Equifax® Data Breach
Sep 12, 2017
Equifax®, one of the three major consumer reporting agencies, recently announced a breach impacting an estimated 143 million U.S. consumers. The information accessed includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases drivers’ license numbers. Credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers were also accessed.
Equifax® reported a breach impacting roughly 143 million Americans. Unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017. The personal information accessed – names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases driver’s license numbers – is everything fraudsters need to open fraudulent account.
What should I do now?
There are steps to take to help protect your information from being misused. Visit Equifax’s® website, http://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/. (This link takes you away from our site. Equifaxsecurity2017.com is not controlled by the NavyArmy.)
- Find out if your information was exposed. Click on the “Potential Impact” tab and enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. Your Social Security number is sensitive information, so make sure you’re on a secure computer and an encrypted network connection any time you enter it. The site will tell you if you’ve been affected by this breach.
- Whether or not your information was exposed, U.S. consumers can get a year of free credit monitoring and other services. The site will give you a date when you can come back to enroll. Write down the date and come back to the site and click “Enroll” on that date. You have until November 21, 2017 to enroll.
Here are some other steps to take to help protect yourself after a data breach:
- Check your credit reports from Equifax®, Experian®, and Transunion® — for free — 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.
NavyArmy believes it is important for you to review your credit report annually from the three major consumer reporting agencies in order to safeguard your identity. To find out more about NavyArmy and our security measures click here.