to know my PIN to remove the Credit Freeze if I need to. The suggestion was made that I should send all of my information along with copies proving my identity to a Post Office Box for Equifax. They suggested copies of my Social Security Card, Birth Certificate, Driver's License, etc. I am not willing to send those to a company that has set up a credit freeze system that doesn't work properly and who has had a breach of such proportions and expects more personal information to be sent to a PO Box. What a mess!!!

When u go to enroll for Trusted ID they want too much info. Social, Nam, Birth date, address, how long at address. They have all this info. Don't want to put it out there again

After many tries getting an "error" message, I was finally able to get to get past the first page, and now the instructions say to select which security freeze option you would like to request. The two selections available are both regarding lifting a freeze. I cannot do that without the 10 digit pin, which I never received because I never was able to place the freeze to start with because of all the error messages. I called the "help" center on Saturday and was told this was also a glitch in the system because of over use, be patient, and it would be fixed in a few days. Today is Wednesday and nothing has changed. As anyone else had this problem?

Also enrolled in free monitoring on Saturday, and have not received email either.

So it should just be people with a credit history that are affected, correct? It said that I am affected, but my husband is not. I decided to check on our children. One of our kids (age 17) with no credit history got the message saying that his information may have been affected. Why would it say this? He does have a fast food job, a driver's license, and he took the ACT. Would Equifax collect information from those?? He has a debit card from his checking account, but he does not have any type of credit card or loans. I checked him out on Trans Union, and they do not have a file on him, which would be correct since he's a kid in school with no credit history. So is he at risk? Or could he just happen to have the same last 6 digits and same last name as someone else who may be affected? Could anyone help answer this??

Someone could misuse a child's Social Security number to open a bank account or credit card or apply for a loan. Learn how to check for child identity theft, and how to repair any damage you find.

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?

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