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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, 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

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.

If you try to sign up for the fraud protection they ask you to put all your personal info on line including ss#. This is crazy, why would I do that, esp after this breach. I decided to go for a security freeze on all my accts. Again they want me to put sensitive info on line. I try to call them to freeze over the phone and there is no phone number to do this, only a # to get info. so they take my number and say someone will get back to you. And what am I supposed to do with my life, sit by the phone to be sure I will be avail when and if they call. I will call the FTC to inform them of the difficulties this company is causing consumers.

I called FTC. I was told they could not help me. Was told to call consumer protection. they said call equifax. Who do you call?

We should find out how to start a class action lawsuit against Equifax. This Breach is very serious. If any of you know a legal way we can fight back to make sure companies that we give our personal info to will do everything possible to prevent hackers and others who want to do us harm.

Nothing happens when I hit continue either. Except it removes the green check that I'm not a robot.

I "tried" a few different names and numbers.. They all said I may be affected and to enroll!!! Either i'm a phenomenal guesser, or this is a scam!

SAME WITH ME, WHEN I PRESS "CONTINUE" A RED CIRCLE WITH A SLASH THROUGH IT APPEARS, NOT ALLOWING ME TO GO FURTHER.

Totally agree. I keep trying morning, noon and night and it does not let me "continue". I called and they said I had to keep trying. What a fraud

I went to run my free annual credit reports as suggested in this article, and after entering all of my info, it came up that they can't process my request because they are so busy from the equifax breach..

I think this is just a big scam by equifax. If you put in a fake name and random 6 numbers it works and sends you to enroll in their safety program. IF you enroll in that, you are probably more susceptible to fraud! It is a stock market game and they are using the FEAR of the public to win. Don't fall for it!!

Finally reached Equifax after >20 attempts and hours on hold. Representative hung up on me after I explained I wanted to place a credit freeze on my account. They are just bullies and I hope all consumers and merchants refuse to let them off the hook for the irresponsible and careless handling of vital personal data.

Same thing with me - will not continue enrollment and no other option or date provided! What a way to run a business? Customer Service gets a failing grade!

I am having the same problem. I was instructed to sign up on 9/15 got to the portion you mention and could not proceed. I called Equifax the call center staff told me to keep trying, suggested I attempt in the very early or late hours of the day. Since that didn't work I called again today. The first person I spoke to told me the same thing, I ask to speak to a supervisor. The most recent update on the website states the call center should be able to help you enroll in their surveillance program but the call center staff say the only way to do it is online. So far I've been on hold for 20 minutes, suspect I may be on eternal hold.

Their website credit freeze suck. I did it and it does not give me pin. I guess someone should file a suit against them for braching the trust and on top of it providing horrible experience of not providing a PIN after the placement of freeze.

I have filled out the response form three times but when I press "continue" I get no response

I had this problem repeatedly when trying to sign in on my tablet. I am not a Robot verified I selected the correct pictures but just would not proceed when I clicked continue. Then I tried signing in on my laptop and got through immediately.

I just looked up TrustID Premier on BBC.. Company in
Lk Oswego, OR. Got B- Rating, Company in Palo Alto, CA got NO rating at all. Like that leads to more confidence in EQUIFAX! Not.

Citizens should sue credit bureau and govt which created this stupid system of control.

Look up your local Equifax office or call the number of Equifax 866-447-7559 to get info. If you want to place a freeze on your Equifax acct. try this web site
www. freeze. equifax. com you should be able to freeze your credit with equifax and be sure to copy down the pin number (super important....!!!! )

I filled out all the appropriate info., but nothing happens when I press the continue prompt under the paragraph of terms and conditions. I want a freeze put on my account

Equifax offers one year of credit monitoring. After a year you must pay for this service so the company will end up profiting from the Data Breach. Imagine 143 million victims paying them a fee to "monitor their credit info". A company that takes 6 months to let you know it's been hacked. In one month you can lose everything to identity theft by these hackers.

Why enter the 6 digits of my ss#? Can't they use the last 4 and cross reference that with my name? Totally suspect...

Where can a complaint be sent? I’ve followed the instructions at least 3 times and can never complete the process to sign up for credit monitoring. I get “system not available”. I call the 800 # and they just tell me to star over. I’m in an endless loop.

You can report a problem to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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