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Equifax Data Breach – 2017

Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies announced on September 7, 2017 that 143 million American consumers personal information was exposed in a data breach.  According to Equifax, the breach lasted from mid-May through July.  Names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers were compromised.  Credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about  182,000 people was stolen. Equifax as established a dedicated website – www.equifaxsecurity2017.com for consumers to determine if their information was accessed. Steps you can take to help protect your personal information from being misused: Visit Equifax’s website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.  Click on the “Potential Impact” tab and enter your last name and the last six digits of your social security number.  Your social security number is sensitive information, so make sure you are on a secure computer and an encrypted network connection any time you enter it.  The site will let you know if you have been affected by the breach. Whether or not your information was compromised, consumers can receive a year of free credit monitoring.  The site will give you a date when you can come back to enroll.  Write down the date and go back to the site and click “Enroll” on that date.  You have until November 21, 2017 to enroll. Other steps you can take to help to protect yourself: Visit annualcreditreport.com to receive your free credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and Transunion .  Activity or accounts that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft.  Visit IdentityTheft.gov to find out what to do. Consider placing a credit freeze on your account.  A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name.  Keep [...]
By |September 11th, 2017|Uncategorized|Comments Off|

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By |June 13th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off|

How to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when someone obtains your personal information, such as your credit card data or Social Security number, to commit fraud or other crimes. Guard your information online. These days, many of us do most of our shopping and banking on the web. With all those account numbers and passwords floating around, it’s easy for someone to nab your information and go on a spree. • Clear your logins and passwords. This is especially important if you’ve been working on a public computer. Change logins and passwords monthly. • Pay for online purchases with your credit card, which has better guarantees under federal law than your online payment services or your debit card. • Be alert for phishing, a trick in which spam or pop-ups mimic legitimate banks or businesses to obtain your personal information, which they use to access your accounts. Always verify that you’re on a familiar Web site with security controls before entering personal data. Monitor your bank and credit card statements. Check your accounts regularly so you know when something’s awry. Purchases you didn’t make should be obvious—like a gas fill-up halfway across the country. Verify your mailing address with the post office and financial institutions. Identity thiefs may fill out change of address forms so that delinquent credit notices remain off your paper billing radar. Monitor your credit report. By law, you’re entitled to a free report every year from each of the three bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). Request one every four months, changing bureaus each time. You can order the report directly through each agency, or at annualcreditreport.com. Scan it for abnormal activity, such as accounts or credit cards you didn’t open. Shred sensitive documents. Buy a shredder and regularly shred outdated bank statements, credit card applications, bills, and anything with your personal [...]
By |October 22nd, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off|

Preventing Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud – is the most common type of identity crime and on the rise. If you’re like most of us, you own, carry and use a bunch of credit cards. Actually, some of you may have credit cards which you are not aware of, never used them, or don’t even know where they are. If you are one of these people who are also unaware about credit card identity theft risks, please consider the following tips as they apply to your unique needs and situations. Although, you cannot control every single risk, there are a few things you could do to prevent and manage debit or credit card fraud. Here are a few examples: Keep track of your wallet – very few people are aware of the contents in their wallets. This may include debit or credit cards they carry in their wallet or purse, other personal information such as a Personal Identification Number (PIN) written on a piece of paper or a social security card. Always take an inventory of what you carry with you. List the inventory related information such as the type of the card, its number, etc. and keep it in a safe place. This will make sure you can report and recover your lost item in a timely manner, while, limiting credit card fraud damage. Use your wallet carefully – Every time you take your wallet out of your pocket or purse to pay for a purchase, you may expose other confidential information to people around or behind you in line such as a driver’s license information including your name, address, date of birth, and driver’s license number. Use it less frequently and discretely as it may include many [...]
By |April 29th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off|