Equifax, one of the three major consumer credit reporting agencies, announced hackers have gained access to sensitive consumer information, including Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers, for up to 143 million customers.
Q: Media reports are stating Equifax experienced a data breach. What are some specifics?
A: Equifax has confirmed that it experienced unauthorized access to its systems resulting in the compromise of sensitive consumer information. Information taken during the breach may include customer names, mailing addresses, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, birth dates, credit card numbers and dispute information.
Although data may have been compromised in this incident that does not mean data related to your account was taken, or that fraud has occurred on your account. Please review your credit report as soon as possible and continue monitoring the activity on your account to protect you from fraud. In addition, consumers can contact Equifax and place a freeze on their credit report immediately if they see any suspicious activity.
Q: Was my personal information was stolen in this incident or if it has been used fraudulently?
A: Meritrust is unable to confirm that for you; however, there are steps you can take to find out more information. Please review your credit report carefully and contact Equifax if you see any suspicious activity. Visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to see if there is indication your information has been compromised. We recommend our members read the terms of service prior to enrolling in monitoring services.
Q: I recently noticed fraud on my credit report. Is this fraud related to the recent Equifax incident?
A: Information obtained from the Equifax breach is estimated to have been obtained between mid-May and late July. At Meritrust, we would be unable to determine whether credit report fraud is related to the incident in question.
Q: How did this happen?
A: According to a resent investigation, it was determined criminals gained access to certain files by exploiting a weak point in website software. Equifax has reported they have seen no unauthorized activity following the discovery of the intrusion on July 29.
If you see any suspicious activity on your report, please contact Equifax immediately, place a freeze on your credit report and take steps to dispute the activity.
Q: How many consumers were affected by the incident?
A: Equifax has announced approximately 143 million consumers may have been impacted between mid-May and late July.
Q: Has the security breach been fixed?
A: Equifax has reported no additional unauthorized activity following the discovery of the breach on July 29.
Q: What consumer information was stolen?
A: Experian has confirmed potential information obtained includes the consumer’s name, address, birth date, credit card number, dispute details, social security number and/or driver’s license number.
It’s important to note, though, that although consumers’ information may have been compromised, it does not necessarily mean fraud has occurred or will occur on their credit reports. Consumers are encouraged to continue to monitor accounts and let Equifax know immediately if they notice any changes to their credit reports that they don’t recognize.
Q: If I become a victim of identity theft, how will you help to restore my good name?
A: For your convenience, Meritrust has an ID Theft Packet to help you with your identity theft case. The packet contains information which will assist you in the correction of your credit and will help ensure that you are not responsible for the debits incurred by the thief. In addition, this packet includes information that will allow you to obtain financial records related to fraudulent accounts for you to provide to law enforcement. For more information, please visit https://www.meritrustcu.org/security.
Q: What should I do if my personal information was affected by this breach?
A: You may visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and enroll in complimentary theft protection and credit file monitoring services. Please review the Equifax terms of service prior to enrolling. A couple terms of service items to note are:
- Equifax is not offering the credit monitoring service until next week at the earliest. Monday is the first day enrollment is effective.
- Consumers could be giving up their right to sue. Consumers can opt out of the arbitration requirement by notifying Equifax in writing within 30 days of accepting the monitoring service to the specified address noted in their terms page.
Also, if you have a victim of fraud or identity theft, please contact Equifax and place a freeze on your credit report immediately.