Information About Equifax Security Breach
Equifax, one of the big three U.S. credit bureaus, announced on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, that a data breach at the company may have exposed 143 million American consumers’ sensitive personal information. Although Equifax states they found no evidence of unauthorized activity on its core consumer credit reporting database, other information was lost. According to Equifax, the breach lasted from mid-May through July. The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. This is the information hackers need to commit identity theft.
Although this incident is in no way related to Advantis, we do want our members to be aware of this breach, and provide guidance and steps you can take to help protect yourself. Note: Make sure to report any unauthorized or suspicious activity on your accounts to Advantis immediately.
Here are a few steps you can take to find out if you were affected by the Equifax breach and to help protect yourself:
Steps you can take with Equifax:
Other steps you can take to help protect yourself:
- Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft. Visit IdentityTheft.gov to find out what to do.
- Consider placing a credit freeze on your files. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. Keep in mind that a credit freeze won’t prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts.
- Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely for charges you don’t recognize.
- 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 that anyone seeking credit in your name really is you.
- File your taxes early — as soon as you have the tax information you need, before a scammer can. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Respond right away to letters from the IRS.
- Visit Identitytheft.gov/databreach to learn more about protecting yourself after a data breach.