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Equifax Breach Facts

Equifax Data Breach Facts

According to Equifax, millions more people were affected by the data breach than the credit bureau initially estimated. 

  • Equifax has updated their estimate from 142 million to 145 million American consumers that had their personal information exposed during this cyber-attack.
  • The breach lasted from mid-May through July.
  • The hackers may have accessed:
    • Names
    • Social Security numbers
    • Birth dates
    • Addresses
    • Driver’s license numbers (in some instances).
    • Credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 people were stolen
    • Dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 people were stolen.

Not sure if your information has been compromised?

  • Visit the website Equifax has set up, to check if your information has been 
    • U.S. consumers can get a year of free credit monitoring and other services through that site. It will give you a date when you can come back to enroll. Come back to the site and click “Enroll” on that date. You have until November 21, 2017 to enroll. Be aware of the arbitration clause and opt-out option.
  • Check all of your accounts via online services provided by your bank or credit card provider. If you don’t have access to or haven’t set up an online account, you can call the company directly for assistance in reviewing your accounts. Consumers should be looking for any discrepancies in their purchasing habits. Be sure to do this over the next few months!
  • Monitor your accounts closely and frequently. Balance your checkbook monthly and match credit card statements with receipts. By viewing accounts online and checking throughout the month, you’ll be able to identify possible problems sooner.
  • Review your credit report every three or four months. You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus per year. Request a single report from one of the bureaus every three or four months. By staggering these requests, you will be able to monitor your credit throughout the year.

Things to know if you register for help from the Equifax site:

  • Equifax has an arbitration clause buried in the terms of service. The language bars those who enroll in the Equifax checker program from participating in any class-action lawsuits that may arise from the incident.
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has complained about the arbitration clause and Equifax changed the language to include an opt-out.
    • Here's how the opt-out provision reads:
      • In order to exclude Yourself from the arbitration provision, You must notify Equifax in writing within 30 days of the date that You first accept this Agreement on the Site (for Products purchased from Equifax on the Site)…[You] must include Your name, address, and Equifax User ID, as well as a clear statement that You do not wish to resolve disputes with Equifax through arbitration.