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28 Mar 2019   /   0 comments

Equifax Data Breach: How to Prevent Identity Theft


equifax data breachThis month, one of the largest data breaches in history took place through one of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax. The data breach has said to affected 143 million people, which is half the US adult population. If you’re concerned about being affected by the Equifax data breach, we have a guideline to ensure your identification security.

Equifax Data Breach:

What Happened During the Equifax Data Breach

For those who may not know or understand what happened during the Equifax data breach, TFC Title Loans would like to help explain.

Equifax lost control of their customer data like social security numbers, credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers, addresses, and birth dates. This means that if the hackers have your information, they can take out credit cards or loans under your information and acquire unpaid debt that could ultimately damage your credit score and finances.

While Equifax does have a protection program in place, it may not be able to keep your information completely secure.

  1. The breach could’ve started in mid-May 2017 which means 143 million people were exposed for more than 3 months. It’s unclear what the hackers did with the information they collected.
  2. If you are concerned about your information, you will have to take matters into your own hands.

Enroll in Equifax Program

Equifax has established a program, Trusted ID, to help protect identity theft and credit tampering. The checker allows you to know whether or not you are being hacked might be broken. If you would like to give Equifax another chance, you can sign up through their website.

Keep in mind, enrolling in the program prevents you from participating in any class-action lawsuit against Trusted ID, but you will still be able to participate in any lawsuit related to the cyber attack.

Check Credit Reports

Since the breach could have been going for more than 3 months, you should check your credit report from the last 3 months. It is unknown what information was used, so you should check your reports for any suspicious activity.

The U.S. government guarantees a free annual report from 3 of the major bureaus: Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. You should check for:

  • New credit card accounts you didn’t open
  • Past due payments on debt you don’t recognize
  • Unfamiliar activity

If you suspect that someone used your identity, contact the company’s fraud department. You won’t be responsible for any of the debt, as long as you report it in a timely manner.

Freeze Credit

Even if you don’t suspect any activity, that doesn’t mean the hackers didn’t acquire your information. As mentioned before, it is unaware of what they have done with this information. They could be selling it for others to potentially utilize.

Freezing your account is simple and can be done through the 3 major credit bureaus. You can unfreeze it at any point with the PIN that you’ll be given from them. Make sure you keep your PIN because they will not send it to you again. Call any of the 3 bureaus or visit their websites:

  • Equifax: 800-349-9960
  • Experian: 888-397-3742
  • TransUnion: 888-909-8872

Set Fraud Alert

To truly ensure your identity’s safety, set up a fraud alert to notify any companies. When a loan or credit card company goes running your credit, an alert will appear which will require the company to request further identification. With the freezing your credit and the fraud alert combined, you should be pretty safe.

The alert will last 90 days, so if you need to continue the alert you will have to renew it. You can do it through these phone numbers or website locations:

  • Equifax: 888-766-0008
  • Experian: 888-397-3742
  • TransUnion: 800-680-7289


Now you know a little more about the Equifax Data Breach

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