Criminals may attempt to exploit the Equifax security breach by claiming to be from Equifax or other financial institutions.
Equifax Inc. announced a major security breach on September 7, 2017.
This cybersecurity incident may impact 143 million U.S. consumers. Equifax states that the information accessed on their system primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. In addition, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers, were accessed.
Read more information about the Equifax breach at their cybersecurity incident and important consumer information website.
What criminals and hackers may do to take advantage of the Equifax security breach.
- They may send phishing emails claiming to be from Equifax. The email may includes links to check your compromised data.
- They may send an email about a problem with a credit card, credit record, or financial information.
- They may make telephone calls claiming to be from your bank or credit union.
- You may see fraudulent charges on your credit cards because of your stolen identity.
Protect yourself from the Equifax hack
- Visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to help determine if your information has been potentially impacted.
- Call the Equifax dedicated call center at 866-447-7559 to answer any questions. The call center is open every day (including weekends) from 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m. EDT.
- Get a free copy of your credit report by visiting https://annualcreditreport.com.
- File your IRS tax returns early as possible. Filing early will prevent someone else from filing a tax return using your data. Since social security numbers were taken, tax fraud is a possibility. Pay close attention to any correspondence from the IRS.
- Monitor your bank and credit card accounts closely for unauthorized charges. Immediately call your bank or credit card company if you do not recognize charges.
- Consider placing a freeze on your credit files. A freeze will help prevent someone from opening new accounts using your stolen credit data. Read more at the Federal Trade Commission credit freeze Frequently Asked Questions site.
- Consider enrolling in the complimentary identity theft protection and credit file monitoring offered by Equifax. This is 12 months of free monitoring of credit records for victims, via a monitoring service called Trusted ID.