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

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.

I have had a credit freeze in place with all three bureaus for several years. When I tried to register for the free year of credit monitoring offered by Equifax through TrustedID, I was told that I would have to unfreeze or thaw my account before the registration process could be completed.
I feel that I am more secure by forgoing the credit monitoring service.

I have also signed up for Trustedid from Equifax but the web site has not existed for several days. Called Equifax and they said that it was the traffic that MIGHT be causing the problem. Try early morning or late evening. But was was the Equifax web site up and running and why was the Trustedid product available on their HOME PAGE. Something smells fishy.

I am a US resident but currently I am in Hungary. The server Equifax is using blocks this country from accessing "Am I impacted". What do I do?

PeterN,
Thanks for your comment. I don't have an immediate answer, but will check with others and get back to you.

BECAUSE OF THE BREACH WE HAVE TO BE WORRIED ABOUT IDENTIFY THEFT FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES.THEY SHOULD OFFER IDENTIFY THEFT PROTECTION FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES FOR FREE. SOMEBODY SHOULD HAVE TO DO SOME TIME.

Equifax link to TrustedID Premier to finalize enrollment giving " system unavailable" for last 6 days. phones no help......Who is watching out for the 140 mil. victims ??

I have waiting for the followup email from Equifax since Sept 11. Got an email saying its been delayed.

It took days to get credit freezes placed and I still can't get one set on my husband's data at Experian. Their website is a joke. Click on the option to place a credit freeze or even a fraud alert and the next page says "Loading" but never does. I think it's a fake page. Took several tries to place a freeze for my data over the phone. Have tried over and over to put do the same for my husband's account and it just won't work. There is no option to speak to a real person, just to purchase their "credit protection" offering. Yeah, right, like I would trust them, let alone pay them, to protect my credit. Hah!!!

I took your advice and froze my credit. Now I'm trying to purchase land to build a house and cannot un freeze my credit. Every automated system, email etc is a loop to nowhere!!

always call the phone number and leave it open for a longer time than needed. going to purchase a car at the dealership in the next week? unlock it for two weeks. applying for a mortgage? unlock it for 4 weeks. never know when the credit is going to run and when there will be delays.

Enter my information into TrustedID Premier, but after completion it would not allow me to submit the information.

When I click on the 2017 for checking my accountlink I get the following error.

The Amazon CloudFront distribution is configured to block access from your country.

does anyone have the numbers they feel are real to put a credit freeze on our credit for all three experian, trans union ,and equifax. because I have three numbers for trans union and not sure which is safe?

I was aware of the hack and kept trying to a!ert govt and police.... No one took me seriously. I had to force police to take some evidence. I received Equifax,reports and letters from Florida 2016 in 2017. The hack started earlier. Also.. Experian was hacked earlier than reported... I. believe they are trying to get in transUnion. They started with fake. automated system. Modified or fake reports.. Mail interceptions. I believe they have insiders also.based on my experiences...good at stealing and covering up info... FBI hung up me. hacker was
Ease dropping..
Always blocking me from getting ic3, mail, calls out. Its been wild!

I'm interested in suing Equifax for the lifelong tumor that i will forever endure. Their Equifax ID Patrol® stated that you are covered for 1 Millions dollars if compromised. Well, im compromised!!!!
Any one knows how to go about doing that ?

This could be a "not so subtle" push to get people to consider the chip implant. Think about it! If "they" sell the idea as a "security enhancement" option more people are going to voluntarily stand in line for the process. And it looks better for the government and everyone involved Because it shows that nobody is being forced to do this. Until they make it mandatory by telling us that it's necessary due to the societal technological advances. Make everyone confirm. Or lose everything!!! Pretty soon,currency will no,longer exist. Just credits.

How do I remove a credit card that I did not request from my report ? I didn't order a CHASE Bank CARD !!!

I ALSO DID THEIR CHECK AND GOT THE COMMENT THAT I "MAY HAVE BEEN IMPACTED???? I CALLED AND THEY SAID THEY CANNOT TELL ME ONE WAY OF ANOTHER FOR SURE??? HOW CAN THEY NOT KNOW FOR SURE. WHAT THE HECK

This is ridiculous. I can not get past recaptcha. I have never had this problem with other websites.

Spent much time and trouble trying to get my PIN and letter from Equifax. I instigated a security freeze on 9/14/17 Thought all was okay; told I would get a letter of confirmation with my PIN that I would need if I had to lift the freeze. No letter and cannot get anywhere with three different phone numbers I was able to find. This whole thing is a big joke. If my information is breached because of this, I will sue.

I cant figure a way to get my pin either, i hope the crooks that have our info have just a tough a time as us using it!

Wait, why is Fraud Alert necessary? Who says it's not their responsibility to do take this care regardless?

Love how even if you not calling for the data breach there is no body to talk to. Just gives you a non working number for an agent.

Two weeks now since I filled out the form on Equifax for establishing Credit monitoring. Only a email response that they received it and would send me a email for me to fill out. Have not received this from yet.
Tried to get credit report from the other two agencies (online at annual credit report.com); both said that that they were "unable to complete the request at this time.

Do NOT agree to Equifax's terms when signing up for their monitoring. If you do, you are waiving your right to sue them. They hide it in their terms.

i was not given a pin and have been unable to find a way to get one, have called many of the numbers and all are automated...finally i found a number on another forum 1-866-447-7559 and i spoke with 2 different people in 2 separate calls and neither one had a clue what i was asking and offered no answers, i think they just hired people with no clue to just answer the phones!

All three credit reporting company's should be legislatively required to provide credit freezes for life for everyone. We did not choose to have all of this info aggregated into one giant dangerous database and they are making money off of our personal information. I have not ever written a letter to a congressman but I will be now.

I tried to put a credit freeze on my files. Filled out all the screens and was prompted to click on the PDF to get my PIN number. As soon as I clicked, the site crashed. No PIN and no idea if the credit freeze initiated. I don't trust the website to check. I will write them a letter and send it via US Postal mail.

I attempted to enroll at the Equifax Protect and Monitor application site. I do not have a mobile phone. The call center said to try my land line. That did not work. There were no alternatives. I can't believe I am the first applicant without a Cell phone. Any suggestions?

If I can't use my email address how do you respond to me??? I have done everything properly when I activated on line. Then you tell me I entered my birthdate incorrectly which I did not!!! Then I try calling and I get put on hold forever. NEXT STEP PLEASE!!!

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