Some helpful resources:
- Equifax, "Potential Impact"
- Consumersafety.org, "How to Enroll in Equifax TrustedID After the Data Breach"
- The Federal Trade Commission, "What to Do"
- Experian, "Free Dark Web Scan"
- Congress, Bill Proposes to Make Freezing Credit Reports Free
Credit Reporting Agencies Contact:
- Equifax — 1-800-349-9960
- Experian — 1‑888‑397‑3742
- TransUnion — 1-888-909-8872
- Innovis — 1-800-540-2505
Misinformation / Scams:
- Please be advised that some criminals have already begun making phone calls to victims and posing as Equifax representatives. Equifax will notify you in writing if they need to contact you. Do not confirm or provide any personal information to those calling and misrepresenting themselves.
- Initially, Equifax included language in their Terms & Conditions that binded those who signed up for Trusted ID Premier to arbitration. That language has been retracted.
When did the breach take place:
Mid May through July, 2017 though another breach was discovered to have taken place in March
What information was taken:
Names, Social Security numbers, Birth Dates, Addresses and, in some instances, Driver’s License Numbers and Credit Card Numbers
Who was impacted:
Generally, the breach impacted 143 Million people. 182,000 had their personal identifying information stolen and credit card numbers were stolen from 209,000 people.
How to check if you may be impacted:
You can go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and select "Potential Impact"
How this will affect the mortgage process:
Though a credit freeze may be the best option for you, you'll have to ensure it is lifted during the transaction, or wait until after closing to apply it. A credit freeze will not allow creditors to review your report and therefore will prevent you from applying for credit.
What Can you Do?
Whether or not you've been impacted, the Federal Trade Commission is advising that you monitor your credit report, credit cards, and bank accounts closely. The threat of identity theft stemming from this breach could linger for years to come.
File your taxes at the earliest possible opportunity and respond to letters from the IRS promptly. Identity thieves often use social security numbers to obtain tax refunds or apply for employment.
You can also:
- Place a freeze on your credit reports. Please keep in mind you will have to temporarily remove the freeze if you plan to apply for a loan or credit.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit, which will notify creditors of your potential risk. When we see a fraud alert on a credit report, we have a separate procedure for confirming that the applicant is whom they claim to be.
- Sign up for the TrustedID Premier Credit Monitoring and Identity Theft program. This program is being offered for free by Equifax for one year. You can access the program enrollment through Equifax in the link above. (be sure to research the pros and cons)
- Activate two-factor authentication on all accounts that offer this security measure. The sign in process for these activated accounts would require a password and a second element, such as a pin or a code sent via text message.