Sunday, 24 September, 2017

Equifax Data Breach Exposes Information of Millions

Attorney General: 1.1 million Iowans hit by Equifax breach Equifax data breach: What you need to know
Lillian Steele | 17 September, 2017, 01:03

Equifax announced last week that it experienced a data breach from May to July that exposed the full names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver's license numbers of 143 million Americans.

The Iowa Attorney General's office is urging on Iowans to "act now" following a massive data breach involving the credit reporting company Equifax.

The credit monitoring company's call centre staff say that Canadians who have Equifax accounts in the United States could be at risk of having their data compromised, such as those who have lived, worked or applied for credit south of the border. Equifax is one of the "Big Three" credit reporting companies operating in the U.S.

Already reeling after a disclosure last week that a May cyberattack may have stolen the personal data of as many as 143 million Americans, Equifax saw its shares fall almost 15 percent on Wednesday, to $98.99.

"When the experts are saying, 'You should do this now, ' it struck panic in me".

To see if your information was impacted in the breach, visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.

Equifax said that it would send letters to about 390,000 of the victims who either had credit card numbers or credit dispute statements affected.

But a credit freeze is problematic for people who need to keep their credit report open as they need to secure a loan, perhaps buy a home or a auto.

Equifax created a website so you can check to see if your personal information may have been affected. After a breach, a scammer may commit tax identity theft by using your Social Security number to file a tax return and steal your tax refund.

Request a copy of your credit report as soon as possible in order to identify what is on your report before any potential theft has occurred.

A lot of people are choosing to "freeze" their credit report. "You're entitled to a free one".

Along with the Equifax hack, she said phishing scammers could be trying to capitalize on other news events, like the recent hurricanes, by pretending to be charities like the Red Cross. You can also temporarily lift that freeze if a credit report is needed. So sign up for the free credit monitoring. "Just pay attention, really that's the most important thing", said Dr. McGill.

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