If you have any questions, please call the Consumer Protection Division Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM at 517-373-1140 or toll free 877-765-8388. The firms’ comprehensive lawsuit seeks to make affected consumers whole and seeks remedies for Equifax’s negligence and violations of 62 state consumer protection and data breach laws.
“If the number is 143 million, assume you’ve been affected”, Bambenek advised.
In the class-action lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta on September 11 on behalf of U.S. credit unions, Summit states that Equifax “utterly failed” to protect consumers’ sensitive personal and financial data from a security flaw that allowed hackers to get access to that data, which “set off a chain reaction that threatens the trustworthiness and stability of the financial system for individuals and institutions alike”.
By now, every person who has had access to any type of news has been made aware of the massive security breach that took place at Equifax. The people whose Social Security numbers Equifax lost had no say in how the company acquired, uses or guards their financial information.
Checking your status through that site is the first thing anyone should do, advised Paul Ruedi, CEO of Ruedi Wealth Management, Champaign.
You know now, however, that you may be a potential victim.
As Richard Nesbitt, chief executive of the Global Risk Institute (GRI), which advises the financial industry on risk management, points out, if a firm such as Equifax, whose very business is managing data, appears so vulnerable, concerns will mount that nowhere is safe.
Do NOT click on a link from an email, text or social media message as that may be a fraudster phishing scam. To do that, navigate to the Equifax page the company set up to find out if you are among those whose data was exposed. 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. Unlocking your credit also takes just a short window of time. Credit freezes must be filed separately with each company.
Consider placing a security freeze – or “CreditLock” – on your credit report with each of the three national credit-reporting agencies.
Blumberg said consumers can unlock their accounts for free by using the app or going to TrueIdentity.com.
Keep an eye on your accounts.
As you nearly certainly know, the credit reporting agency was recently at the center of a data leak scandal.
“We believe continuing to offer consumers a fee-based service in addition to Equifax’s free monitoring services will serve to only confuse consumers who are already struggling to make decisions on how to best protect themselves in the wake of this massive breach”, the attorneys general wrote.
“At the end of the day, it was on Equifax to protect itself, and they didn’t”.
Before you decide what to do, read up on your state’s credit freeze laws and learn what it costs to place and lift a freeze.
A credit freeze is different.
Those who are concerned about that are advised to contact their CPAs to discuss whether it’s practical to file a placeholder return early, which would then have to be updated when your filing information is available, he said.
And third, there are not many of them.
Unless you are planning on frequently applying for credit, why would you need to do much locking and unlocking of your credit file? But there will also be soul-searching about the use of Social Security numbers as authenticators, because it is clear by now that those numbers have been compromised.