About the Equifax Data Breach
According to Equifax, 143 million American consumers were exposed to a data breach. The breach lasted from mid-May through July. The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people. Hackers also accessed information of people in the United Kingdom and Canada, although Equifax isn’t reporting how many.
Steps to protect yourself
- • Visit the Equifax website www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. You may also call Equifax at 866.447.7559.
- • Find out if your information was exposed. Your social security number is sensitive information, make sure you are on a secure computer, encrypted network connection any time you enter it. The site will tell you if you’ve been affected by the breach.
- • Consider signing up for an identity theft monitoring service.
- • Equifax is offering consumers one year of free credit monitoring.
- • Check your credit report— it’s free, by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft.
- • Consider placing a Fraud Alert or Credit Freeze on each of your credit bureau files. A Fraud Alert warns creditors that you might be a victim of identity theft. A Credit Freeze makes it harder for someone to open new accounts in your name. Learn more by visiting the Federal Trade Commission’s website.
To place a Fraud Alert or Credit Freeze, contact the following Credit Bureaus:
Experian: 888.397.3742 Equifax: 800.685.1111 TransUnion: 800.888.4213
- • Watch out for email phishing attacks. Data breaches often generate phishing attempts in which thieves pose as the affected company to trick you into giving up your personal information.
- • Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely for charges you don’t recognize. Enroll your Justice Federal Credit or Debit Card in CardLock. Card Lock enables you to take an active role in protecting your accounts to receive text messages if suspicious transactions are detected on your card accounts. You can instantly respond to the texts to verify transactions to protect your account from fraud.
- • Federal Trade Commission website: www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do
- • IdentityTheft.gov provides guidance specific to the Equifax breach and specific to the information lost
- • CFPB blog post Identity theft protection following the Equifax data breach
- • MoneyWatch - Equifax data breach: How to protect your credit rating
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At Justice Federal, we take a proactive approach to protecting the safety and confidentially of our Member’s accounts by ensuring that we are using the latest and most secure technology available. We take great strides to safeguard our Member data with layers of security, including multiple firewalls and monitors, to protect us from vulnerabilities.
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