If you have a credit report, there’s a good chance that you’re one of the 143 million American consumers whose sensitive personal information was exposed in a data breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies.
Here are the facts, according to Equifax. The breach lasted from mid-May through July. The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people. And they grabbed personal information of people in Canada and in the UK, too.
– by Seena Gressin
Attorney, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC
We’ve got your back at CHROME, but we want your peace of mind to be complete. Here are some questions and answers to simplify the process of learning more:
Q: How do I know whether my information was compromised?
A: Visit https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/ to help you determine whether your personal information was impacted. Click the “potential impact” button at the top and follow the instructions.
Q: Are my accounts at CHROME safe?
A: Yes, we take security very seriously. With CHROME Confidence, customers are never held liable for unauthorized transactions on their accounts.
Q: What do I do if fraudulent accounts are opened in my name?
A: Visit www.identitytheft.gov, a site created by the Federal Trade Commission, and follow the instructions provided.
Q: How do I receive a copy of my credit report?
A: Consumers are entitled to a free copy of their credit report annually. You can request a free report at www.annualcreditreport.com. You may also contact the 3 credit bureaus directly.
Q: Can I do anything to protect my credit score?
A: Yes, you can request to freeze your credit report, usually at a cost of $5 to $10. This will prevent prospective creditors from accessing your credit information. To place a “freeze” on your credit file, you must contact each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Keep in mind that enacting a credit freeze also can create complications on your end; for example, if you want to apply for a new credit card or take out a loan, you’ll need to contact the reporting agency to temporarily lift the freeze.
Q: What is Equifax doing to help in this situation?
A: Equifax is suggesting that customers sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection. Regardless of whether you were affected by the breach, the company is providing this free service for one year through its TrustedID Premier business. https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/trustedid-premier/
Q: Is this security hack being investigated?
A: Yes. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched a formal investigation on Friday, September 8th, 2017.
Q: What are my options in court?
A: If you sign up for Equifax’s offer of free identity theft protection and credit file monitoring, you might discover you are limited to submitting complaints to arbitration – in other words, you would not be allowed to sue or become part of a class-action suit. However, after public pressure, Equifax amended that provision to say customers may get out of the arbitration requirement if they notify Equifax in writing within 30 days of accept its monitoring services. (Additionally, some attorneys state the arbitration provision doesn’t cover suits related to this breach.)
To learn more about CHROME Confidence and reporting fraudulent activity click here.
To reach a helpful person at CHROME, call us anytime at 724.228.2030.