Credit Bureau Breached – 143,000,000 American ID’s at Risk – Use The Below Links
Equifax, one of the major credit reporting agencies in the United States discovered their security systems have been breached.
Social Security, Driver License, Dates of Birth, Addresses and other personal information has been stolen.
This effects about half the population of the USA.
See if your personal information is potentially impacted. Schedule now to see if your ID has been compromised. There is no cost to you. Register now, there is a lag time. Many others are also registering.
Although it is a huge pain in the posterior (both to implement and to deal with when you apply for credit) I am now placing a freeze on my credit, too, with each of the four credit bureaus.
Equifax Freeze Link
TransUnion Credit Freeze
Experian Credit Freeze
The downside is having to remove the freeze whenever you wish to apply for new credit, open a new account with a financial institution, obtain insurance or in some cases get a new job. Another downside is having to pay to release the freeze for a specific purpose or to have it removed. And there are the new PIN numbers to keep safe. Aaarg.
It is actually rather easy to set up a freeze on your credit files with the three bureaus. I don’t think this can be said for the “free” credit report/free credit score sites. Frankly, I don’t think you can do anything to protect your information once it is provided to the “free” service provider.
Frankly, if Equifax cannot keep my information secure, I am not about to provide my personal information to sites that offer free credit and free scores. I have never forgotten what Robert Heinlein wrote in 1966: TANSTAFFL.
UPDATE September 11, 2017
The following information was provided to me this morning by EQUIFAX pursuant to my registration to determine whether my ID had been compromised.
A Progress Update for Consumers
September 11, 2017
We are committed to keeping consumers updated on the steps we are taking to provide them with the support they need and address any issues they are facing in response to this incident. We recognize that some consumers continue to face challenges and in response we have made the following updates:
1) Adjusted our PIN Generation for Security Freezes
We understand and appreciate that consumers have questions about how a PIN is currently generated for a consumer initiating an Equifax security freeze solution. All consumers placing a security freeze will be provided a randomly generated PIN.
2) Call Center Support
When we recognized that Hurricane Irma could impact some of our call center wait times, we arranged to ramp up agents quickly to replace agents impacted by the storm and updated our website to make consumers aware of the situation.
3) Clarification Regarding Automatic Sign-Up to TrustedID Premier
We are not requesting consumers’ credit card information when they sign up for the free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection we are offering to all U.S. consumers. Consumers who sign up for TrustedID Premier will not be automatically enrolled or charged after the conclusion of the complimentary year of TrustedID Premier.
4) Obvious Link from Equifax.com
To make it easier for consumers to find the website dedicated to providing information about this incident, we have reconfigured our website, www.equifax.com, to feature the link more prominently.
5) Adjusted the TrustedID Premier and Clarified Equifax.com
We are listening to issues consumers have experienced and their suggestions. These are helping to further inform our actions, and we are now sharing regular updates on this website. Thank you for your continued patience and feedback as we continue to improve this process.
Following are the snips I gathered while enrolling in the EQUIFAX Trusted ID this AM.
My ID has been impacted
For better or worse, this is what it is.
UPDATE: Here is an article from Mawlwarebytes, published on September 14, 2017, which offers additional insights into identity protection: Equifax aftermath: How to protect against identity theft
UPDATE: 10/3/2017: Here is an article from HousingWire updating (increasing) the number of consumer files breached: EQUIFAX reveals data breach bigger than first thought. Fret not, Equifax won the NO BID contract to protect all IRS files from being hacked. Seriously. I can’t make this up. For more info you may read this from NPR.
Never too late to join the party, the FTC weighs in as of December 13, 2017 with this post: Fraud Alert, Freeze or Lock after Equifax? FAQs
UPDATE: February 5, 2018 – “The Trump administration has chosen to protect Equifax while denying Americans justice and accountability.”
February 6, 2018 – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday said he wants to know how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is handling a probe into a hack of credit bureau Equifax Inc (EFX.N) after a report that the agency’s chief has pulled back from investigating the matter. Treasury’s Mnuchin says he wants answers on Equifax breach
February 6, 2018 – Consumer Affairs – Report claims CFPB is backing away from Equifax probe – Sources say the consumer agency shows little interest in the agency’s 2017 data breach
February 8, 2018 – Democratic senators demand answers on CFPB’s stalled Equifax data breach investigation
February 22, 2018 – Specifically, the [House] Democrats want Equifax to provide at least three years of credit protection and identity theft services to the breach victims, rather than the one year Equifax is currently providing.
UPDATE: March 1, 2018 – Oh Joy! <insert sarcasm font> BREAKING NEWS – Equifax reveals 2.4 million more people were victims of data breach Equifax revealed Thursday that an additional 2.4 million people are victims of the company’s 2017 data breach. Initially, the company said the personal information of approximately 143 million people was stolen. Now, it turns out that the number of victims is actually closer to 148 million. Click the headline to read more. Sadly, Trump’s Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney, a/k/ the Dual-Hatted Acting Director of the CFPB will do nothing to help/direct Equifax protect our private information.
March 1, 2018 – Equifax’s bottom line not dented by data breach, profits rose 20% in 2017 – Net income up 40% in fourth quarter
UPDATE: May 11, 2018 – Equifax reveals how much information was really exposed in data breach – How Bad Was It? Bad.
The credit agency did not reveal any new, previously unknown victims of the breach, but it did detail the types of identifiable information, and how much of it, that was left exposed because of the breach.
In its letter, Equifax said that the names and dates of birth for approximately 146.6 million people were exposed, as well as 145.5 million Social Security numbers, the address information for 99 million people, the gender data for 27.3 million people, 20.3 million consumers’ phone numbers, 17.6 million driver’s license numbers, 1.8 million email addresses, 209,000 payment card numbers and expiration dates, 97,500 tax ID numbers, and the state information for 27,000 driver’s licenses. See the chart below for a full breakdown.
UPDATE: September 2, 2018 – Equifax extended their TrustedID program, which was offered for one year as amends for the egregious security breach they allowed, indefinitely. Below is a copy of the email they just sent.
Financially Speaking™ James Spray RMLO, CNE, FICO Pro | CO LMO 100008715 | NMLS 257365 | September 8, 2017 | Most recent update: September 2, 2018
Notice: The information on this blog is opinion and information. When a business is named, it is not due to commercial purposes as I do not accept or solicit compensation from any individual or entity which may be mentioned. While I have made every effort to link accurate and complete information, I cannot guarantee it is correct. Please seek legal assistance to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct. This information is not legal advice and is for guidance only. You may use this information in whole and not in part providing you give full attribution to James Spray.