Updated Oct. 2, 2017 - The Associated Press reported today that Equifax says an additional 2.5 million Americans may have been affected by its security breach, bringing the total to 145.5 million; while the number of potential affected Canadian citizens was dropped from 100,000 to 8,000.
UPDATE: Oct. 2, 2017 - The Associated Press reported today that Equifax says an additional 2.5 million Americans may have been affected by its security breach, bringing the total to 145.5 million; while the number of potential affected Canadian citizens was dropped from 100,000 to 8,000.
On Sept. 7, 2017, Equifax, one of the largest U.S.-based credit bureaus announced a cybersecurity incident potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. The information accessed by criminals from mid-May through July 2017, primarily includes name, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers.
In addition, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 consumers and dispute documents with additional personal information for approximately 182,000 was accessed.
When Equifax officials said the company learned of the intrusion, it took steps to stop access and engaged an independent cybersecurity firm to investigate the scope of the breach.
Equifax has set up a website - https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/ that anyone concerned can visit to see if their information may have been compromised. Members of the public are directed to click on Potential Impact, and enter their last name and last six digits of their Social Security number. Members can also call the Equifax dedicated call center at 866-447-7559.
Equifax officials also said the company is providing free identity theft protection and credit file monitoring to all U.S. consumers – even those not impacted by this incident – for one year. The TrustedID Premier service includes monitoring of Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit reports, copies of Equifax credit reports, the ability to lock and unlock Equifax credit reports, identity theft insurance, and Internet scanning for Social Security numbers. Nusenda Credit Union also offers no-cost Fraud and Identity Theft Resolution Services as a benefit to all members.
Along with confirming if members of the public were affected by this breach, The Federal Trade Commission is recommending to:
- Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — for free — by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft. Visit IdentityTheft.gov to find out what to do.
- Consider placing a credit freeze on your files. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. Keep in mind that a credit freeze won’t prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts.
- Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely for charges you don’t recognize.
- If you decide against a credit freeze, consider placing a fraud alert on your files. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name really is you.
- File your taxes early — as soon as you have the tax information you need, before a scammer can. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Respond right away to letters from the IRS.
Visit Identitytheft.gov/databreach to learn more about protecting yourself after a data breach.
Also, call us immediately if you discover your identity has been stolen: 505-889-7755 (800-347-2838 outside the Albuquerque area). Then, take these steps:
- Close any accounts that were opened in your name without your permission.
- File a report with your local law enforcement agency. Note your case/incident number and ask for a copy of the report; having the police report can help you clear your credit records.
- Call the Social Security Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271 to report that your card or number has been stolen.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online or call 877-ID-THEFT (877-438-4338).
We are working diligently to assess the situation and impact to our members. We will update this alert as the situation evolves.