First of all, here is a little background on the credit industry.
There are 3 national credit bureaus in the United States: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
Basically, they are information warehouses. These organizations gather information about
consumers and sell that information to lenders and others who want to know about their
Credit bureaus do not decide whether or not your loan will be approved. They only provide data
i.e. credit scores and credit reports, that the lender (banks, mortgage companies, credit cards,
etc.) uses to make their decision to lend money and at what interest rate to charge.
EQUIFAX, Inc. – a major credit bureau, announced on September 9, 2019, that a cyber security
incident, discovered in July, may have exposed names, birth dates, Social Security numbers
and addresses of approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. In addition, a smaller amount of
driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers and certain dispute documents were obtained.
I have seen and heard information that anyone who is impacted by the breach should put a
credit freeze on their accounts with the 3 credit bureaus. IDShield, whom I represent, is telling
their members to think twice about that action. The Kroll Investigators are recommending that
anyone who is affected put a Fraud Alert on their accounts.
You have the right by federal law to place fraud alerts with the 3 national reporting agencies.
This will place a statement on your credit reports to alert credit issuers that you may be
vulnerable to identity theft and that they should take reasonable steps to verify that the person
applying for credit is actually you.
Place an alert with all three bureaus by calling just one:
EQUIFAX: 888-766-0008 Experian: 888-397-3742 TransUnion: 800-680-7289
To find out if you are affected, go to the following web site:
Once there, click on “Am I Impacted?” and fill in the information.
EQUIFAX is offering free credit monitoring. Personally, I struggle putting my faith in a company
that took 6 weeks to report the breach.