Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Advertisement

News just surfaced of a data breach that affects up to 80 percent of all U.S. credit card users, and the credit reporting giant Equifax is doing a terrible job of reassuring customers. As of this writing, getting through to the company is difficult on the phone and online, and this has many in a panic.

What Data Was Stolen in the Breach?

Equifax revealed what is potentially one of the biggest data breaches in U.S. history, and the company could be facing a $1 billion lawsuit as a result. Though the hack was discovered on July 29, it was only just revealed by the company.

Hackers were able to access sensitive data including names, social security numbers, addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers, and driver’s license details for 143 million consumers between May through July 2017. Approximately 209,000 users also had their credit card details stolen, and about 182,000 users had details from their Equifax dispute documents stolen.

The breach mostly affects U.S. residents, along with some U.K. and Canada citizens.

How to Find Out If Your Data Was Stolen

There’s been plenty of confusion on how to find out if you were affected.

Equifax has set up an online tool that lets customers check if they were part of the data breach, but it requires entering more personal information and results in vague, inconclusive statements. You may be understandably skeptical about handing over more information to a company who’d find itself on the receiving end of such a large breach.

Advertisement

If you prefer to call the company, you can reach them at 866-447-7559.

For immediate results, go to the web tool provided by Equifax and click “Begin Enrollment.” Do NOT click Continue Enrollment! (According to the terms of service, enrolling in TrustedID will waive your rights to legal representation, including participation in any class-action lawsuits.)

You’ll see a screen where you can enter the last six digits of your social security number and your last name.

If your data was stolen, you will see the message below. Again, do NOT click the Enroll button!

Up until last night, customers may have seen one of three messages. The one listed above, another saying they were not affected, and a third providing a date on which they could enroll in the company’s TrustedID Premier service.

What Should You Do?

Consumer Reports offers some suggestions for those who find that their information may have been compromised.

Credit Monitoring: You can sign up for Equifax’s free TrustedID Premier service which is a credit monitoring service that is currently free. As mentioned above, enrolling does preclude you from participating in a class-action lawsuit against the company.

Credit Security Freeze: One of the most common suggestions from security experts in the wake of the breach is to place a credit security freeze. This will not affect your credit score and will not impact prescreened credit offers.

In order to place a freeze, you must request a security freeze with all three credit bureaus:

The catch, however, is that this is not free. The fee varies from state to state, but it shouldn’t cost you more than $10 per credit bureau.

The freeze will prevent new lines of credit being opened in your name, which of course means that if you were planning on purchasing or renting a home, financing a car, applying for a job, or getting a new credit card, you will have to lift the freeze first. Lifting may also cost up to $10 per credit bureau.

Stay Vigilant: Keep a vigilant eye on your bank accounts for any suspicious activity. Consumer Reports recommends setting up alerts on your bank accounts for unusual activity: suggested parameters include your balance and the size of transactions. While Consumer Reports does not suggest it, you should also be vigilant when it comes to your online accounts. Set up two-factor authentication, create secure passwords 7 Ways To Make Up Passwords That Are Both Secure & Memorable 7 Ways To Make Up Passwords That Are Both Secure & Memorable Having a different password for each service is a must in today's online world, but there's a terrible weakness to randomly generated passwords: it's impossible to remember them all. But how can you possibly remember... Read More , and don’t click on links in emails claiming to be from Equifax.

Equifax has said that it will mail out notices to consumers who credit card numbers or dispute documents with personal identifying information were impacted.

Are you going to check to see if you were impacted? If you have been impacted, what course of action do you plan to take? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credit: Rawpixel.com via Shutterstock

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Jane hicks
    September 18, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    I did not want to give my information out again BY COMPUTER. so i called the number provided above only to find out that they can not help you. They said they had no ones ssn or personal information they were only here to help get you thru the sign up on line. They were not given another number that you could call !!!!!! WHY WAISTS OUR TIME !!!!!!!! We did not leak our own information they should have to take care if this thereself. Call us send a letter . if trying to keep our information safe thru the mail
    send more that one letter like the banks or the charge card companies do when they mail you your debit card the pin number is in one envelope and a few days latter you get the card. We deserve help for there mistakes without the hassle.

  2. rachel
    September 16, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    I went to the site two times (on consecutive days) to check if my data was compromised. The first time it said that we believe your personal information was not impacted, and the second time it said we believe it was impacted. What to believe?

  3. Phil Matson
    September 15, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    Oh, so good that Equifax will mail out notices to consumers who credit card numbers or dispute documents with personal identifying information were impacted. When will these be mailed? In the meantime the hackers have had MONTHS to sell the data on the dark web so we are already screwed. And just try to get through to any of the 3 bureaus to set up a credit freeze. I persisted on hold for 2 hours without reaching anyone. I have taken all reasonable precautions over the last decade to protect my data and then a Credit Bureau, which should be a trusted and protected organization, make is all for nothing. Disgusted and angry does not even begin to describe the feelings.

  4. Pat Colvin
    September 15, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    I am not sure just yet however I need to hurry up and start some type of action. I signed up yesterday withEquifax and have not heard anything yet. The bureaus have gotten rich on our information and is hestitant to wholehearted assist us. So how I feel the corporatons should pay out of pocket to all persons under their trust(what a ripoff).

  5. Woody
    September 15, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    What a scam. Even if you type in a fake name and fake last 6 digits of SSN it says 'you may have been breached' and immediately it prompts you to sign up for their service. Sure free for the first year; then you'll be paying them for the rest of your life. Where are the authorities ???

  6. Stan Riedel
    September 15, 2017 at 3:38 am

    It is an automatic raise or bonus for all three agencies. Now they get $10.00 from every working person in the US to insure their number that they shouldn't have in the first place.

  7. Sheila Lindquist
    September 14, 2017 at 7:48 am

    I currently am in Thailand so I can not easily call and by the sounds of it I can not get thru to Equifax. All America websites do not allow a foreign phone number. So I can not provide a good phone number where I can be reached. I want to find out if my information was breached. Equifax says on their website that for this one time that by applying for equifaxsecurity2017 that they will not exclude a person from a class action suit. If they were to file bankruptcy because of all these lawsuits would the CEO and top officers have to put the money back that they took out before they revealed what happened with the security breach? And if I can not click on any links I received from equifax how am I suppose to get anywhere in finding out my status? This cashing in stock and taking cash out of this corporation is a fraudulent transfer of assets and should be looked into. I don't feel safe leaving my email. I gave you a fake email.

  8. Stan Riedel
    September 13, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Let me try to understand this. These three self-made up companies obtain my social security number from somewhere. Now, someone has hacked the number they have been using to make a living for themselves. My number is being sold so someone can rip-off my identity, using it anyway they want. Meaning it might take years for me to get it straight. All because someone didn't protect the number I did not consent for them to have in the first place, much less allow them to make money off of it. Now they offer to put part of my life on hold for free because of their mistake and lax security measures. Why do us little people always have to take it in the rear so corporations can prosper.

    • Guest
      September 14, 2017 at 9:26 pm

      Welcome to America, Stan! You must be new here.

  9. Tom
    September 13, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    According to the site, as of 9/11/17:

    5) Adjusted the TrustedID Premier and Clarified Equifax.com
    We’ve added an FAQ to our website to confirm that enrolling in the free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection that we are offering as part of this cybersecurity incident does not waive any rights to take legal action. We removed that language from the Terms of Use on the website, http://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. The Terms of Use on http://www.equifax.com do not apply to the TrustedID Premier product being offered to consumers as a result of the cybersecurity incident.

    It looks like they really have dropped that clause about giving up lawsuit rights...

  10. Ward
    September 13, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    used the above advice to check both mine and my wife's. both received msg indicating we might have been hacked. did not and will not sign up for their service. will continue to monitor my accounts. most likely will put freeze on via all three agencies.

    • Chase
      September 14, 2017 at 7:22 pm

      Wonder how much money they're taking in from the fees to do so.

  11. Bob C
    September 13, 2017 at 7:38 am

    What about the executives who sold their stock before announcing the breach? IMO, they should be facing at least 10 years in prison. They should also be fined at least triple what the amount for what the sock was sold (not their net profit).
    A good indicator of how corrupt a company can be when the executives profit from their screwups.

    • thisbouquet
      September 13, 2017 at 3:03 pm

      I agree! But i think they should face securities fraud charges and imprisonment in addition to a financial punishment. Start putting these a-holes in prison and make them take responsibility for their actions!

    • Kemaebe
      September 14, 2017 at 1:37 am

      I agree! Is that not trading on insider information?

  12. Michael C
    September 13, 2017 at 2:44 am

    If you submit your information at Equifax check you give up your rights to take part of CLASS ACTION SUIT!!!
    Equifax should take the responsibility to fix ALL those people effected by the breach they (Equifax) failed to catch and stop

  13. Bob
    September 13, 2017 at 12:22 am

    I already have freezes on all 3 bureaus and I am protected by LifeLock. They have saved me sev. times already from fraud.

  14. Grcoeeg
    September 13, 2017 at 12:22 am

    I went to the site and used made up Last names and made up last six numbers of a SSnumber ten different times and every time it came back that my security may have been compromised. Equifax is still screwing with the public, this is BS, they still are trying to get the public to sign up and PAY for there help, when it is them that is the problem.

  15. Carol Elkins
    September 12, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    I tried requesting a credit report from each of the three agencies yesterday and all three web sites were unresponsive or down. I have zero say in any of these agencies having my private data and now I can't even check to see if anyone is abusing that data.

  16. Dan Goodrich
    September 12, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    This is on the FAQ list:

    2) No Waiver Of Rights For This Cyber Security Incident
    In response to consumer inquiries, we have made it clear that the arbitration clause and class action waiver included in the Equifax and TrustedID Premier terms of use does not apply to this cybersecurity incident.

    So you CAN still sign up for the monitoring and STILL be a part of the lawsuit. Get the info correct please.

    • SamG
      September 13, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      Thank you for making that point clear. Bob Rankin's site also stated that fact. Too many protestors had E remove that clause.

  17. Greg
    September 12, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Very inconsistent results as to whether your data may have been "impacted". Same data in at various times and sometimes it came back as "may have been" and others it was "had not" .

    Not going to gamble that I wasn't, so proceeding with the enrollment sign up for Equifax’s free TrustedID Premier service.

  18. Tim
    September 12, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    This information id dated. That info about waiving rights to sue is not correct. First, it only applied to suing TrustedID, as those terms apply only to that company. Second, Equifax removed that term from the agreement after hearing about it from so many customers. Equifax sucks here, but it's important to keep the facts correct, because there may be some who want to sign up for the credit monitoring but are worried about their right to sue. (Talk to a good lawyer knowledgeable in this area and he or she will tell you that even if the clause remained, it wouldn't interfere with your right to sue.)

  19. Tom
    September 12, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    freeze. I'm a senior, so in my state the fee is waived.

    • Bob C
      September 13, 2017 at 7:11 am

      In what state?

      • Tom
        September 13, 2017 at 9:07 am

        Illinois. Our AG has published a great package of "how to freeze". She's even included templates for the letters to the 3 credit bureaus.

  20. lucy
    September 12, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    I put in my legit info and it said that I may have been impacted by this incident.

  21. Lindy Mueller
    September 11, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    I was impacted...so what now ... personally, detest credit reporting agencies ..... hope a suit is filed...I'll join in.

  22. John
    September 10, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Equifax doesn't care about this, request protection and relief from the courts. Where are the state attorney generals who are fast to sue the US over their political views but not these greedy bastards?

    • Tim
      September 12, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      Give it some time, man! You can't formulate a case like this overnight!

  23. Harry H
    September 9, 2017 at 4:03 am

    I put in completely fake information in the Getting Started and it still told me "my personal information may have been affected." Try it. The web tool is completely bogus.

    • Dr. Frank Buck
      September 9, 2017 at 6:34 pm

      And I tried just the opposite. I put in my last name a random numbers. I expected to get a message that there was no such name and number pair. Instead, I got a message that my personal information had not be impacted. I tried it several times with several different random numbers, all with the same report.

    • Al
      September 9, 2017 at 9:33 pm

      I agree that it's bogus. I also added some fake info and instead of telling me "user not found", it said I was not effected. They've got it rigged to tell EVERYONE that they're not effected!

    • Kent
      September 12, 2017 at 11:00 pm

      You do realize that it is entirely possible that the "fake" info you put in is actually someone else's real info, right?
      Your name is not unique and the numbers you used could easily match a real person.

      BTW, just checked mine and I WAS compromised.

      Will be joining the lawsuits when filed.

      • Kevin A
        September 13, 2017 at 3:24 am

        Kent, do you realize the low probability that you could guess someomes last name and last 6 ssn? Unless you get hit by lightning or win the lottery on a regular basis, good luck. They're likely just using a probability tool, 143,000,000 compromised, so 1 out of every 2.35 people or so.

      • Lorraine
        September 14, 2017 at 4:29 pm

        The database that we check may only contain the numbers of those compromised, therefore, an erroneous number would not come up (unless you by some miracle you randomly selected someone's number on the list).

  24. Anonymous
    September 8, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    This is one reason why bitcoin and other altcoins are superior. No identity theft can happen when no ID is collected.

  25. Anonymous
    September 8, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    This is one reason why bitcoin and other altcoins are superior. No identity can be stolen where none was collected in the first place.

  26. Russell Dillenburg
    September 8, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    this should be removed! why doesn't the ssl certificate say equifax.com anywhere in it for the web tool. Looks like someone put this makeuseof article to try and scam more people into giving personal information away.

    • Nancy Messieh
      September 9, 2017 at 10:22 pm

      That's actually been one of the criticisms of Equifax in how it has handled this situation. The website they've set up is running a stock WordPress installation and the domain name is not registered to Equifax and so it has the appearance of a phishing scam.

      As poor a response from Equifax as it is, this is the legitimate website they set up that is linked in their statement here: https://investor.equifax.com/news-and-events/news/2017/09-07-2017-213000628

  27. ron w
    September 8, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    Have to pay...excuse me.... that is BS...they messed up..I will get my report...FREE as any one can once a year..if it is messed up...I WILL SUE

  28. Charles
    September 8, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Waive my rights? In some countries they can't force that upon their customers; by law those contracts aren't legal....luckily, I live in one of those....
    But it sure shows how they would like to treat their 'customers'.

  29. Dustin
    September 8, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    Why should I have to waive my right to legal representation to enroll in TrustedID? There shouldn't be any stipulations for Equifax to remedy the situation.

    • Nancy Messieh
      September 8, 2017 at 8:15 pm

      Equifax's response to this whole thing really has been terrible.

    • Judy Nocifora
      September 8, 2017 at 8:38 pm

      Equifax should waive the fee to place a security freeze on an account. This is absurd that the very company whose job it is to secure your information has not developed the technology to prevent this from happening. Appears that none of our information is safe with Equifax!

      • Dr. Frank Buck
        September 9, 2017 at 6:35 pm

        I agree.

      • Dr. Frank Buck
        September 9, 2017 at 6:39 pm

        I called the Equifax support number (866-447-7559). Was on hold for over 21 minutes to speak with someone. The representative was not able to answer my questions and would have someone "get back with me." We'll see how well that works.

        Have also sent messages to @AskEquifax and have received no reply.