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

They frozen my account why?

I just applied for the TrustedID free credit monitoring and at the end of the form it asked for cell phone number to verify identity. As soon as I hit continue I received a text. I was expecting a pin number that I would need to enter, instead I received a text from a local phone number. "im william. May ask you name is?" I did not respond, but call the number listed for Equifax-TrustedID. I was told this was not in response to the cell number being put in the form, but I disagree. I do not text and rarely receive them. And it occurred immediately after hitting continue. I told the person I spoke with that if it was not from them, then someone has hacked into the form. He said not to worry it was probably a coincidence. I disagreed again and he said he would talk to his manager about it, but I really doubt he will. Has anyone else had this happen? It makes me even more concerned about this whole problem and my vulnerability.

Why are these comments not in chronological order?

I don't trust any of these things. Experian had commercials that you could go to their site to find out if your information was on the black web. All it came back with was my email address. To find out more, I had to pay. Now I'm getting, very obvious hacking emails that have the word Experian in them Contacted Experian but got no response.

thank you for this information

According to the equinox site my info was compromised. Signed up for their monitoring service. Now I am receiving texts and emails suggesting suspicious activity on my credit report which could be a scam too. ALL Equifax execs should be in jail, govt should seize company assets because there will be. HUGE class action suit down the road.

If equifax is at fault which they are. Then why do need to pay a fee to freeze my account ? The government should make Equifax pay the fee . They are getting away scot free. The person who is responsible for this should be held accountable. There should be a class action lawsuit for this one. START A PETITION AND MAKE eQUIFAX PAY

Equifax is charging $14.95 a month for their "Gold" credit report with three agencies" watch. Make sure that you are not activating that service.

I had my identity stolen by the 3 themselves a few years ago. Don't trust any of them. Took me 2 years to to get my records straight after they mixed me up with another person with my first name only aNd one number difference in our SS numbers. Had a hard time getting them to understand that I wasn't two people even tho the ss numbers were different. I had excellent credit aNd the other lady had bad credit. I was denied credit and had to get a friend at the bank to get my report for me so I could find out what was going on. I ordered my report aNd they sent me my reports along with hers and all of her info. Was afraid to let her know cause I didn't want her to go online aNd get my info. I still get calls from her creditors every now aNd then but they all finally got most of the info straight. Be careful of the agencies themselves.

I'm a victim of ID theft, I can't tell you all the pain I have gone through for the past 7 months. Today, I received another letter from Capital one regarding my "credit card application", of course, I never applied. this would be the 2nd time the same bank sent me such notifications even I have previously reported them about ID theft and asked them to stop process all the credit card applications. they told me they have stopped. but now it comes again. Why can they set up a national database for all the Stolen SSN, if a ID theft victim reports SSN as stolen, all the credit card agencies & banks should be alerted when the thieves use the victim's SSN to apply new card. the victim can have a special pin number to verify his/her true identity.

Did you file an identity theft report at IdentityTheft.gov?

IdentityTheft.gov is the federal government website where you can report ID theft, create a report to law enforcement, and get the letters you need to send to creditors, banks and credit reporting agencies. You can create an an account and recovery plan to track progress.

Me too. Terrible system, always feel like a sitting duck.

We as people need to stand up an fight for are rights we the people trusting the so called we on that grown status we know what we are doing an with out are consent are whole life story personal information is out there and at any given moment people will mill an wait to attack are trust funds etc and we all need to sue equifax we are worth billions we all like there minions we need to stand up look up history when we had gold an silver an wat came they borrowed from are ancestors so reality we have secret funds hidden in the secret societies lets stand up people

Equifax has lost all my credit information for the past 5 years. Their customer service reps and the managers I have spoken to have all said all my creditors need to report my information to them. I explained to them they have been, and I have proof with old credit reports. They keep telling me there is nothing they can do. This is insane. I have been trying to fix this for the last 2 weeks. This has put me in such a bad situation.

ihave been part of the data breach

No date was given for me at all. Once I clicked on the sign up button & filled out all of the info, the "Continue" button was not active and "frozen".....?

This company should not be in business anymore, period. And should take all financial responsibility for everyone who got effected by this breach.

"If you are a victim of identity theft and have created an Identity Theft Report, you may want to place an extended fraud alert or a credit freeze on your credit file". Since EQUIFAX is unable or unwilling to divulge whose information was put at risk, it would seem in the public's best interest for the FTC/Congress to mandate that the "Extended Fraud Alert" be amended to allow all consumers to put this 7 year option on their credit files. It is free and doesn't require constant fees be paid to the reporting agencies, of which ONE of them is RESPONSIBLE for this in the first place! Pls advise if this is even being considered? We should not have to continue to pay for their (Equifax, et al) negligence.

Do not sign up free for 1 year with Equifax! There’s a disclosure when you signing for free monitoring that says “you are agreeing that you will not sue us if you sign up for this free monitoring if there’s group lawsuits! Which there are in 15 states!

Ok, so what do we do for the long term?, I like how the media is avoiding mentioning anything about the permanent damage that has been done to millions of americans, once your Social Security number and other personal information is out there, you are permanently screwed, sure, everyone is always vulnerable to indentity theft, but now that half of the country's information is out there, its way easier for thiefs to get you for everything you have and ruin your life, its only a matter of time, its a lottery you don't want to win.

Why is it always blamed on the President when things don't go according to plan. The Equifax breach could possibly have been done by the government but it is still the companies responsibility to protect your information, not the President. The question here is what is going to happen to Equifax for selling stock and letting the American people down.

we don't know if we will be given the truth or not because they don't want to be liable
who can we trust

I received a mail to continue the enrollment in their protection system, but whenever I have tried to complete the enrollment, it is not possible because I get an error message:

'System Unavailable - We are unable to process your request at this time. Please try again soon.'

So I assume that will be never.

This is awful and sad that nothing is private or safe!!

If there is no privacy and we have no choice in who has access to our private information, what are we to do in the case of these security breaches that keep happening?

This blog post lists some steps you can take to protect your information. You can start by checking your credit reports.

THE FTC SITE SAYS, "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. "

THERE IS NO POTENTIAL IMPACT TAB ON THE EQUIFAXSECURITY SITE

Equifax changed the words on its site since we wrote the blog. You can click on the phrase "Am I impacted?"

Well they down right lied tome. Said I was not impacted but my AMEX card was used in Tokyo to charge over $300.00 and I've never used that card online so it had to come from them. So even tho they said NO - - THEY LIED!!!!

There is no longer a "potential impact" Tab???????

Equifax changed the words on its site since we wrote the blog. You can click on the phrase "Am I impacted?"

good stuff

When I check whether I am impacted, I get the following error: The Amazon CloudFront distribution is configured to block access from your country. Typical Equifax.

regardless if they corrected that egregious stealth "opt out of class action lawsuit" when using their site to check your vulnerability, Aren't they required to notify the 145M potential victims? When can we expect to receive such notification? I have found no news story claiming such notifications are due to be sent out.

Equifax made money out of our data and payments, then, this should be their problem and responsibility not ours... if our government were as firm as it is with other easy issues. Who can enforce our rights?

I didn't get any notification.I went to the website I read in the papers.equifaxsecurity2017 and entered my s.s. number and it said I had been breached

So the Equifax system is down. It tells me to call an 1-877 number. When I do this, they tell me the system is down. So is Equifax just unplugging their system and that is their reset or what??

On September 15 I was registered with Equifax as a TrustedID Premier victim and immediately requested my 3 credit bureau reports. I have followed up with Equifax several times.but to date, I have not heard back from them. I can't get through to them. The violation took place 6 months ago. I don't believe they intend to do anything. I sure hope FTC is going to get on their backs and make sure they are not only held accountable but make sure they do what little they promised tod.

well today i just got a mail from equifax informing me that i've been compromised.

a scan of my driver's license that i uploaded online on their website was accessed.

thanks for the very helpful blog post! now i know what to do to combat this.

I don't understand is that why didn't they put the link in their Equfax website which everyone would go there looking for the immediate solution. It is not right that they don't even put this matter in an urgency manner. They should also send out letters for their Maybe Impact Customers. Why the District Attorney doesn't do anything about them?

This blog post some steps you may want to take to protect your information.

At this point I don’t trust Equifax to do right by me, ESPECIALLY if it’s free,

Why is trustedid requiring separate email accounts when some families share an account. Equifax does not require this for their service. Just curious.

Why do they ask for an SSN; they already have it? Everyone and their dog is warned not to give out their SSN, so why should one offer it up now? I am very conflicted about this whole mess...like everyone else.

Instead of trying to protect you, this is about selling you something. Sounds like a scam to me. Just monitor your credit report yourself. Federal law allows you to get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax and Transunion. Since there are three of them, you can rotate your free inquiry between companies every 4 months. If you see something out of the ordinary, you file a report directly to the credit agency as well as the accounts affected. I use AnnualCreditReport.com. There are no gimmicks, but as we are all accustomed, there are pitches here and there. Good luck everyone.

Signed up for TrustedID Premier on 9/24 including supplying the most sensitive info possible. Never received email confirmation. Called back on 10/3 and was told that due to the volume, I should wait another couple of weeks... Still have not received anything from them. Called them back today and was told that all my information was 'dropped' and the I should go through the sign-up process again.

EQUIFAX SUCKS! The FTC should shut them down!

Yes, they should be accountable for LIFE. Our data should be protected at no cost to us not just a year free for some automatic software that costs nothing to run on a web server. Let me know when the class action if filed. I suspect they will get off with nothing.... Have to use this for case law, if they can get buy with this with no one being accountable why should I be responsible for any of my actions?

so you want me to go to equifax website and enter 6 numbers of my social security? are you idiots?this is why millions have their info stolen

They're just going to shut down ftc.gov, period. Who's the guy in charge of the EPA? Scott Pruitt, who sued the EPA 15 times as AG of OK. And who's the head of the DOE? Rick Perry from Texas who said DOE is one of the agencies he'd shut down if elected Pres, but he couldn't remember the name of the agency, "Oops", remember him? Now he, like Pruitt run the very same agencies. Think they're gone by now, huh? Why's the FTC still here? They're gonna shut it down, period.

I do NOT a cell phone and do not text. How can I go forward with the security process?

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