Equifax, a leading credit report provider, recently announced that 143 million people could be affected by a recent breach of its data system. Cybercriminals stole important personal information that included names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and some driver’s license numbers.
It is important to note, Equifax is one of the three major credit report companies with which we share member credit information. As such, your personal information may have been compromised by this breach. To help you determine if your information has been breached, and to mitigate the impact of this breach, we have prepared the following questions and answers. (Of course, you can always contact us for further help in this regard.)
How do I know if my personal information was part of the breach?
Equifax has promised to send direct mail notices to consumers who were impacted by this breach.
Is Equifax providing any resources and information to help customers that may have been impacted?
Yes, Equifax has established a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. This site includes information about the breach, a search tool to determine if you may have been impacted, and the option to opt in to credit monitoring services offered by Equifax.
Can I call Equifax instead of using their website?
Equifax has set up a dedicated call center to help. The contact number is 866-447-7559. The call center is open every day (including weekends) from 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m. EST.
What other actions can I take to help protect my account?
- Call us at 303-832-4816 or 800-444-4816 to place a code word on your credit union account. We then will use the code word to help validate your identity when you contact us to transact business.
- Monitor your financial institution activity online or through statements for unauthorized transactions. If they occur, notify the appropriate financial institution immediately.
- Visit www.identitytheft.gov for resources on identity theft, freezing your credit report, and steps to take with the three different credit bureaus to dispute any unauthorized entries.
- Place a fraud alert with any of the three credit bureaus - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The benefit of the fraud alert is it alerts potential creditors or lenders to take extra steps to identify you. You need to contact only one credit bureau to place an identity theft freeze and they are required to notify the other two credit bureaus.
- Pull your credit report yearly by phone at 1-844-322-8228; or online at https://www.annualcreditreport.com. Upon review, if you find unauthorized activity notify the applicable financial institution or other agency immediately!
What else should I watch for?
Remain diligent and watch for misleading emails and phone calls. Generally, there is an increase in scam attempts associated with these types of breaches.
Contact us if you have any other questions. We are here to help you make the most of your money – including protecting it!