Equifax Breach: Here's What You Need To Do

Hurricane Equifax is a Category 5 breach

Equifax, one of America's three major credit bureaus, revealed last week that its website had been breached and that the names, Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses and driver's license numbers of 143 million Americans may have been compromised.

The credit monitoring company's call centre staff say that Canadians who have Equifax accounts in the USA could be at risk of having their data compromised, such as those who have lived, worked or applied for credit south of the border.

Credit monitoring and fraud protection are also good ideas because in addition to all of your personal information, Equifax also failed to protect your credit card information.

And don't forget to setup fraud alerts on you bank and credit cards if you don't already have them.

Equifax's handling of this disaster has been feeble and dishonest, which only increases the need for improved security measures and increased regulation of credit reporting companies - not less regulation, as Equifax wants.

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And even if everything seems fine now, you should also continue to keep a close eye on your accounts and credit reports because your identity might not be stolen right away.

"We are listening to issues consumers have experienced and their suggestions", the company said on a website it created to post updates on the hack and to detail how it is addressing the issue.

At the end of July, Equifax discovered signs of unauthorised access to data including names, addresses and social security numbers.

Some people who've followed Clark's step-by-step credit freeze guide say they're running into trouble with Equifax particularly.

According to Bloomberg, Anthem previously settled a class action lawsuit over a data breach that exposed similar personal information of as many as 78.8 million Americans, equating to about $1.46 per person impacted.

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"The creditor will have a higher tendency to believe you if you have the police report", Wu said.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island is among a bipartisan group calling for a federal probe of the credit agency Equifax. You'll have to request to lift the freeze if you want to open a new line of credit yourself.

But even that doesn't totally protect your information since your data isn't fully frozen until it is on ice at all three credit bureaus. That is almost half the United States' population, many of which were unaware Equifax had their information to begin with. In some states, including OH, consumers must pay $5 to Equifax for the privilege of locking down their credit file so that no loan or credit card accounts can be opened. I was able to freeze my credit with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion online in 17 minutes last Friday.

Lynch is just one of many consumers feeling frustration with Equifax's response to the massive hack. Once identity thieves get ahold of your stolen data they will use your personal information to file an early return in your name, and get a huge refund. It goes on to list the states where they can file a claim, and the bot will then ask users questions and helps them fill out the PDF form to file a suit in small claims court, meaning there's no need for those affected by the breach to hire a lawyer. Others have experienced the same, or received "System Unavailable" messages.

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