The Equifax breach has put more than 140 million people’s identity at risk, and by now you’ve probably visited Equifax to determine if you are one of the people whose information was compromised. Rest assured your Members CU account information has not been compromised. In any case, we all should be vigilant and do whatever we can to make it harder for scammers to use our information to open fraudulent accounts. Here is what you can do:
- Check your credit report by visiting https://www.annualcreditreport.com. Fill out the form and chose one of the three credit reporting agencies to retrieve your report. You should recognize all accounts open and closed on your account. If there is information on the report that you do not recognize you should contact the credit bureau to correct the errors.
- Sign up for a credit monitoring service. Equifax has offered to provide one-year of complimentary identity theft protection and credit file monitoring with TrustedID Premier, to all U.S consumers. This service monitors three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and gives you the ability to lock and unlock your Equifax credit report. It also provides identity theft insurance and scans the Internet for your Social Security The deadline to sign up for this service is November 21st, 2017. If you prefer to use another credit monitoring service, Credit Karma offers a free daily monitoring service that will alert you of changes to your TransUnion credit report.
- Another option is to freeze your credit with each of the three credit bureaus. Visit their websites: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You can also call Equifax (1-800-349-9960), Experian (1-888-397-3742) or TransUnion (1-888-909-8872). Charges may apply to freezing or unfreezing your account. You will be given a PIN to use when you need to lift the freeze to open an account.
- Place fraud Alerts on your Credit Report. A fraud alert is a notice on your credit report that warns both current and prospective lenders that they must take reasonable steps to verify your identity before granting credit, such as a new credit card or loan, or extending credit on an existing account.
- Now more than ever fraudsters will be targeting victims of the Equifax hack by sending out phishing emails claiming to be a website that can help them determine if their information is stolen. As MCU always tells their members, do not click on links or fill out forms from an untrusted source. Phishing is when a scammer sends an email that looks like it’s from a reputable company, with malicious links. Clicking on those links puts your computer and the personal information on it at risk.
- Be vigilant. If you notice that bills that you once received in the mail are no longer in your mailbox, as usual, you may want to recheck your credit report to be sure no one has changed your address. Not receiving a bill you are expecting in the mail could be a sign that your identity has been compromised, it could also be an administrator error so call the vendor first to find out why you haven’t received the bill.
Equifax updates can be found on their website at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and have they have a dedicated call center for questions regarding their recent security breach. Call them at 866-447-7559. Remember that your credit union account information has not been compromised and we will continue to follow identity authentication policy to ensure that your account is safe.