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

The phone # 1-877-742-1415, the one in the email, is BUSY 98% of the time, routing you to a # that is not valid... you have to try repeatedly in order to get a good connect. I was finally able to do it, and asked their folks to fix their phone trunks. Unfortunately, their systems were going thru an upgrade, so they could not help me a bit. was routed to TrustedID phone # 1-888-548-7878 - which put me on 'ignore' for over an hour before I hung up. Such GREAT service...

My credit report drop 127 points all in one day. No changes have been reported to my credit report yet my score drop that low is not heard of. Then I go to equifax put in my information and I get that I might be affected by this breach and to wait for them to email me some information. No date was provided no other instruction what do I do from here please advise?

You can get a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months at annualcreditreport.com. Federal law gives you that right. You don't have to pay for the report.

Read the report to make sure the information is correct. If you see mistakes, or see that someone opened new accounts with your information and added them to your account, you can report that to the credit reporting agencies. This FTC article about Free Credit Reports explains more.

 

So let me understand, I get “free report” once per year to review. Then the other 12 months after I request the report the crooks get to cscrew with my credit unobserved unless I PAY for current reports. So what good is a “free” credit report?

I have not been able to place a security freeze by any means with Equifax. WHY is this company still in business why has it not been closed down.

Thanks for all the negative feed back are there any positive comments? This is scary. I already had a fraudulent charge on my debit card

Why did I have to pay to put a credit freeze on my husband any my credit because equifax messed up? They should be waiving any fees related to this!

Has anyone checked and found they were NOT affected? Equifax should pay...big time.

I entered my LATE wife's last 6 and she's not affected! wonderful.

Entered mymoney and numbers. Was affected

Equifax should be taking care of this problem and all the fees and charges that apply. Why aren't you forcing them to do this?

What are ones supposed to do if we're in a endless loop with these people. Got the date to enroll. Came back that day and started the enrollment. Waited a week for the link. It didn't work, so we had to actually call the number at the bottom of the link. They set it up, but no sending something to reset the password in 24-48 hours. Had more questions, and called Equifax and TrustID directly at different numbers. Now getting the "we don't recognize that number at the bottom of your link." I became frustrated and signed up for LifeLock to at least be protected somewhat in the mean time paying out of our own pockets. It was quick and painless. While my father in law and wife were able to do it within a day or so from the beginning with Equifax. As we no longer trust Equifax, I suggest my wife also sign up. She had a hit immediately from LifeLock about a breach that happened and info on the dark web. Equifax didn't pick any of that up. We aren't protected whatsoever when it come to Equifax. Still waiting for the password email from them. I imagine this will never be completely set up. It's obvious they can't handle peoples personal information or the situation their negligence caused.

Can somebody PLEASE tell me the correct phone number to call. I have now been given 3 INCORRECT phone numbers and have spent more than an hour trying to speak to the right people.

Equifax Captcha made me reply to five images then stopped responding; then told me "Verification expired."

It's all a scam by equifax. You sign up for their "protection" and they now have more information that can be stolen. If you have a credit card, dispute unknown charges. If you have a new card opened under your name, dispute unknown cards. Stop releasing your information to strangers or stop using credit. It's that simple. Take back your power.

Cash is king!

on 9/17 Jan asked "who do you trust". The answer is on American money.

Maybe someone just wanted to say that there was a breach so millions of people would flick to the website and give up their info.i wouldn't put it past our government to do such a thing.

This was helpful but confusing

Equifax lost control of my vital personal records to criminals which now can be very damaging to myself due to possible ID theft, and worse. I, like millions of other are trying to get with Equifax and mitigate the damage. They can't adequateley respond to correct or nullify the loss for being overwhelmed by the fallout. This company needs to be hit hard for this, and people need to be held accountable, even to the point of criminal prosecution. I am sick of being threatened by the established systems that are inept. I am about ready to go back to paper currency and no electronic or banking or credit at this point. Thank you for hearing me out about this. This is around the 4th time my data has been compromised. Enough!

I have signed up for TrustedId from Equifax but the website (trustedid.com) has been non-functioning for the past two days. What good is the service if it is not accessible?

FTC should immediately shut down Equifax and bring criminal charges against the upper echelon at Equifax.

Has Trusted ID Partners really been vetted? Entering all but the first 3 digits on a soc security number leaves it vulnerable. People around my age who started working near the same time have the same first 3 numbers.

This all looks like the healthcare.gov scam millions of us are forced to pay for. Stay away.

I heard something on NPR about this breach of Equifax. One day credit agencies just started their business to collect our private information without our consent. We, the public, never signed a consent for them to monitor our every business move. I consented to a relationship with the mortgage company, car dealer, etc. But not Equifax, Transunion or Experian. It's a conspiracy. Now they want to exhort money from us to keep our information safe (which we didn't give to them in the first place).

What about getting a new SSN?

After going to the Equifax website and entering the information, I've received two emails asking for the same information again. The url is https:// trustedidpremier. com . Now I'm wondering if I've made things worse. I need to freeze my credit. But who knows if that will be an actual website. Boy, the credit score companies have it made. They can make our lives miserable and make money doing it.

Equifax took a week even tonrespond to my asking them to tell me my exposure to their astonishing security breach. Their response sent me to a site to register to get information on my risk. That site is not working. A call to Equifax and they tell me the site is not working (uh yeah) and they have no idea if and when it will. FTC, why is this acceptable? What are you doing to get Equifax to protect me from their incompetence?

Just assume you were affected and act accordingly. Put fraud alerts and credit freezes. Put a notice on all existing credit cards for alerts. Sign up for the free credit monitoring. They've been gathering and using information for 20-30 years. Something in the laws that allow them to do this with or without your permission.

This whole thing will happen again. Never going to stop all the hackers. Government should put Equifax out of business. Horrible business people.

Spent the last 2 hours trying to talk to a body... 1st one hung up after 4 seconds, 2nd one listened to me regarding trying to sign up for TrustedID - said I did it too many times (which I DID NOT) - and sent me to another phone #, where I am now on HOLD. Their systems are poorly designed and do not work effectively; small wonder about the data breach...

After getting all runarounds and hangups from Equifax regarding having too many requests outstanding for their TrustedID product, I simply decided to give up. The last person at Equifax stated that all unprocessed COMPLEMENTARY TrustedID requests will be removed after the deadline date set up by Equifax, sometime in November 2017.

Equifax response to their breach has been a colossal FAILURE. Website constantly are unavailable or crash. Information changes every time to login to trustedid.com, that is if you can even get to that step and/or get connected in the first place. Phone lines are constantly busy all day long day after day. Or you get through to a call center in a foreign country like India, where customer service agents claim they can only access your account with your FULL social security number. Really? I don't think so. the FTC should STOP providing website links and phone numbers to that don't work and take them to court, NOW, to seek an injunction forcing corrective actions on behalf of the American Public.

YOU PEOPLE HAVE DISRUPTED MY LIFE IN WAYS YOU CAN NEVER IMAGINE.YOU WOULD THINK A COMPANY WHO HAS SO MANY PEOPLES IMPORTANT INFORMATION SHOULD BE MORE PROACTIVE IN PROTECTING IT. I SICK OF OTHERS SCREWING UP THE LIVES OF SO MANY AND HAVING A CAVALIER ATTITUDE ABOUT IT. MANY PEOPLE WILL SUFFER FROM THIS AND YOU SHOULD BE READY AND WILLING TO REAP THE WHIRLWIND.YOU EQUIFAX SHOULD PAY AND CORRECT ANYONE AFFECTED.

THE TOP EXECUTIVES SOLD THEIR STOCK BEFORE ADMITTING TO THE BREACH (hack).SO WHILE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE MAY LOSE BIGTIME , THEY ARE MAKING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. THAT IS SO TYPICAL FOR CORPORATE AMERICA. ISN'T CAPITALISM GREAT...THEY SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO PROFIT OFF THR MISERY OF OTHERS.

Equifav Trusted ID currently offered as free claims it will "lock" your credit file. From what I have been able to learn this is not as effective as a "credit freeze". Anyone know if I signup for Trusted ID to take advantage of insurance offered can I indicate I want a "credit freeze" as opposed to "credit lock" ?

For placing a security freeze on Equifax, I called (800) 846-5279 which redirected me to their security freeze department whom helped me place the freeze.
That's the only way works for me after trying MANY different ways.

Equifax tells us that their Trustedid site is not working properly. Even though we have signed up for credit monitoring, they cannot begin ours because their web site is not working. Really? So much for the free monitoring they offered.

If I were an Financial Executive and if there where problems in the company stock or other financial problems, then I would be questioned by SEC, FBI and also prosecuted because it was my responsibility. We pay them every month / year for the services and they promise us to keep track of our Credit details and when they do things wrong, all they do is to fire the CEO and CIO. Now these two are safe. This is not the first one though. But who cares now a days. Big companies can do any thing and get away with it. It is the public who got to follow law. These companies do not have to I guess.

just stop borrowing money. these companies make billions allowing people to buy crap they don't need.

I have been trying several times a day for 2 weeks to simply place a freeze on my acct and my wife's with all three bureaus. Every time I enter correct information and reach the next step of actually having something done, I get variations of "too busy, try again later. If I were cynical, I would say the 3 Credit Reporting companies are not trying to service the consumers, and hope we will give up and go away. That way, they can continue to use our personal data to sell to thier real clients.

Equifax has lobbied Congress for further deregulation. They have the money to do it. Don't let them do this! The most critical details of your life are controlled by this company - and it is for sale! EQUIFAX must be shut down! They cannot be trusted with your personal information, and you have to sue them to correct mistakes!

Well perhaps all of these comments above hold some truth in them all. Mainly these Equifax and CEO'S, ETC would sell their soul to the devil for greed and I just simply would not trust them regardless because they are only looking after their best interest and not the consumer's. Very sad!

Yes, many comments have truth to them. I would not trust the EQUIFAX, and would not go on their site to give them more info. Since whatever happened already happened, it may be good to pay attention to any credit score changes, and to monitor your credit card activity. However I think they pretend to help us but are not because they are rather looking after their best interests. Good luck to all.

What is the FTC doing to protect us? What is the FTC doing to reprimand them? Do all americans need to have new encrypted social security numbers issued?

Our government at work, comforting the comfortable, afflicting the afflicted.

Though seemingly juvenile, the credit all of them are in this mess. They have been exposed. They didn't care enough to use a patch -- to update there systems to cheap to protect the most sensitive data in the world. We are left exposed to much
more harm than someone getting a credit card. This breach has opened our borders and they benefited. What is the fix: hiring people who can call to ensure that you are the buyer. Archaic yes but there use of old tech in modern times has bought us back to Alexander Graham the telephone without the robot please real people trained to help. Make America Great Again With Jobs.

I went to the website and did confirm that I was a potential breach. Over a week now and have note received the promised follow-up email to register for credit monitoring. Phoned the toll-free number twice today and after waiting for a period of time the call was disconnected. #thirdworldcountry This is exactly why we need consumer/gov oversite and accountability

The problems are that a) they were allowed to collect data about us without our permission and b) we have no right to sue them for not protecting that data because we have no ownership right over it. Unless you live in Illinois. Please support legislation in your state that would give you ownership rights of your data. We can change this, but it requires that either the states (and eventually the US government)recognize our rights to our data.

My grandparents signed a note at their local bank for the house they bought. Everything else they paid cash for; waiting till they had saved enough cash for the rare expensive item, like a $700 Buick. I wish I could say the same. What happened?? Rik B.

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