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How to Find Out If You Are Affected By Equifax Hack

Have you been affected by the Equifax hack?

On Thursday, Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies announced that hackers had obtained access to company data potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. After the companies recent investigation, Equifax stated that the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017. The cybersecurity incident was discovered on July 29, 2017, in which they immediately took measures to stop the intrusion by engaging with a leading independent cybersecurity firm. The company also reported the incident to law enforcement and will continue to work with the authorities until the investigation completes in the coming weeks.

The information accessed includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and in some instances, drivers license numbers. Equifax also stated credit card numbers of approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and personal identifying information for 182,000 consumers involved with credit disputes.

How to tell if you been affected by the hack?

Equifax will not be contacting everyone that may have been affected, but the company will be sending out direct mail notices to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute information were accessed. Richard F. Smith, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Equifax, stated: “We also are focused on consumer protection and have developed a comprehensive portfolio of services to support all U.S. consumers, regardless of whether they were impacted by this incident.” The company has established a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to help customers determine if the hack potentially affected them. The site will be available as early as Monday, September 11, and will also offer U.S. consumers to sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection, and the offer will last for one year. TrustedId Premier will handle the monitoring and protection and will include 3-Bureau credit monitoring of Equifax, Experian and Transunion; the ability to lock and unlock Equifax credit reports; identity theft insurance; and internet scanning for Social Security numbers. However, the credit monitoring and identity protection may require you to accept TrusteId’s terms and conditions, including it’s “Attribution” Section.

Equifax has also set up a dedicated call center, 1-866-447-7559, to assist customers seven days a week from 7 a.m. – 1 a.m. Eastern time.

 

Protecting your Identity Theft

Identity theft continues to increase each year, in 2016 victims of identity theft were robbed of $16,000.00. An important factor in protecting yourself from identity theft is regularly checking your credit report and monitoring your account statements. As a consumer, you are allowed a free copy of your credit report once a year from all three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. You can request your free copy of your credit reports online at www.annualcreditreport.com. If you have noticed unauthorized activity on your credit report or accounts, immediately report the activity to your bank or credit card companies, and then contact law enforcement.

For Additional information on how to protect yourself against identity theft, you may access The Federal Trade Commission’s website.

How to Find Out If You Are Affected By Equifax Hack – Credit Law Center

On Thursday, Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies announced that hackers had obtained access to company data potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. After the companies recent investigation, Equifax stated that the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017. The cybersecurity incident was discovered on July 29, 2017, in which they immediately took measures to stop the intrusion by engaging with a leading independent cybersecurity firm. The company also reported the incident to law enforcement and will continue to work with the authorities until the investigation completes in the coming weeks.

The information accessed includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and in some instances, drivers license numbers. Equifax also stated credit card numbers of approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and personal identifying information for 182,000 consumers involved with credit disputes.

Have you been affected by the hack?

Equifax will not be contacting everyone that may have been affected, but the company will be sending out direct mail notices to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute information were accessed. Richard F. Smith, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Equifax, stated: “We also are focused on consumer protection and have developed a comprehensive portfolio of services to support all U.S. consumers, regardless of whether they were impacted by this incident.” The company has established a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to help customers determine if the hack potentially affected them. The site will be available as early as Monday, September 11, and will also offer U.S. consumers to sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection, and the offer will last for one year. TrustedId Premier will handle the monitoring and protection and will include 3-Bureau credit monitoring of Equifax, Experian and Transunion; the ability to lock and unlock Equifax credit reports; identity theft insurance; and internet scanning for Social Security numbers. However, the credit monitoring and identity protection may require you to accept TrusteId’s terms and conditions, including it’s “Attribution” Section.

Equifax has also set up a dedicated call center, 1-866-447-7559, to assist customers seven days a week from 7 a.m. – 1 a.m. Eastern time.

 

Protecting your Identity Theft

Identity theft continues to increase each year, in 2016 victims of identity theft were robbed of $16,000.00. An important factor in protecting yourself from identity theft is regularly checking your credit report and monitoring your account statements. As a consumer, you are allowed a free copy of your credit report once a year from all three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. You can request your free copy of your credit reports online at www.annualcreditreport.com. If you have noticed unauthorized activity on your credit report or accounts, immediately report the activity to your bank or credit card companies, and then contact law enforcement.

For Additional information on how to protect yourself against identity theft, you may access The Federal Trade Commission’s website.

Victims of Identity Theft Are Robbed of $16 billion in 2016

If you haven’t heard the term “identity theft” before you may have been living under a rock. A recent Identity Fraud Study was released this year by Javelin Strategy & Research; this study revealed that 15.4 million Americans were victims of identity theft. These crooks were successfully able to rob two million more victims and stole $16 billion dollars.

What is Identity Theft?

According to the Federal Trade Commission,(FTC), theft of an individual’s  identity occurs when someone uses your information, like your name, Social Security number to commit fraud or other crimes. Thieves are very talented when attempting to commit these types of crimes, and they look for obvious ways to obtain your information.

Ways Thieves obtain your Identity:

  • Stolen Credit Cards
  • Documents or receipts from the trash
  • Phone or email scams
  • Hacking unsecured and wireless networks

Types of Identity Theft?

Once a thief has gained access to your personal information they can obtain access to your existing credit cards, open new accounts, file fraudulent tax returns and more. Below we have named a few:

  1. Financial Theft
  2. Medical Theft
  3. Insurance Theft
  4. Criminal Theft
  5. Driver’s License Fraud
  6. Social Security
  7. Phishing Scams

Ways to Protect Yourself

1.Be Careful of What You Share. With social media and technology on the rise, these pesky crooks can find out a lot of personal information about just by doing a simple search. The information you share on Facebook, Linkedin and all the other media sites these criminals may be able to use the information you have shared to validate your identity. When you are sharing be careful of the information you share.

2.Keep Financial and Personal Information Secure. Here is another example of where technology can come back to bite us if we are not careful. Many Americans use their computers to pay bills, keep bank statements, financial planning and much more. If you do this the important thing to remember is to make sure your computer has a firewall installed; you should use anti-virus and anti-spyware software and secure your wireless network. Another important reminder is when you do have the actual hard copy of any financial or personal information dispose of it properly, and always keep them in a safe place.

3. Keep Your Cellphone Protected. Cell phones apps allow us to track our bank accounts, track your budget and finances, store credit card information, and just about anything else your heart desires. When downloading these apps make sure you are using a trusted and reputable company. Always check the ratings and reviews of any app you are downloading. Make sure you secure your device with a strong password, in case you lose it.

4. Make Sure Your Passwords Are Strong and Secure.  Create strong passwords, not easy to guess. Using passwords that contain, kids names, birth dates, maiden names or anything that may be guessed.

Are You a Victim?

If you believe your identity has been stolen, it is necessary to immediately contact any financial institutions we have accounts with and place a hold on them. You will also want to contact the FTC to file a formal complaint. Make sure to provide them with any and all questionable activity so they can thoroughly build a case.

Notifying The Credit Bureaus of the Passing of A Loved One – Credit Law Center

The passing of a loved one comes with many daunting tasks and an overwhelming amount of emotion. One task you may overlook is reporting their death to the three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. When a loved one passes, the Social Security Administration will eventually get around to notifying the credit bureaus. However, it could take approximately six months or more.Unfortunately, thieves are no longer just targeting the living. They will file tax returns, obtain credit cards and blatantly steal the deceased’s identity.The good news is there are a few steps that the loved ones can take to help prevent identity theft on their loved one.

Why Thieves Target The Deceased

Death notices and public obituaries allow for your loved one’s credit profile to be an easier target. Criminals will use the information published in the obituaries to dig deeper to obtain more personal information from the social security index or death certificate.

Many family members or other relatives will have access to personal and financial information, making it easy to commit identity theft.

Steps to Take to Report Your Loved One’s Passing

1.Get multiple copies of the certified death certificate.
2.Report the death to all three credit bureaus.

  • Send a certified letter to the three credit bureaus.  You will want to include the Name, Social Security Number, date of birth, date of date, and the last address. You will also need to attach a copy of the certified death certificate,  and any documentation naming you the executor or executrix, and your state issued id.
  • It is important that in your letter you ask the credit bureaus to add the following statement – Deceased – Do Not Issue Credit.

Where to Send the Letters

  • Equifax Office of Consumer Affairs PO Box 105169 Atlanta, GA 30348
  • 1-800-685-1111
  • Experian PO Box 9701 Allen, TX 75013
  • 1-888-397-3742
  • Transunion PO Box 6790 Fullerton, CA 92834
  • 1-800-888-4213

Requesting a copy fo the deceased’s credit reports will help you determine what creditors the deceased had and who to contact by phone of their passing. It is important to contact any credit card companies, banks, auto loans, or mortgage loans of their passing. Notifying them of the death will allow these account holders to close the account and not allow any further debt to accumulate.

One important factor to remember before closing out any active credit cards or trade lines is to find out if you or any other family member is joint on the accounts. Closing an active trade line that you are a joint holder on may end up damaging your credit.