Published: Thu, September 14, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

How to find out if you're affected by the Equifax hack

How to find out if you're affected by the Equifax hack

The Equifax data breach that exposed the personal data on 143 million USA consumers has led to questions about the credit reporting company's response to the security incident.

143 Million people - roughly half of the country.

Freezing your credit is the one move you need to make after the Equifax breach - but the credit bureaus aren't always making it easy.

"In addition to taking measures to protect their credit cards and bank accounts, New Yorkers should also think twice before clicking on any suspicious links claiming to be from Equifax or financial institutions", Schneiderman said in a statement.

A CHATBOT originally developed to overturn parking fines has been re-purposed to help customers affected by the Equifax data breach sue the company.

One way to stay on top of your credit report is to stagger when you get your report from each of the three credit reporting agencies throughout the year.

At that point you'll receive a message telling you whether you've been impacted by the hack.

Once all of the information is obtained and reviewed, the credit reporting agency will send you a written report and a free copy of your credit report, showing the corrections.

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A credit freeze, which is also called a security freeze, locks down your credit and can only be lifted with a personal identification number (PIN) that you receive when you enroll. After you thaw the report and are done with the transaction, you call the credit bureau back and put the freeze back on.

But the fact remains that there are three major credit reporting agencies-Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. The only people who wouldn't want to freeze their credit files are those who are activity pursuing a vehicle loan or mortgage or who plan to apply for a new credit card within days. "We will make sure every consumer who wants protection has a full package of services".

"The creditor will have a higher tendency to believe you if you have the police report", Wu said.

What should you do if you've been unable to place a credit freeze online?

The fraud alert usually lasts for 90 days and can be renewed.

"What the individual will have to argue is, effectively, Equifax had a duty to protect that individual's personal information, Equifax failed to uphold that duty, Equifax's failure caused that person to suffer harm, and that harm is known or discernible", Sunderlin says.

Krebs said it's also a good idea to ask for fraud alerts from ChexSystems, which monitors applications for new checking and savings accounts, and to opt out of pre-approved credit offers through optoutprescreen.com. If someone else goes to take out a loan in your name, the lender will not be able to pull your report and therefore can not extend the credit. Fees vary based on where you live, but commonly range from $5 to $10.

∙ Based on information out of Alabama where a hacker used a person's compromised information in an attempt to trick a retirement broker into gaining access to a client's account, we strongly advise that you contact your investment or retirement manager to understand what protocols and safety measures are in place to ensure someone can not pose as you to gain access to your accounts.

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