Many of you may have already heard through various news media outlets about the Equifax (one of three major credit reporting agencies) data breach. Many details are still yet to be determined, but Equifax reports that personal data, including birth dates, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers and more, were obtained in the breach for approximately 143 million consumers.
Since this compromise was not in any way related to one of your North Star Credit Union products and the credit union does not have access to any further details regarding how this directly affects our members, we are guiding you to one of the following for further information:
- Go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com for updates on the data breach
- Go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/potential-impact/ to check whether you are one of the 143 million people whose data may have been compromised
- For consumers with additional questions, Equifax has established a dedicated call center. The call center is available at 866-447-7559, every day (including weekends) from 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m. Eastern time
What can you do to protect yourself?
A security freeze will prevent any individual, including you, from completing a credit check. This means credit, such as credit cards and loans, cannot be taken out in your name unless you ‘thaw’ your account. If you would like to thaw your account, contact each credit reporting bureau that has a freeze on your account. You can choose a temporary or permanent thaw at this time.
Must be done with each credit reporting bureau separately.
- Equifax- Major Credit Bureau (FREE right now)
- Experian – Major Credit Bureau ($5)
- TransUnion – Major Credit Bureau ($5)
- Innovis – Minor Credit Bureau (FREE)
- ChexSystems – Account Screening (FREE)
Credit monitoring alerts you when there is a suspected fraud attempt using your information. While it is important to monitor your credit, this will only alert you after a potential breach.
- Equifax is offering free credit monitoring for one year. It includes:
- Equifax Credit Report
- 3 Bureau Credit Monitoring
- Equifax Credit Report Lock
- Social Security Number Monitoring
- $1M Identity Theft Protection
- You can sign up for this service at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/enroll/
Periodic Credit Reports
You can receive one free credit report from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion every 12 months. Make sure you recognize the information on the report including name, social security number, and report any incorrect information.
- Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to receive your credit reports
Opt-out of Pre-Screened Offers
Opting out of pre-screened offers means your name is removed from lists supplied by the Consumer Credit Reporting Companies: Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and Transunion to be used for offers of credit (credit cards and loans) and insurance.
- Opt out at www.optoutprescreen.com
For more information regarding how to protect your financial information visit the Minnesota Commerce Department blog.