Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies, announced a data breach that could potentially impact approximately 143 million people. Cybercriminals stole sensitive information including names, Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses, and in some instances driver’s licenses. In addition, hackers also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people. The breach lasted from mid-May through July.
Equifax has set up a website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, that anyone concerned can visit to see if their information may have been compromised. Members of the public are directed to click on Potential Impact, and enter their last name and last six digits of their Social Security number. Members can also call the Equifax dedicated call center at 866-447-7559.
Equifax officials also said the company is providing free identity theft protection and credit file monitoring to all U.S. consumers – even those not impacted by this incident – for one year. The Premier Service includes monitoring of Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit reports, copies of Equifax credit reports, the ability to lock and unlock Equifax credit reports, identity theft insurance, and Internet scanning for Social Security numbers.
- Equifax Resource Website is located at http://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com
- Equifax dedicated call center at 866-447-7559.
- For Equifax identity theft protection and credit file monitoring service.
Links to Additional Resources
Equifax’s notification of the breach webpage ►
Equifax’s check for potential impact webpage ►
Equifax’s FAQs on the breach ►
Helpful information from FTC ►
IdentityTheft.gov provides consumer-facing guidance ►
CFPB blog post regarding Identity theft protection ►
Watch for Scams That Look Real
Experts believe that these cyber criminals will use this information to target people with sophisticated phishing scams. While experts have not seen any of these kinds of attacks just yet, they warn people to be on the lookout and be aware of what these phishing scams can potentially look like.
- Scams will seem increasing legitimate. Correspondence may contain real, actual personal information about the recipient and look very real.
- Be wary of ANYONE asking for money for things like application fees, etc.
- Emails that claim to come from Equifax telling you where you can check to see if your personal data was compromised.
- Emails that claim to report a problem with a credit card, your credit report, or other personal information.
- Calls from scammers that claim they are from your bank.
- Calls may claim you have fraudulent charges on your credit cards.
Protect Your Accounts
When it comes to our online services, we use industry leading technology and processes to keep your personal and financial information secure. If you have not already enrolled in Online or Mobile Banking, please do so. There are many tools you can use to remain as safe as possible.
- Monitor your accounts daily and get the most timely information possible.
- Set up custom alerts and notifications. If any unusual transactions or debit card purchases occur, you can instantly receive an e-mail or text message alert.
- Securely transfer funds between accounts and to friends and family.
- Securely pay bills with free Online Bill Pay and, in many cases, receive an electronic bill instead of a paper one.
- Switch to eStatements and eNotices. One of the biggest causes of identity theft today is still due to stolen mail. You can easily prevent that by enrolling in eStatements and eNotices.
Mastercard ID Theft Protection – FREE to all Mastercard Debit and Credit Card Members
A benefit we offer all Debit and Credit Mastercard members is Mastercard’s ID Theft Protection. It’s free and it’s easy to enroll. Plus, once you sign up, you can add other accounts and credit or debit cards for monitoring, as well as email addresses, driver’s license numbers, and more. The service offers:
- ID Theft Alerts. ID Theft Alerts scours the Internet and alerts members if it detects that their personal info – credit or debit card, Social Security Number, driver’s license or other sensitive data – is being bought or sold online.
- Emergency Wallet Replacement. If members’ wallets, cards, or documents are lost or stolen, experts are here to help you get replacements right away.
- Expert Resolution Services. Experts will guide members through what can be an overwhelming process, from filing an affidavit and cancelling accounts to notifying the major credit reporting agencies.