Who is Equifax?
Equifax, along with Experian and TransUnion, is one of the "big three" credit bureaus. Credit Bureaus or Credit Reporting Agencies collect and aggregate information that is used to create your credit history and ultimately, your credit report.
On September 7, 2017, Equifax announced a breach which potentially impacts approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. Consumer information accessed in this breach included names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some instances, driver’s license numbers. In addition, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers and certain dispute documents, which included personal identifying information, for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers were accessed.
How do I know if I am impacted?
Equifax has created a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, where you can learn more about this breach and determine if you may be affected.
Equifax will also be sending direct mail notices to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute documents with personal identifying information were impacted.
What can I do to protect myself?
Here are a few things you can do to protection yourself and your personal information:
- Sign up for TrustedID Premier.
Equifax is offering free identity theft protection and credit file monitoring to all U.S. consumers, even if you are not impacted by this incident.
This offering, called TrustedID Premier, includes 3-Bureau credit monitoring of your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit reports; copies of your Equifax credit report; the ability to lock and unlock your Equifax credit report; identity theft insurance; and Internet scanning for your Social Security number – all complimentary to U.S. consumers for one year. You must complete the enrollment process for TrustedID Premier by November 21, 2017 at www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.
- Get a copy of your credit report.
You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once every 12 months. If you have not received a free copy of your credit report in the last 12 months, you can order your free annual credit report by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com or calling toll-free 877.322.8228.
- Place a Security Freeze on your credit.
A security freeze prevents new creditors from accessing your credit report unless you lift or remove the freeze, either temporarily or permanently. The nationwide consumer reporting agencies may charge consumers for placing or removing freezes depending on state law. You will need to contact each nationwide consumer reporting agency to place or remove a security freeze. Click here to view the Federal Trade Commission’s Credit Freeze FAQ’s.