Equifax Data Breach
Equifax, one of the three major National Consumer Reporting Agencies, recently announced that 143 million people (effectively most of the U.S. adult population) could be affected by a recent breach of its data system. Cybercriminals stole important personal information that included names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and some driver’s license numbers. The Cybercriminals also accessed 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. Equifax has since stopped the intrusion and are working to prevent future incidents.
Currently, Priority First FCU does not share member credit information with Equifax.
We provide credit data to Experian, TransUnion, and CBC Innovis. However, your personal information may have been compromised by this breach as many financial institutions share credit data with Equifax. To help you determine if your information has been breached, and to mitigate the impact of this breach, we have prepared the following questions and answers.
Is Equifax providing any resources and information to help customers that may have been impacted?
Yes, Equifax has established a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. This site includes information about the breach, a search tool to determine if you may have been impacted, and the option to opt in to credit monitoring services offered by Equifax.
How do I know if my personal information was part of the breach?
Equifax has created a search tool on their website called “Check Potential Impact” where you can enter your last name and the last six digits of your social security number to determine if your personal information was compromised.
Can I call Equifax instead of using their website?
Equifax has set up a dedicated call center to help. The contact number is 866-447-7559. The call center is open every day (including weekends) from 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m. EST.
What other actions can I take to help protect my personal information?
1. Monitor your financial institution activity online or through statements for unauthorized transactions. If they occur, notify the appropriate financial institution immediately.
2. Visit www.identitytheft.gov for resources on identity theft, freezing your credit report, and steps to take with the three different credit bureaus to dispute any unauthorized entries.
3. Place a fraud alert with any of the three credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The benefit of the fraud alert is it alerts potential creditors or lenders to take extra steps to identify you. You need to contact only one credit bureau to place an identity theft freeze and they are required to notify the other two credit bureaus.
4. Pull your credit report yearly by phone at 1-844-322-8228; or online at https://www.annualcreditreport.com. Upon review, if you find unauthorized activity notify the applicable financial institution or other agency immediately!
Contact us if you have any other questions. We will update this post if more information becomes available.