Equifax Data Breach: What should I do?

Recently, Equifax disclosed to the public that a data breach occurred affecting their system. This breach has been reported to potentially affect 143 million US consumers. As a result of this breach, personal data, including birth dates, addresses, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers and other information were compromised.

At Santee Cooper Credit Union, we would like to provide our members with tips and helpful information on ways to better protect themselves against identity theft and fraud as a result of the Equifax breach:

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Go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to check out the latest information from Equifax about the data breach and the status of the situation as well as view Frequently Asked Questions from consumers. This is also where you can enroll in complimentary (for up to 1 year) identity theft protection and credit file monitoring from all 3 credit bureaus (i.e. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).

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Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to receive your free credit report from all 3 credit bureaus – This is a great way to monitor your credit accounts.

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Set fraud alerts for all credit bureaus – Fraud alerts are set up on your credit report when you believe you are (or are about to become) a victim of fraud or identity theft. This service is free and requires the creditor to take reasonable steps to make sure any new credit requests are actually initiated by you and not someone using your name pretending to be you. Once you place a fraud alert with one credit bureau, it should automatically be placed with the other two.

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Set up a credit/security freeze on your credit report – This prevents new creditors from accessing your credit report unless you lift or remove the freeze. With a credit freeze, you must lift the freeze if you wish to apply for new credit; this can be done through a temporary or permanent lift. Fees vary for credit freezes based on where you live, but commonly range from $5-$10. Currently Equifax is offering this service for free, but it will not place a freeze on your credit report at Experian or TransUnion. To place a freeze on your credit report at the other agencies, you can contact them by phone at:

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Experian – 1-888-397-3742

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TransUnion – 1-888-909-8872

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Reset financial account passwords, PINs and other login information that may be vulnerable.

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Visit the Federal Trade Commission's website at www.ftc.gov/idtheft for more tips on how to better protect yourself from identity theft.

If you have additional questions for Equifax that are not answered on their website, you can reach out to them through their call center at 866-447-7559. This call center is open 7 days a week from the hours of 7:00 AM-1:00 AM EST.