Equifax, one of the United States’ largest consumer credit reporting agencies, announced it was hacked last Thursday. Equifax’s historic hack exposed the private information of almost half the US population and affects up to 143 million US consumers, ranking among the worst data breaches to date. The stolen information includes names, social security numbers, credit card numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers.
The company has set up a website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, for consumers to use to determine whether their information was compromised. It’s also offering free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection for one year for all consumers through its TrustedID Premier service — whether or not they’ve been affected by the breach.
Consumers with additional questions are urged to visit Equifax’s website or contact its dedicated call center at 866-447-7559. The call center is open every day (including weekends) from 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m. Eastern Time.
How to Check if You’re Affected
To check if you’ve been impacted, visit Equifax’s website, click on the Check Potential Impact tab, and enter your last name and the last 6 digits of your Social Security Number. Once you’ve submitted your information, you will receive a message indicating whether you’ve been affected. At that point, you’ll be given a date when you can return to the site and sign up for Equifax’s TrustedID Premier service.
To further protect yourself, we recommend monitoring your account statements and credit reports. You can request a copy of your credit report from each of the three major crediting reporting agencies (Equifax Experian, and TransUnion) at www.annualcreditreport.com. If you notice unauthorized activity, immediately report it to your bank and/or credit card company. If you believe you’ve been a victim of identity theft, you should also contact law enforcement.
The Federal Trade Commission’s website, www.ftc.gov/idtheft, offers additional information about how to protect yourself against fraud after a breach.
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