What information was jeopardized in the breach?

From what we understand, Equifax determined that there was unauthorized access to their online systems from May through July 2017. The information at risk involves names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, and addresses of approximately 143 million consumers. The breach also involved some driver’s license numbers and some credit card numbers.

What is Equifax doing about the breach?

Equifax is offering one free year of their credit monitoring service. In addition, they are hosting a website, https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/, that will allow consumers to determine whether they were affected.

  • Once you go to the website, click on the “Potential Impact” tab and enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number.
  • To enroll in the free monitoring and other services, click on “Enroll.” You have until November 21, 2017 to register. Note that Equifax also has a credit monitoring product that is a subscription and is not free. Not all consumers will be able to access the free service.
  • Consumers affected by the Equifax data breach may also be at increased risk of other fraud scams, such as fraudulent phone calls about tax debts, etc. Anyone affected by the Equifax should be particularly vigilant for potential fraud and should report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.

Steps to take to help protect yourself after a data breach:

  • Consider placing a credit freeze on your files. A credit freeze makes it difficult for someone to open a new account in your name. If you choose to place a freeze, consider doing so with all three major credit reporting agencies.
  • If you place a freeze, you may have to pay a fee, often between $3 and $10. If you decide against a credit freeze, consider placing a fraud alert on your files. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should verify the identity of anyone seeking credit in your name. Be certain to renew your fraud alert periodically—they often expire every 90 days.
  • Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely. If you see transactions or charges on your accounts that you do not recognize, contact your credit-card company or bank immediately and inform them of the fraudulent charges.
  • Change your Equifax passwords. If you have an Equifax online account that is used for purchases, disputing debts, or other transactions with Equifax, change your password. Consumers should consider changing all passwords periodically, regardless of a data breach.
  • Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion by visiting annualcreditreport.com. One report is free from each credit reporting agency each year. Credit reports are free for identity theft victims who have filed a police report.Accounts or activity that you do not recognize may indicate Identity Theft.
    • If you believe you are the victim of identity theft, The Missouri Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline is available to assist consumers in reporting identity theft. Missourians can reach the hotline at 800-392-8222 or file a complaint online. More information is available on our website.
    • Additional information, including sample form letters for disputes and steps to take if you are a victim of identity theft, is included in this free publication offered by the Office of the Attorney General.

ID Theft Hotline 800-392-8222