At URSB, safeguarding all customer information is one of our highest priorities. Unfortunately, in this highly digitized age, our valued customers may be vulnerable to information compromise from others.
As many of you may have heard, Equifax Credit Bureau announced last week that cyber criminals compromised their systems several months ago and may have obtained critical personal information. Equifax is estimating nearly 143 million consumers may be affected by this compromise.
Equifax has taken a number of steps to safeguard their customers. They have established a dedicated website, http://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/ to help consumers determine if their information has been potentially impacted. They are offering a free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection service for one year.
The website also provides additional information on steps consumers can take to protect their personal information. Equifax recommends that consumers with additional questions visit http://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/ or contact a dedicated call center at 866-447-7559, which the company set up to assist consumers.
For your convenience, we have also included answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this breach and what can be done to protect your personal information. This information was provided by the American Bankers Association.
Frequently Asked Questions
I’ve been hearing about the Equifax breach in the news. What happened?
Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus, experienced a massive data breach. The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, 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.
Was my information stolen?
If you have a credit report, there’s a good chance it was. Go to a special website set up by Equifax to find out: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Potential Impact,” enter some personal information and the site will tell you if you’ve been affected. Be sure you’re on a secure network (not public wi-fi) when you submit sensitive data over the internet.
How can I protect myself?
- Enroll in Equifax’s services
Equifax is offering one year of free credit monitoring and other services, whether or not your information was exposed. You can sign up at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/.
- Monitor your credit reports
In addition, you can order a free copy of your credit report from all three of the credit reporting agencies at annualcreditreport.com. You are entitled to one free report from each of the credit bureaus once per year.
- Monitor your bank accounts
We also encourage you to monitor your financial accounts regularly for fraudulent transactions. Use online and mobile banking to keep a close eye on your accounts.
- Watch out for scams related to the breach
Do not trust e-mails that appear to come from Equifax regarding the breach. Attackers are likely to take advantage of the situation and craft sophisticated phishing e-mails.
- Should I place a credit freeze on my files?
Before deciding to place a credit freeze on your accounts, consider your personal situation. If you might be applying for credit soon or think you might need quick credit in an emergency, it might be better to simply place a fraud alert on your files with the three major credit bureaus. A fraud alert puts a red flag on your credit report which requires businesses to take additional steps, such as contacting you by phone before opening a new account.
How do I contact the three major credit bureaus to place a freeze on my files?
Equifax: Call 800-349-9960 or visit its website
Experian: Call 888-397-3742 or visit its website
TransUnion: Call 888-909-8872 or visit its website
Where can I get more information about the Equifax breach?
You can learn more directly from Equifax at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/. You can also learn more by visiting the Federal Trade Commission’s web page on the breach at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do. To learn more about how to protect yourself after a breach, visit https://www.identitytheft.gov/Info-Lost-or-Stolen.