Our very own Vice President of Loan Operations, Cindy Pierson, as well as Connie Matrisch of Pro Com Services of Illinois, Inc. offer you some insight on how the recent Equifax breach may affect you and the steps you can take to protect yourself.
About the Equifax Breach:
One of the three largest credit bureaus responsible for tracking consumer financial information, Equifax, has recently been the victim of a substantial cybersecurity breach affecting over 143 million people in the U.S. as well an unknown number of people in Canada and the UK. The financial information collected by Equifax is the foundation for your Equifax credit score.
This breach released personal information provided on your credit report and may include your social security number, address, legal name, birth date and in some cases, your driver’s license number.
What you can do now:
1. Contact Equifax to determine whether or not your ID has been compromised. It is recommended that you go to the emergency Equifax website, https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/ or call at 866-447-7559 for information. The Equifax website will help you determine if your information was compromised and provide you an opportunity to enroll in a year of free credit monitoring and other services.
2. Sign up for their free service regardless of the outcome of the compromise determination, https://trustedidpremier.com/eligibility/eligibility.html. Consider signing up for additional credit monitoring services such as Credit Karma, Identity Guard and PrivacyGuard. These companies are only an example of services that are available.
3. Whether or not your ID was stolen, you should review your monthly credit cards and bank statements for any unusual transactions or activity each month.
4. You may also visit annualcreditreport.com for your free once a year credit report from the three major bureaus. A consumer can order their free report from all 3 bureaus at the same time. The recommendation is to order a report from each bureau per quarter so that you can continue to evaluate the activity on your file throughout the year.
5. Finally, a fraud alert or credit freeze can be put on your credit file. When using the Equifax service, only the Equifax report has a freeze. If you would like to freeze all of your credit report, you will need to contact each credit bureau.
Here are more links to help you better understand how this breach affects you:
Equifax website discussing the breach: https://www.equifax.com/personal/
Equifax “emergency” website that allows consumers to input last six digits of social security number and last name to identify if they were affected. It also allows for enrollment to the twelve months of free monitoring provided by Equifax: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/
Federal law mandates the three largest credit repositories (TransUnion, Equifax, Experian) provide consumers a free credit report every twelve months. This is the web site for the consumer to order the credit report: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/
Federal Trade Commission consumer information sight: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do
FAQ’s Regarding the Equifax Breach: https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/09/the-equifax-breach-what-you-should-know/
Security is a priority here at Marine Bank and we continue to search for the best ways to protect our customer’s information. We aim to put our customer’s mind at ease knowing their personal data is in good hands.