Equifax Data Breach

What Happened?

Consumer credit reporting agency Equifax revealed that they had suffered a cyber attack. This attack resulted in the loss of records for over 140 million people, including social security number and banking information.

What is The Risk?

Cyber criminals can use this information to take control of existing financial accounts, or open new accounts using your personal information. The goal of this is almost always financial, to defraud businesses and individuals of money.

What Can I Do?

1.     Be suspicious of phishing emails. Using this stolen information, phishing emails may appear very authentic.

  • Be suspicious of messages demanding immediate action.
  • If an email includes a link to a service you use, ignore the link and use a known address to go to that service and log in. 
  • If you get an out of character email from someone you otherwise trust, pick up the phone and check with them before clicking links or files.

2.     Place a free fraud alert or fee-based credit freeze on your credit report with the three major credit reporting agencies.More information is available at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs and https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0275-place-fraud-alert.

CreditFreezeChart

3.     Review your financial statements closely for indications of activity you didn’t initiate, and report questionable transactions quickly to those companies for assistance to clear up the activity.

4.     Check with your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance for identity theft recovery assistance. That protection is a benefit included in many policies today so you may already be covered if you discover fraudulent activity and need support to clear it. Some AAA membership may include this benefit, as well.

 

Resources:

Tips for Fighting Phishing and Identity Theft: Download

Official Statement and Resources from Equifax: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/

See also: Security Alerts