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Equifax Data Breach - What you can do.

The Federal Trade Commission has released some steps you can take to find out if your information was exposed and how you can protect yourself. We have summarized below:

  • Are you at risk?  Visit Equifax’s website to find out if your information was exposed: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/ . Click on “Potential Impact” and enter your name and the last 6 digits of your Social Security number. Make sure you’re on a secure computer and an encrypted network. The site will tell you if you’ve been affected by this breach.
    Whether or not your information was exposed, consumers can get a year of free credit monitoring from Equifax. Follow the instructions on the website to enroll. (Please note that Calhoun Banks does not endorse this service).

  • Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion   for free – by visiting annualcreditreport.com. This secure website is a service that is endorsed and approved by the Federal Trade Commission. Activity on your reports that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft. If you suspect 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. To learn more go to: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs

  • Continue to monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts for charges you don't recognize. If you should notice any suspect charges to your deposit accounts, please contact us immediately at 304-354-6106.

  • 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.
Visit Identitytheft.gov/databreach to learn more about protecting yourself after a data breach.


Equifax AnnouncesCybersecurity Incident Involving Consumer Information

September 7, 2017 — Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) today announced a cybersecurity incident potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. Criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files. Based on the company’s investigation, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017. The company has found no evidence of unauthorized activity on Equifax’s core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.

The information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. In addition, 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, were accessed. As part of its investigation of this application vulnerability, Equifax also identified unauthorized access to limited personal information for certain UK and Canadian residents. Equifax will work with UK and Canadian regulators to determine appropriate next steps. The company has found no evidence that personal information of consumers in any other country has been impacted.
Equifax discovered the unauthorized access on July 29 of this year and acted immediately to stop the intrusion. The company promptly engaged a leading, independent cybersecurity 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.

“This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do. I apologize to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Richard F. Smith. “We pride ourselves on being a leader in managing and protecting data, and we are conducting a thorough review of our overall security operations. 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.” 

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.

CEO Smith said, “I’ve told our entire team that our goal can’t be simply to fix the problem and move on. Confronting cybersecurity risks is a daily fight. While we’ve made significant investments in data security, we recognize we must do more. And we will.” 

About Equifax
Equifax is a global information solutions company that uses trusted unique data, innovative analytics, technology and industry expertise to power organizations and individuals around the world by transforming knowledge into insights that help make more informed business and personal decisions. 

Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., Equifax operates or has investments in 24 countries in North America, Central and South America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. It is a member of Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500® Index, and its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. Equifax employs approximately 9,900 employees worldwide. 

How to See if You Were Affected by the Equifax Cybersecurity Incident | Equifax