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WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Equifax breach: Data from 143 million stolen

Posted September 9

Equifax website

The Social Security numbers, names, birthdays, credit card numbers and addresses of approximately 143 million people have been stolen from the credit-reporting company Equifax.

On Thursday, September 7, Equifax announced that the security breach had taken place between mid-May and July 2017. Apparently, they did not discover the issue until July 29, but they did not release the information to the public until this week.

Because of that, your personal data may have been compromised for months.

To find out if you were possibly involved in the breach, Equifax set up a website to let you know if your information was possibly compromised but there has been some backlash regarding the accuracy and safety of the site. You have to enter your last name and last 6 digits of your social security number to check. In an article from BusinessInsider.com, they point out that this requirement alone is an issue. In addition, the site was not working for many and then you have to waive your rights to a class-action lawsuit if you decide to use the site to monitor your credit. You can opt out of the arbitration clause, but you have to do it by mail.

For those who many be affected by this breach, there are options to protect your identity. In an article from AP Business Writer, Ken Sweet, it indicates that the best way to protect your information is to put a freeze on your credit with the major credit bureaus, including Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

You also want to check your credit report quarterly from the free site Annualcreditreport.com.

If you don't want to go as far as setting up a freeze on your credit, you can create a fraud alert where you have to be contacted by phone to set up new accounts.

For more information, head to the emergency Equifax website at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com or call 866-447-7559. If your information was stolen, Equifax is supposed to send you a notice via mail.

5 Comments

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  • swd99999999 Sep 10, 9:04 p.m.

    Jokes on you, they lost control of your information and now want you to fill out a form with all your information

  • Amomoftwo Sep 10, 9:05 a.m.

    Thanks! I did a quick check and mine info was not breached. I have had my accounts hacked before so this was a concern.

  • vlynn Sep 9, 7:38 p.m.

    Hey Faye, you can't be expected to see everything :-) I just wanted to make sure everyone knew about the free credit freeze part. It's not mentioned in the main equifax thing, so people may not be aware of it.

  • Faye Prosser -WRAL Smart Shopper Sep 9, 1:30 p.m.

    vlynn - thanks for the info! Sorry I missed your post on Friday.

  • vlynn Sep 9, 1:14 p.m.

    Reposted from Friday Share the Deals: Hey everyone, don't forget to check the attorney general's website for info on the big equifax security breach. www.ncdoj.gov NC residents can freeze their credit reports for free online from the doj website so accounts can't be opened in your name.