About the Equifax Security and Data Breach
Equifax, a consumer credit reporting agency, has been hacked by cyber criminals, exposing the personal information of approximately 143 million people. With the stolen information, the hackers or cyber criminals behind the data breach can steal your identity and money. This is because they have your name, address, birth dates, social security number, driver's license number, and active credit card numbers. The security breach has affected consumers in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Anyone impacted by the breach is now at risk of identity theft and fraud - as any piece of this personal information can be sold to criminals who could then use it to open credit cards, take out loans, make purchases or even drain your bank accounts.
Equifax discovered the unauthorized access on July 29, 2017, and acted immediately to stop the intrusion. The company promptly engaged a leading, independent cyber security firm that has been conducting a comprehensive forensic review to determine the scope of the intrusion, including the specific data impacted. Equifax also reported the criminal access to law enforcement and continues to work with authorities. While the company's investigation is substantially complete, it remains ongoing and is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.
What is Equifax Doing to Protect Consumers affected by the Data Breach?
Equifax has established a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to help consumers determine if their information has been potentially impacted and to sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection. The offering, called TrustedID Premier, includes 3-Bureau credit monitoring of Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit reports; copies of Equifax credit reports; the ability to lock and unlock Equifax credit reports; identity theft insurance; and Internet scanning for Social Security numbers - all complimentary to U.S. consumers for one year. The website also provides additional information on steps consumers can take to protect their personal information. Equifax recommends that consumers with additional questions visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com or contact a dedicated call center at 866-447-7559, which the company set up to assist consumers. The call center is open every day (including weekends) from 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m. Eastern time.
In addition to the website, Equifax will send direct mail notices to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute documents with personal identifying information were impacted. Equifax also is in the process of contacting U.S. state and federal regulators and has sent written notifications to all U.S. state attorneys general, which includes Equifax contact information for regulator inquiries.
Equifax has engaged a leading, independent cybersecurity firm to conduct an assessment and provide recommendations on steps that can be taken to help prevent this type of incident from happening again.
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