Economy

Equifax hack: What to do if your identity was stolen

Equifax hack: What to do if your identity was stolen

Indianapolis, In. - The top consumer advocate In IN says up to 3.8 million Hoosiers had personal information compromised In the Equifax data breach. In my book, a bit of breach justice would be if Equifax had to pay one of its rivals to provide identity theft monitoring services for victims.

"In addition to taking measures to protect their credit cards and bank accounts, New Yorkers should also think twice before clicking on any suspicious links claiming to be from Equifax or financial institutions", Schneiderman said in a statement. If you believe you were affected by the Equifax breach, and there is almost a 50/50 chance you were, consider instituting a credit freeze. It will not prevent a thief from using any of your existing accounts, but a credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name.

Perhaps most disturbing is the company's opaque statement that its investigation into the data breach "found no evidence of unauthorized activity on Equifax's core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases".

Make sure to stay updated on your accounts, so you know right away if anything was changed, or added.

To begin with, the law did not require Equifax to disclose the data breach immediately so consumers could guard against fraud. Potentially stolen data included not only names, addresses and birthdates, but also Social Security and driver's license numbers. "We are already in direct contact with Equifax to establish the facts including how many people in the United Kingdom have been affected and what kind of personal data may have been compromised".

Security expert Brian Krebs has spoken out about the hoo-hah, and has described the website - equifaxsecurity2017.com - as "little more than a stalling tactic or sham at worst". This information is exactly the information that we rely on to verify someone's identity.

But the fact remains that there are three major credit reporting agencies-Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. After you thaw the report and are done with the transaction, you call the credit bureau back and put the freeze back on.

Equifax has created a website for Americans to enroll in and check to see if their personal information was compromised.

There can be situations where inconsistencies or errors may be reported that could negatively affect your credit rating, and those need to be corrected.

A freeze on an individual's credit files ensures that identity thieves will not be able to use that person's personal information to obtain loans or lines of credit.

There were other issues with the Equifax breach response.

With millions of people feeling vulnerable after the hack and scrambling to secure their most important information, getting a credit freeze has been more hard than usual in the past few days. "Sharing this information with our office will allow us to warn others to be on the lookout for similar attempts".

But the credit rating bureau won't notify you directly if you're one of the 143 million people whose more sensitive information was stolen. Equifax, meanwhile, will continue to generate profits by tracking and selling access to the very information it's already lost.

At that point you'll receive a message telling you whether you've been impacted by the hack.


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