Equifax Breach Information and Updates

On July 29th, 2017, Equifax became aware of a large security breach that compromised the personal data of 143 million people. Equifax is one of the three major credit reporting agencies, along with TransUnion and Experian, which means if you have credit, Equifax has your information. Whether or not you were compromised, it is important for everyone to stay informed, keep an eye on their accounts, and safeguard themselves against the dangers of identity theft. On this page, we will cover the basics of the breach, tips on how to keep up with your credit report to better protect yourself, and updates whenever new information about the breach is released.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happened?

Due to a security flaw in one of Equifax’s online applications, hackers were able to gain access to the data of 143 million users. For those compromised, information including the names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, credit card numbers, dispute documents, and driver’s license numbers could have been obtained.

When did the breach occur?

Multiple breaches took place between May and July. While the news of the breach was made known to Equifax on July 29th, the information was not released to the public until early September.

I don’t use Equifax, so am I safe?

If you have credit cards, installment loans, mortgages, rent, store accounts, and items of that nature, they are reported to the credit bureaus in your credit history. If you have credit history, then Equifax has your information. Credit reporting is not something that you opt into, but rather something that you are automatically put into when your credit starts.

How do I know if my personal data was compromised?

If you would like to check if you were compromised, you can utilize this site from Equifax to check by inputting your last name and the last 6 digits of your social security number: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/

Why is this important?

Identity theft is a serious issue. It can spread rapidly, and it can be difficult to take control of it. With your name and Social Security number, identity thieves can apply for credit cards in your name and create debt for you. If that debt goes unpaid, it will destroy your credit score and ruin your good standing.

How can I protect myself?

  • Check to see if your information was compromised using the Equifax link
  • Keep a close eye on your bank accounts and credit card statements. Log in to Online Banking or our Mobile Application regularly to check your Neighbors Credit Union accounts. Watch for any suspicious activity.
  • Inspect your credit report at least annually, which contains information about what accounts you have and your bill paying history. By visiting AnnualCreditReport.com or calling (877) 322-8228, you can pull accurate, up-to-date credit reports free of charge from the only authorized source under Federal Law. You can pull one from each of the major three credit reporting agencies annually. One strategy is to pull one at a time, three times a year. For instance, make it a point to pull your TransUnion report in January, your Experian report in May, and your Equifax report in September. This way, should something suspicious arise, you are only at most four months behind on catching it. The sooner you catch it, the easier it is to fix.
  • Sign up for credit monitoring – credit monitoring should be used as a second line of defense, not your primary one. However, it is a second set of eyes to look for anything suspicious or out of the ordinary.
    • Neighbors Credit Union offers IDProtect® which is an identity theft monitoring and resolution service with our Benefits Checking Accounts. For full details, and a list of other advantages, click here.
  • If you suspect that someone has stolen your identity, immediately put a freeze on your credit at all three of the major credit reporting agencies. You must individually call Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion because they do not share information about freezes between each other. If you block only one, the report can still be pulled at another. Here are the numbers where you can reach each of the credit reporting agencies
    • Equifax — 1-866-349-5191
    • Experian — 1-888-397-3742
    • TransUnion — 1-800-916-8800
  • For more tips and tricks on how to prevent and recover from Identity Theft, click here.

Additional resources and information