Equifax Data Breach

BCR Wealth Strategies |

Equifax Data Breach

It is becoming more and more important each day that you take steps to keep your personal information safe and take the proper steps when using your computer.  Last week we learned that a cyber security incident occurred at the credit reporting company Equifax and could impact up to 143 million U.S. consumers.  The unauthorized access occurred from mid-May to July 2017.

The information accessed was significant and could greatly affect you.  The information obtained includes names, Social Security numbers, roughly 209,000 credit card numbers, birth dates, addresses, and some driver’s license numbers and dispute documents containing personal information. 

Equifax will send paper mail to consumers whose credit card numbers, or dispute documents with personally identifying information were impacted.  You can contact Equifax at 866-447-7559 or at the dedicated website for consumers to see if you were affected at https://trustedidpremier.com/eligibility/eligibility.html. Equifax was requiring that you waive any right to a class action suit against the company before finding out if you were affected. Now Equifax requires that you enter the last six digits of your social security number.  Just for your information, the first three digits of your social security number are pre-assigned by the region of the country you were born. So, if hackers determine the six digits you just gave to Equifax, then guessing the first three won’t be that hard. That’s not too reassuring if you are worried about Equifax’s data security.

We suggest that you take steps to monitor whether or not your identity is secure.

  1. Obtain a copy of your credit report
    1. You are allowed once per year to receive a free copy of your credit report for free from each of the three credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion
  2. Look for suspicious activity or accounts that you are not familiar with like a new credit card or loan application in your name.
    1. If you come across something go to http://identitytheft/databreach
  3. Monitor your accounts. Credit reports won’t tell you if money has been transferred out of your bank account.
    1. A lot of times, identity thieves will start by only charging small amounts to your account, so keep an eye out for odd purchases.
  4. Freeze or put a fraud alert on your account with all the major credit bureaus.
    1. A freeze will block anyone from accessing your reports without your permission.
    2. An alert can be placed at one of the major bureaus.  The bureaus then must notify the other two bureaus that you may be an identity theft victim.  This will warn creditors to verify your identity if they are seeking credit in your name.

Of course, if you are a client of BCR and are concerned that your identity may be compromised, call us first to discuss how we can help with your specific situation.


*Some of the material above was prepared by Bob Veres Inside Information