Equifax Data Breach
The following information was sent from credit union trade association in Georgia that can help you understand the Equifax Breach incident & steps you can take.
- An independent investigation by a cybersecurity firm determined information had been accessed between mid-May and July
- Credit unions do report to the credit bureaus, although no evidence of unauthorized activity has been discovered on Equifax's core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases
- Approximately 143 million U.S. consumers had information accessed
- Compromised information included:
- Names Social Security Numbers
- Birth Dates
- Driver's Licenses
- Approximately 209,000 credit card numbers were accessed
- Approximately 182,000 dispute documents with personally identifying information were accessed
Equifax has set up an informational website and identity theft monitoring for consumers
- Consumers can determine if their personal information may have been impacted by visiting www.equifaxsecurity2017.com
- Through Nov. 21, 2017 consumers - whether affected by the breach or not - can sign up for TrustedID Premier credit monitoring at no charge
- Enrollees in the program will have complimentary access to:
- Equifax credit report
- Credit file monitoring at all three major credit bureaus
- Equifax credit report lock
- Social Security number monitoring
- $1 million in identity theft insurance
Equifax was originally charging consumers to put a freeze on their credit files, but has since dropped the charge and is offering that service at no charge through Nov. 21, 2017.
- Consumers can place, lift or permanently remove a freeze from their Equifax credit files at https://www.freeze.equifax.com/Freeze/jsp/SFF_PersonalIDInfo.jsp
- Consumers who have paid for this service since Sept. 7 - the day Equifax announced the breach - will receive a refund
Affected consumers are at risk from criminals using stolen information to fraudulently open accounts. This means the most pressing and immediate threat with this breach is identity theft, and the best thing credit unions can do right now is provide their members with identity protection tips.
The first step consumers should take to find out more is to visit both websites noted above.
Then, consumers should take steps to protect their identities. There are a number of tips at www.stopthedatabreaches.com that can help consumers remain vigilant and protect their personal data. These include:
- Don't respond to email, text or telephone calls asking for personal or financial information
- Frequently review account activity and immediately report unauthorized transactions
- Place an initial fraud alert with credit bureaus if fraud has occurred
- Enroll and opt-in for transaction monitoring
- Use card on/off switches (if available)
- Enroll in Verified by VISA/MasterCard Secure Code
The Federal Trade Commission's website has additional consumer information.
- For steps to protect against identity theft and information about fraud alerts and security freezes visit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft