143 Million Credit Information Accounts Hacked at Equifax – What to Do

Sept. 9, 2017

**See the end of the article, and the comments for new updates about a class action lawsuit and other new details on protecting our rights.  e.g.  The NY Atty General today asked Equifax to remove their buried ‘forced arbitration’ clause that applies to anyone who uses Equifax’s services, because the top NY Lawyer believes that using Equifax’s security service or even using Equifax’s ‘check’ function  could waive all of your rights to participate in the current national class action lawsuit against Equifax.

Public Service Announcement:
143 Million Credit Card Users   Personal Data   Stolen

The professionals at the Equifax credit reporting agency have again allowed hackers to steal our names, addresses, SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS, and credit information.  Equifax executives have known of the thefts since July, 2017, but they chose to not inform anyone that our personal information listed at this gigantic credit reporting agency was not sufficiently protected … and allowed to be stolen … again.

Even if you were never an Equifax customer,  they still lost:
~Your  Drivers License number,     ~ your Social Security Number (SSN),  ~ your birthdate,    and your address …. and the latest news update exposes that roughly 210,000 CREDIT CARD NUMBERS were also stolen “in May and July” 2017.

At least 50% of all American credit card holders personal information was lost.

Equifax is saying that it was NOT an inside job.  Equifax claims that the thieves entered through the Equifax website.

Equifax’s Chairman announced:
This is clearly a disappointing event for our company …

Editor’s Note:  Wow … Equifax really cares about the rest of us, whose information they lost, even when we have never used their services.

==============================

KEY PRACTICAL POINTS:
Experts are saying that there is NO NEED to change internet passwords, because those were not stolen (unless you have an Equifax account and use that same Experian password on other sites). …

It is our names, driver’s license information, birthdates. personal addresses & Social
Security numbers**   that may be sold to identity-thieves … from Equifax’s third massive security leak ‘event’.

Solutions ~ Practical Actions to take Now:
1.  Check … don’t enroll* …  to see if your information was compromised:
Equifax has created a website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to help consumers determine if their personal information was lost … and at risk.  Note…  Equifax will NOT NECESSARILY  give you confirmation of whether your information was compromised … Instead,   If you enter your  last name   and the last six digits of your Social Security number …  Equifax  “enrolls” you in their “protection service” …  but Equifax says this service may not start for several days.

Equifax ‘generously’ offers this “protection service” for 1 year, if we sighn up by Nov 21 …. which means Equifax will begin BILLING US  for using their service if we don’t cancel within a year. ….

*Saying things another way: … Be cautious about “enrolling” with Equifax’s efforts at damage control … to BE SURE THAT YOU DO NOT SIGN AWAY YOUR RIGHTS …

 
Some websites are reporting that by ‘enrolling’ , you may be waiving your rights to any future damages from the current new multi-billion $$ class action lawsuit.
??

See the comments below for continuing updates & new legal details.

~ Caveat emptor ~

2. Sign up for some independent service that regularly frequently checks internet sites to see if your Social Security number appear there ~ as the expert computer programs then notify you by email or by text that your SSN is appearing on suspect websites data-bases.

Unfortunately,   THIS WILL NOT BE OVER IN JUST A YEAR.
Historically,  identity thieves have continued to sell our personal information for years after past security breaches at Equifax, Experian and TransUnion ~ hence the need for ongoing years of continuous monitoring of where our personal information is appearing.  Note that AVG is currently offering this SSN monitoring service, and some credit card companies are also offering  SSN monitoring services.

Here is an example link to Discover Card’s  free   SSN monitoring services to their card holders:

https://search.discovercard.com/search?q=social+security+number&getfields=MORT.MORD.DT.DD.description&site=internet_cm_MOR&client=internet_cm_privateMOR_fe&proxystylesheet=internet_cm_private_fe&output=xml_no_dtd&proxystylesheet=internet_cm_private_fe&ICMPGN=AC_NAV_L2_SEARCH&x=0&y=0

At this point, Yucalandia has no facts or data to support choosing one SSN monitoring service over another.

3.  Monitor your credit card statements for suspicious activity.

4.  Monitor your Credit Records by requesting a copy of your personal report:
https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action

5.   Contact one or all 3 of the USA’s big credit monitoring agencies, and consider freezing  your credit reports at all 3 agencies because thieves can use the information stolen from Equifax … to open accounts with creditors that use Experian or TransUnion.

Unfortunately,   THIS WILL NOT BE OVER IN JUST A YEAR.   Historically,  identity thieves have continued to sell our personal information for years after past security breaches at Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.


Final Notes:

The big 3 credit monitoring agencies have been regularly losing our personal data (to thieves) since at least 2012, so, it may be time to contact your local Congressman & your 2 Senators and demand that the US government make changes in the regulations …  because

… Do any of us really find it acceptable that Equifax has known of the thefts of over 143 million American’s personal information,    but said nothing for over a month?

====================================================
**As the story continues to break~unfold,  Equifax was not fully open in their initial reports of the data breaches:
~In addition to our  Drivers License numbers, our Social Security Numbers (SSN), our birthdates & addresses …. Independent sources now expose the troubling additional news that roughly 210,000 CREDIT CARD NUMBERS were also stolen “in May and July” 2017.

This article also describes a class action lawsuit filed by citizens to try to recover some of the projected $69 billion in losses and harm caused by Equifax’s insufficient website security.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/equifax-stung-with-multi-billion-dollar-class-action-lawsuit-after-massive-data-breach

FURTHER NEWS about Equifax’s efforts at Damage Control:
Accoding to RawStory:   Equifax is trying to get us customers to sign waivers,  as Equifax tries to weasel out of potential $billions they may owe us from the class action lawsuit mentioned above.

*Saying things another way: … Be cautious about “enrolling” with Equifax’s efforts at damage control … to BE SURE THAT YOU DO NOT SIGN AWAY YOUR RIGHTS …

 Some websites are reporting that by ‘enrolling’ , you may be waiving your rights to any future damages from the current new multi-billion $$ class action lawsuit.
??
 
~ Caveat emptor ~

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/09/busted-equifax-forces-hacked-customers-to-waive-right-to-sue-in-exchange-for-using-its-credit-service/

*            *           *            *
Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

Read-on MacDuff . . .

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One Response to 143 Million Credit Information Accounts Hacked at Equifax – What to Do

  1. yucalandia says:

    The Equifax mess continues to expand …
    Equifax claims today (Friday):
    “In response to consumer inquiries, we have made it clear that the arbitration clause and class action waiver included in the Equifax and TrustedID Premier terms of use does not apply to this cybersecurity incident,”

    Yet’ there’s a pesky legal reality that Equifax has buried a nasty forced-arbitration clause in their fine print, that applies if you use their services.

    Legal reality? … New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is troubled by Equifax’s latest public claims … versus Equifax’s hidden arbitration clause, tweeting that his staff has contacted Equifax, urging it to remove that part of the fine print.

    “This language is unacceptable and unenforceable,” the state’s top lawyer said in his tweet.

    Readers may want to use caution in using Equifax’s services, to avoid giving up their rights in the nationwide class action suit against Equifax.

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