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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, (This link takes you away from our site. 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 Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft. Visit 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 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.




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when is there going to be legislation and a class action law suit to punish experian. They provided me with an unusable pin. When I call them, they give me crap and tell me to write them. I WANT TO SUE THEM SO BAD.

Never received a letter. Found out from news. Tried to enroll online. Impossible. They do not take my calls. . In fact all of them have too much power. Including denial of employment because of low scores. (in many cases job loss), etc wish I could sue them. Also victim of TMO breach among others

Credit Monitoring & Lock Service should be indefinitely, not just 1 year.

I find it hilarious that they tell you that you have been compromised, but when you enter your information, it states that your information doesn't match their records. Their records??? You mean the ones they allowed to be compromised?? You mean to tell me that outsiders have more access to my information than I do?? Equifax should just close down!!!! They are killing some of us financially!!!

I can't check to see if I have been exposed to the breach on the Equifax website because when I click the link to check my virus protection aborts the connection due to the site coming across as a phishing site. Equifax re-directs to their Trusted Premier Product to check. I have trust issues now so will trust my virus they protection. I was only going to check because I feel they should pay for monitoring if my info is vulnerable or has been breached through them.

"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." ....So... call me crazy but it is august ninth of 2018 right? I just NOW get this news????

I am figuring out this course its been a journey.

This protection needs to be updated for at least 5 years to life.


agree that:
Equifax should provide this service for free for life, not 1 year. All the personal info compromised has been with me my entire life and will remain. This info can be used by cyber criminals long after the 1 year free period expires. Also they should reach an agreement with the other credit reporting agencies to monitor those who have been affected by this preach and pay for it.

The credit bureaus should be sued by attorney General for selling the fake product called a dark web scan and promising more than such a scan could accomplish. Lenders place great trust in these bureaus and they handle sensitive info -- do they must be held too a high standard. Otherwise, big class action suit.

I haven't been able to check my credit report in a while and I have just recently notice that I have a meditation that there was a breach into my account from Rose City media and I do not know who that is and so they passed several months I've been getting phone calls from somebody saying they are from Rose City media,my credit rating has recently dropped about a hundred points. I have a daughter with a birth defect and is disabled and my husband became disabled about 12 years ago because of an accident and about 3 years ago I started having some health problems that started with mini strokes and over time they are getting more severe. We are a close and happy family and this is something that seems to be making life a little more difficult so can anybody please advise me as to what the best course of action to take really is?

You can get one free credit report from each nationwide credit reporting company every 12 months.

The three nationwide credit reporting companies have one website through which you can order your free annual reports: Or, call 1-877-322-8228.

If you find an error on the credit report, you can dispute it with the credit reporting company. This FTC article tells more about disputing errors:

Monitoring to see what thieves do with your information is not a solution. We need new numbers. Thieves are now omnipotent and we are completely powerless. You stated that when you said "just keep checking," and basically file taxes like you're on the run from a predator for the rest of your lives tells me the government is OK with this problem because creating a system wherein numbers can be changed is just too hard. you know what else is hard? having 143 million lives ruined. I

how do I get my tax returns for SS I live in Glasgow Scotland UK

Thanks for posting this useful info.

+14239991563 would call and leave static blank recording. this is call pinishing to ease drop or download your info off your phone. use cell towers numbers to do this.

+1-931-215-5101 credit card company claiming payment is received. scammer call

There is no "potential impact" tab to see if a person was impacted

To check whether you were affected:

I have had 1 fraudulent credit check on my account from a company I have never heard of. Tried filing a claim and they wont do anything for me. Apparently it was for a Capitol 1 Visa through a clothing store. Capitol 1 has no record of it. So I froze my credit and marked it for fraud.
Equifax has caused more harm than anything.

Bad enough I I have to struggle and fight to get nowhere.

Government has sold us out.

where's the potential impact tab???!?!?!?!

Creating myEquifax account is one of the worst online experiences.
- First, the online system did not like the answers I gave about me, where I leave, etc.
- Then it took 1.5 week to receive a verification code by mail.
- Using the code online to finish the process ended up with the message "Please give us a call. We can't complete your request at this time. Please call the Customer Care team 888-836-6351".
- After spending 15 minutes on the phone, including choosing between options and answering 5 personal questions, I spoke with a representative with a heavy accent who had another set of 4 questions.
All this while using my personal phone that Equifax has on file so they already know there is a high chance it is me.
However, I do not know the person on the other side and what they will do with all the info I gave them on the phone.
I ended up cancelling everything.
This is very bad customer service, and unacceptable from a company that already had a data breach and leaked the records of 147 Million people (including mine).
I won't use them again.

Look at what Equifax is demanding now from the people they didn’t care about protecting their personal and financial information. I want to deny them access to all my information, both personal and financial, as they are far too incompetent.

Your Claim Number: XXXXXXX
According to our records, you filed a claim for alternative compensation of up to $125 in connection with the Equifax data breach settlement and certified on the claim form that you had some form of credit monitoring or protection in place and will continue to have the credit monitoring in place for a minimum of six months from the date of your claim filing.
You must either verify or amend your claim by October 15, 2019.
If you do not, your claim for alternative compensation will be denied. To verify your claim for alternative compensation, you must provide the name of your credit monitoring service that you had in place when you filed your claim. OR You can amend your claim to request free credit monitoring instead of alternative compensation. The easiest way to verify or amend your claim is by visiting the official Settlement Website here.

The amount you receive in connection with your alternative compensation claim may be significantly reduced depending on how many valid claims are ultimately submitted by other class members for this relief. Based on the number of potentially valid claims that have been submitted to date, payments of these benefits likely will be substantially lowered and will be distributed on a proportional basis if the settlement becomes final. Depending on the number of valid claims that are filed, the amount you receive for alternative compensation may be a small percentage of your initial claim.

Please note that if you do not take action by October 15, 2019, your claim for alternative compensation will be denied. You can also verify or amend your claim by sending us a letter stating either the name of the credit monitoring service you had in place when you filed your claim or that you wish to amend your claim to select credit monitoring instead. Please include your full name, claim number from the top of this email, and zip code to the address below:
In re Equifax Data Breach Settlement; c/o JND Legal Administration; PO Box 91318; Seattle, WA 98111-9418
Further information about your rights and options, including the right to exclude yourself from the settlement, is available at This email is from the Court-appointed settlement administrator, not Equifax. Please do not contact Equifax with questions. To contact the settlement administrator, click here. Email Disclaimer
The Equifax Data Breach Settlement Administrator will never ask you to provide sensitive information, such as, your Social Security Number or Tax ID, Bank Account Number, Credit Card Number, Driver’s License or Passport Number, or Password, etc. via email. All email communications sent by the Equifax Data Breach Settlement Administrator OR on behalf of the settlement administrator will originate from info@ equifaxbreachsettlement. com, the official email address of the settlement. If you receive an email which you suspect to be fraudulent, do not reply or do anything it instructs you to do, but immediately forward it to abuse @equifaxbreachsettlement. com.

Equifax is not honoring their Data Breach Settlement. I filed a claim in July, and they said they sent me email in September, that I never received. I certified that I have credit monitoring with TransUnion. Equifax legal department could not document that the email that was sent. The FTC needs to follow-up on why Equifax is deceiving consumers.

My information was used to open a credit card account at at Best Buy store and almost $4000 was used on the card while I was out of the country. Contacted Best Buy and they said they’d investigate and came back and said it was me. I have proof that I was out of the country and they won’t discuss with me because I don’t have the credit card number...because it wasn’t me who opened it!!!! How do I fight this?

You can report identity theft at You will provide details about what happened, and create a FTC Identity Theft Report. Your FTC Identity Theft Report helps prove to businesses that someone stole your identity, and makes it easier to correct problems caused by identity theft.

If someone steals your identity, you have rights, including these:

  • get fraudulent information removed (or "blocked") from your credit report
  • dispute fraudulent or inaccurate information on your credit report
  • stop creditors and debt collectors from reporting fraudulent accounts
  • get copies of documents related to the identity theft
  • stop a debt collector from contacting you.

So what’s happening with this? I don’t see a way to check the status of my claim.

If you filed a claim for free credit monitoring under the settlement, the company that manages the settlement will send you information about how to activate your credit monitoring after the Settlement is effective. The company will send you an activation code and link to the Experian website where you can enroll and activate your Credit Monitoring Services. The settlement will be effective on January 23, 2020 at the earliest. Read more at

I don’t want Equifax to have my data. What can I do?
Equifax is one of three national credit bureaus. These companies collect information about your credit history, such as how many credit cards you have, how much money you owe, and how you pay your bills. Each company creates a credit report about you, and then sells this report to businesses who are deciding whether to give you credit. You cannot opt out of this data collection. However, you can review your credit report for free and freeze your credit.

Everyone will get $3. Its called a mathematical joke. They let Equifax off the hook. That's 3 times Equifax got hammered. Nothing happens Equifax shouldn't be in business at all..

I want to check on my claim but don't want to use Equifax website
why would I want to check my claim on a site that was hacked.
They need all my info to check my claim isn't that a bit risky.

I have the documentation from my bank about my time spent sorting out this mess...why no request for that to establish hours?

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