Why Should You Care More About This Than Any Other Breach?
This breach affected you. Even if the tools we link to below say it "probably didn't", assume it does. Because of this breach it is now possible for anyone that has this information to at least:
- Masquerade as you.
- Apply for credit as you.
- Answer security questions about you.
- Create identification papers in your name.
- File taxes in your name.
This should concern you because unlike a credit card breach at a retailer, you can't just change your card and go merrily on your way. There is no fix for this. Keeping yourself safe from this will require diligence on your part for a long time. We wish there was better news, but there's not. The massive Equifax breach you heard about wasn't the only time they were breached, either. 5 months prior they were breached as well, and swept that under the rug, and their website was also breached again just this week
(Ars Technica link)! You can read about the full extent of the breach (made public on October 2nd, 2017) here
. This will take you off to Equfax.com.
What Should You Do?
You should assume that the breach does affect you. If you've ever had a loan, it most certainly does. Once you find out if Equifax thinks you were affected, you will be offered credit monitoring from Equifax. Should you take it? To us it seems a bit like the fox watching the henhouse, and there are better options, but you can sign up for it and still take the steps below:
- Find out if Equifax thinks you were affected.
- Get and know your credit reports at Free Annual Credit Report.
- Sign up for free credit monitoring at Credit Karma. They will monitor your credit and send you alerts anytime your credit changes on Equifax or TransUnion (Experian not included at this time).
- Place a fraud alert on your credit reports. Call the credit bureaus, and ask to have a fraud alert placed on your credit report:
- Equifax: 800-525-6285
- Experian: 888-397-3742
- Transunion: 800-680-7289
- Freeze your credit report. Clark Howard offers links and advice on how to freeze your credit, what it entails and how it impacts you going forward.
- Do your taxes as early as possible! Fraudsters file taxes in your name early to get a rebate check before you even think about filing. The earlier you file, the better.
- Opt out of all prescreened credit offers. You don't need those offers flooding your mailbox week after week.
What Should You Do If Your ID is Stolen
- Clark Howard again offers advice on what to do if your ID is stolen.
Please take this breach seriously. It's the same thing as if someone took a fireproof storage case from your house with all your personally identifiable information.
If you need any further advice, please contact us at 860-747-4152!
*We are not being paid for any site endorsement here, and only offer the links as financial advice in the wake of this massive breach. UBIFCU does not warrantee any information provided on any external site.