A massive data breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s largest credit reporting companies, could raise the risk of identity theft for 143 million U.S. consumers. Equifax announced at the beginning of September that the unauthorized data access occurred from mid-May through July 2017.
The personal information that was accessed includes:
- Social Security numbers
- Birth dates
- Driver’s license numbers (in some cases)
In the company’s press release, they detailed the following key facts:
- A U.S. website application vulnerability was exploited by criminals to gain access to some files.
- There is currently no evidence of unauthorized activity on core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.
- The company is conducting an assessment and providing recommendations on next steps.
So what can you do if you’re a consumer affected by the breach?
- Watch your mail. Equifax plans to send direct mail to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute documents with Personally Identifiable Information were impacted.
- Stay updated. Equifax has created resources to assist consumers. These include online information at equifaxsecurity2017.com and a call center at 866-447-7559.
- Frequently monitor online and monthly financial account statements to make sure transactions are accurate.
- Regularly check your credit reports to confirm that thieves haven’t opened credit card accounts or loans in your name.
Utilizing Credit File Monitoring* Benefits with Choice Checking
Your Choice Checking account includes IDProtect®** where you have access to credit file monitoring. Upon registration, your credit files will be monitored daily and you will be automatically alerted if key changes occur. If you haven’t personally made any credit inquiries and receive a suspicious alert, it could be an indication of identity theft. You can choose to have these alerts sent by email or directly texted to your mobile phone. To activate your credit file monitoring benefits, visit eClub
Last Line of Defense
The credit union will work diligently to notify members of suspicious activity on their accounts, but we need your help. Take the time to scrutinize your monthly statements and contact Member Services immediately if you encounter a false charge on any of your credit union accounts. If you have any questions, please call 636.720.2400.
* Credit file monitoring may take several days to begin following activation.
* * Registration/Activation Required. IDProtect is a personal identity theft protection service available to personal checking account owner(s) and their joint account owners. Service is not available to a “signer” on the account who is not an account owner. Service is not available to clubs, businesses, organizations and/or churches and their members, schools and their employees/students.