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 have offices and physical people. Surely you don't think a company that helps someone steal your money won't be treated as an intruder entering you home to do the same, especially these crazy days.

Then how come mine said that I was not effected?

I was compromised...my husband not. I do not believe it is hoax. I will never sign up for anything they offer

Maybe they use both answers just to make it look official. I think it is a scam to make money. It really makes me angry that I didn't have any control over their having my information in the first place.

I tried with random name/ssn. It says I am not affected

My wife just gave her details, and it says she is not impacted.

I entered mine and a few others. All of them stated, "...personal information was not impacted by this incident"

Same here... I entered my info and it told
Me "you may have been impacted" ... entered my husbands a few minutes later and it says "you have not been impacted"

I also received the response that my "personal information was not impacted by this incident." But what is amazing to me is that after inputting your name and last 6 digits of your SS number, the response comes back instantly. How can the Equifax computer check millions of records instantly to see if there is a name/SS number match? I think the Equifax response is a standard response and they really don't know whose records were stolen.

I put in both of our six digits and both came back NOT affected. I was suspecting a hoax as well because I knew others who were getting the "may" response.

I entered my last name & last six of my SS# and my computer virus protection software immediately alerted that the website was infected with malware. I was immediately disconnected from the site. Now I'm wondering if someone has hacked the "fix".

In case someone reads this- there actually was a fake Equifax Security website created by a white hat hacker. Equifax even directed people to the wrong site!
Equifax later apologized but blamed people for not checking that the website was the correct website.

Not trying to stick up for Equifax, but i don't think it's a hoax to get you to sign up. In my situation when i entered my name they said I was part of the compromised group but when i entered my wifes info it said she was not. I'm guessing they are using a decision matrix that if you enter a name and SS that matches their records they give you the actual situation of your compromise. If you enter a fake name and make up a SS and they cant find it in their records, I'm guessing those scenarios default to recommend enrollment as you may be compromised. A default message like that is likely believed to be a less risky position in case of Administrative errors in their database.

My daughter put in her info and it says she was not affected. I did mine, it says I was. So she tried her's again (it was a day after she did it), she got the message she WAS affected. Then tried it again 20 mins later and got the message she was not affected. 2 different days, same name and ss which was valid, and 2 different answers. In fact, 2 different answers on the same day! So....not so sure anyone should believe their result. She has proof...she screen capped the messages.

We put in mymoney and did six digits. said I was impacted

So Equifax makes money from our personal data, sells their stocks at full price ( more money made by them) tells us our personal info has been stolen a couple months late, and makes the ones who've been affected pay ( not even to fully secure your info ), but to monitor it. (More money made by them)....... Sketch!!

And then they have the nerve to post advice on how you can protect your identity! Unbelievable. I've BEEN trying to protect my identity. The problem isn't consumers' failing to do OUR jobs, it's the freakin' companies playing fast and loose with OUR data. And the politicians letting them get away with it, over and over.

Agrueed, this has bs written all over it. Looks like the hack may have been set up with Lifelock parameters. Used to do system config for them.

How so? Are you saying that some of the scanning or validation programs for a monitoring company were compromised?

Most upsetting is a potential security breach has occurred and now they want millions of us to GIVE them our information again, to find out if we were effected! i will wait and see if we get a letter and decide what to do.

It's a scam. Why could you put in a fake last name and numbers and it works. It is just to get you to enroll in the TRUSTID Premier at a "nominal cost" It's B.S. SCAM!!!

The site is very slow to respond right now. Probably getting hit hard.

I had the same experience.

This may be a silly question, but how can I be sure that I'm not being directed to a fake site asking me to provide my SS#? I'm leery and suspicious about typing SS# anywhere on the web

Nice to know that the 3 CRA's use call centers in the Philippines. Our credit info is seen by foreign nationals every day.

Wonderful....NOT!!!

That is the biggest bull, overseas call centers looking at us citizens info and fishing on it

Hello,

Based on your credit score and information obtained in your Equifax report, we unfortunately are not able to approve you for anymore credit EQUIFAX!!!!!

You may obtain a copy of your credit report on your breached website!!!!

Thank you for using Equifax

I hit continue and it keeps recycling me to the I am not a robot....never gives a date, just continues to make me enter I am not a robot again, and again!

I had the same endless loop problem with the "I am not a robot" verification

You have to make sure all the required fields are filled out, and have a green checkmark, or it won't let you continue.

Continue doesn't takes me anywhere

So my credit sucks I am currently working on making it better but couldn't get a credit card if life depended on it should I be concerned...I do not cirrentlynhave any credit cards

What they fail to tell people. Is payday lenders do not use the big 3 credit bureaus. They use places like Clarity, Telecheck, Data systems, etc. This is where identity theft occurs most often. Credit Freeze and Fraud alerts do not carry over when placed with the big three. Most people have never heard of these credit bureaus. I found out when I became a victim of ID theft. The things I saw scared me.

Nothing happened to me either after I clicked Continue. Too much traffic at 12:09 pm?

Enter Test and last 6 digit 123456 and you will be seeing the message that you are impacted.

Avoid enrolling in the free credit monitoring from them as the click wrap eliminates your ability to take legal action against them

To all those doing random test entries, "may" is a very important word, because it suggest that it doesn't know one way or the other. Which brings us to another point, if said person doesn't or does exist in their system, why would you claim otherwise. That is to say, if you enter BS, it will return BS so as to not compromise anything.

Same here Sam. After I've verified I'm not a robot, clicking continue just unverifies me. Can't get anywhere from there.

Has anyone received the ultra curious message from annualcreditreport.com stating that online delivery of their requested annual free credit report could not be processed? Talk about adding insult to injury.

I couldn't get my free report. I will try again

I deliberately put in a wrong number and it said I was not impacted. One site said to go to AnnualCreditReport.com. When I checked on that site, I got comments like this: "This website is hacked!! Do not use it. When I logged in on June 26, 2017 my antivirus program Detected it was routed to another website by the name of Challenge. Truecredit. Com. It blocked it as a dangerous URL." I am not doing anything until I get a secure, reliable way of checking my credit.

The site annualcreditreport.com is the only website authorized to fill orders for the free annual credit report that you're entitled to get by law. This FTC article shows you the link to annualcreditreport.com. If you don't want to follow the link, type the address into your search bar.

I tried to register and couldn't. Site would not allow me to Continue. I did not see any date that I could register either. Now I'm sorry that I gave my information to them. The Equifax site didn't work for me and neither does the phone number (tells you they are too busy and to call back another time). Also, I couldn't create an account on the TrustedID site where it asks for a user name and password without anywhere to create them.

Web site to sign up at wwwequifaxsecurity2017.com in down?

Those affected by this breach will be on the hook for years beyond the lousy "one year free credit monitoring" Equifax is offering. Added to the insult is that these three credit bureaus will reap hundreds of millions in profits from the freeze/unfreeze actions of those of us seeking to protect this information. But the CFO can sell tens of thousands of stock while maintaining NO insider knowledge. We all have stupid stamped on our foreheads.

I had the same problem. I discovered the Equifax form does not recognize auto fill. Once I entered all my info manually I got the form to respond to "continue". Hope this works for you as well.

Tried several times

I know a few people that were having problems and they were supppose to enroll yesterday but couldnt

Ditto. Can't get past the Captcha. Must have done it 30 times. Extremely annoying.

Five days later--- no confirmation of signing up for monitoring.

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