In the Works: Are you prepared for latest Equifax breach? Print E-mail
Thursday, 21 September 2017
By Angela Craig
Special to GUIDON

Did you know you could be a victim of the Equifax data breach?

Equifax, one of the nation’s leading credit reporting agencies, recently fell victim to one of the largest data breaches in U.S. history. But who’s the real victim here? The American people are.
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Craig

The data breach potentially affects 143 million people, almost half of the U.S. population. The information obtained by the hackers include social security numbers, credit card account information, addresses, and birth dates. This data  can be used to fraudulently open accounts in your name or access and use current accounts.

Did you know there is a way to verify if you are included in the breach and steps to take to protect yourself?

— Identitytheft.gov gives a step-by step-guide on everything you need to do to protect yourself. The list includes:

— Visit http://equifaxsecurity2017.com and click on “Potential Impact” to see if you have been affected by the breach

— Consider registering for 1 free year of Credit Monitoring by TrustedID (also found on the Equifax web-site)

— Check your credit report for free from annualcreditreport.com (You can order one free report from Equifax, Experian, and Transunion yearly)

— Consider placing a credit  freeze, which makes it tougher for  someone to open new accounts in your name. During a freeze, if you were applying for credit, you would have to call Equifax and have the freeze temporarily lifted.

— Try to file your taxes as soon as

you have all available information. This gives the scammers less time to file a fraudulent return.

— Don’t believe anyone calling you claiming to be from the IRS.

And if you are impacted by the data breach:

— Contact bank and/or credit card company and have your current card cancelled and request a new one.

— Review your bank and charge accounts regularly.

— If you have auto drafts set up, update payments with new card information.

 For more information, visit or call:

— Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov or call 202.326.2222.

—Missouri Attorney General at ago.mo.gov or call 800.286.3932.

(Editor’s note:  Craig is a financial  readiness specialist at Army Community  Service.)
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 04 October 2017 )