The Equifax Data Breach
The Equifax Data Breach
Have you been affected? If so, how can you try to protect yourself?
Provided by Wealth Management Group of KC
On September 7, credit reporting agency Equifax dropped a consumer bombshell. It revealed that cybercriminals had gained access to the personal information of as many as 143 million Americans between May and July – about 44% of the U.S. population. The culprits were able to retrieve roughly 209,000 credit card numbers, in addition to many Social Security and driver’s license numbers.1
Equifax has set up a website for consumers to determine the impact from the breech, however, it has been reported that there have been ongoing issues with the website. The following Equifax link, https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com has updated information on the issues and how Equifax is resolving them.
Another source of information is the Federal Trade Commission website: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do
How should you respond? Consider placing a temporary security freeze on your credit files by calling the three bureaus once every 90 days. Doing so will make it impossible for criminals to open any new accounts in your name. There may be a small fee ($10-$15) to put on or take off the freeze. You will also have to take a few extra steps if you need to obtain any new credit for yourself during a credit freeze.
Equifax - 1-866-447-7559
Experian - 1-888-397-3742
TransUnion - 1-888-909-8872
Check your credit reports now. (Unless you have already done so in the past month). You can get one free credit report per year from Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. To request yours, go to www.annualcreditreport.com. Scrutinize your credit card and bank account statements for unfamiliar activity, and sign up for email or text alerts offered by your bank or credit card issuer(s), so that notice of anything suspicious can quickly reach you.
Consider changing the password for your main email account. A weak password on that account is a low bar for a cybercrook to hurdle – and once hurdled, that crook could potentially pose as you to change the passwords on your financial accounts.2
File your taxes as early as possible. Tax fraud often occurs early in the tax season. Hackers can use your social security number to obtain a fraudulent tax refund.
If someone calls you out of the blue claiming to be from Equifax, do not cooperate with them. Unless Equifax is returning your call, they will not contact you by phone. The same applies if you get a random, unsolicited email or text from “Equifax” – do not comply, or you may inadvertently hand over personal information to a fraudster.
Stay vigilant, today and in the future and remember not to hesitate to give us a call. We are here to help!
Wealth Management Group of KC may be reached at (913) 649-4121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.
Securities and investment advisory services offered through Geneos Wealth Management, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC
1 - wired.com/story/how-to-protect-yourself-from-that-massive-equifax-breach/ [9/7/17]
2 - cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2017/09/devastating_data_breach_at_equ.html [9/8/17]