Equifax® Data Breach

Updated on: 12/15/2017

Equifax, one of the three largest credit reporting agencies in the United States, reported on September 7, 2017 a cybersecurity incident potentially impacting 145 million consumers. Here is important information to know and what you can do to help protect yourself.

What Information was Jeopardized

Personal data that was compromised at Equifax includes:

  • Full Names
  • Social Security Numbers
  • Birth Dates
  • Addresses
  • In some cases, driver’s license numbers

Equifax also disclosed that 209,000 credit card numbers were stolen with the breach. Any SECU cards whose numbers were stolen in this breach have already been closed and new cards have been issued.

What You Should Do

Nearly half of Americans had their personal information exposed during the data breach. Find out if you were impacted and what you can do next:

Find out if Your Information was Impacted
Equifax established a website to help consumers determine if their data was compromised. Check with the Equifax website to see if you were impacted: www.equifaxsecurity2017.com

Even if the Equifax results show you were not impacted, we recommend you secure your personal information as precaution.

Put a Security (Credit) Freeze on your Credit Report
Putting a security freeze on your credit report will prevent potential creditors from being able to view your credit report. This makes it less likely that a fraudster will be able to use your identity to get new credit. North Carolina consumers do not have to pay for this service if the security freeze is requested electronically. A security freeze remains in effect until you cancel it. You can remove a credit freeze temporarily or permanently. Be aware that you will need to unfreeze your credit report in order to do things such as apply for a loan, get insurance, setup new utilities, enter into a new rental or lease agreement or get a new phone contract.

How to Set Up a Security (Credit) Freeze
You will need to setup a security freeze at each of the three major credit bureaus, by using the links provided below. These links will direct you to each credit bureau’s page where you can set up a security freeze. Review the terms and conditions of each site as they may differ.

How to Temporarily Remove a Security (Credit) Freeze on your Credit Report
When you place a security freeze on your credit report, no one other than your existing creditors can access your credit report. However, there will likely be times when you may want or need to temporarily remove the credit freeze such as:

  • Applying for a loan or credit card
  • Setting up a new utility account (power, cable, cell phone)
  • Applying to rent an apartment
  • Applying for a new job

Before doing any of the above, you will want to find out if the company will be pulling a credit report, and if so, from which credit bureau. Knowing this information, you can temporarily “unfreeze” your credit report at the applicable credit bureau so your credit report will be available.

The following links will direct you to each credit bureau’s site where you can temporarily (or permanently) unfreeze your credit report. You will need the PIN or other online credentials previously provided by the credit bureau when you set up the freeze to perform this function.

Other Related Credit Bureau Products
Each of the three credit bureaus offer some form of a credit report “lock” service that you may be presented with when setting up or removing your credit freeze. While these credit report “lock” services should prevent access to your credit report by most inquirers, their pricing is not regulated. As noted previously, credit freeze pricing is regulated by North Carolina law. If you are interested in these other services offered by the credit bureaus, please review each program for product terms and pricing, as each is different. Note: These entities may try to upsell you into paid and higher priced products. Read everything carefully.

Sign Up for Credit Monitoring

Please note that Experian and TransUnion may try to upsell you to various paid products during enrollment and when viewing information. Equifax has discontinued its paid service offerings at this time. Enrollment in any of the three free credit monitoring programs currently requires that you agree to receive targeted offers for products and services.

Check Your Accounts
Check your credit report for unauthorized activity and follow up with credit issuers if anything looks suspicious. Promptly review your account statements for unauthorized activity and report any suspicious activity to your account provider.

Free Credit Reports
Follow up and review your free credit report each year at www.annualcreditreport.com.

How You Can Protect Yourself

The security of your personal information is important to SECU. Here are some ways you can protect yourself:

Online Credentials
Regularly change your UserID and password. Do not use the same UserID or password at multiple sites. Do not use your email address as your UserID. Do not use a password that is easy to guess. Instead, use a combination of letters (upper and lower case), numbers and special characters to increase the complexity of your password.

Enhance Your Security
Sign up for the Credit Union’s One Time Passcode (Two-Factor Authentication), Real-Time Security and Debit Card Alerts via Member Access.

Beware of Scams
Fraudsters will likely increase their efforts to scam you. If you receive a suspicious call from a lender or credit bureau of the IRS, hang up and call the entity by looking for their phone number on the back of your debit card (for SECU) or go directly to the entity’s website to look up their phone number and call them directly; never use a link provided in a suspicious email.

The Credit Union is here to help. Feel free to call our 24/7 Member Services at (888) 732-8562 with any questions or concerns you may have.