The 2017 Equifax Data Breach and Indentity Theft

Equifax Data Breach in 2017

Equifax is one of the three major credit reporting agencies in the U.S., finally and belatedly announced a data breach that affects 143 million consumers. That's almost half of the entire U.S. population.

The hackers accessed Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses, and driver's license numbers.

Equifax's behavior and irresposibility in preventing the hacks and failure to protect consumers' personal indentity information is currently  under investigation.  Criminal charges against top executives may follwoe.  The CEO just resigned.

The company's failure to protect consumers' confidential information is appalling and frankly, disgusting.  Their behavior towards consumers, even prior  to this, demonstrates a contempt and callous disregard for consumers.

What does Equifax say happened?

On their website, Equifax says:

On July 29, 2017, Equifax discovered that criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files. Upon discovery, we acted immediately to stop the intrusion. The company promptly engaged a leading, independent cybersecurity firm which has been conducting a comprehensive forensic review to determine the scope of the intrusion, including the specific data impacted. Equifax also reported the criminal access to law enforcement and continues to work with authorities. Based on the company's investigation, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017.

First step - Are you impacted?

Now, Equifax has launched a tool that will let you know if you were affected by the breach. USA.gov tells you to visit Equifax's website dedicated to this breach to learn if you were impacted. You will need to provide your last name and the last six numbers of your Social Security number. If you do this, we urge you NOT to sign up for any services they offer, as this could simply lead to further identity theft.

If you are impacted, Equifax offers you a free credit monitoring service, TrustedIDPremier. (probably about as good as their ability to gaurd confidential information in the first place - in other words, worthless! )

However, you won't be able to enroll in it immediately. You will be given a date when you can return to the site to enroll. Equifax will not send you a reminder to enroll. Mark that date on your calendar, so you can start monitoring your credit as soon as possible.

Next steps:

  1. Freeze your credit at all three credit reporting agencies
  2. If you detect suspicious activity on your credit report due to the breach, learn how to report it immediately.

For consumers with additional questions, Equifax has established a dedicated call center: 866-447-7559
Available every day (including weekends)
7:00 am to 1 p.m. Eastern Time

DON'T let them sign you up for any services that have any fees!

The major credit reporting agencies:

Equifax
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
www.equifax.com
888-766-0008
Experian
PO Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
www.experian.com
888-397-3742
TransUnion
PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
www.transunion.com
800-680-7289

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned to this page for updates as they occur..

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