One of the nation's major credit reporting agencies has announced a massive hack potentially exposing the sensitive personal and financial information of 143 million Americans who have credit reports.
Hackers accessed names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some instances, driver's license numbers and credit card numbers. This is one of the gravest breaches of consumers' information ever.
States have opened a formal investigation into the incident sending a letter demanding more information about the breach. In the meantime, everyone is encouraged to immediately take steps to see if your data was compromised and to strongly consider additional measures to protect yourself:
To check whether your information was compromised, you can go to a website. Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion by visiting annualcreditreport.com. This is a free service. Accounts or activity that you do not recognize could indicate identity theft.
Consider placing a credit freeze on your files. It will not prevent a thief from using any of your existing accounts, but a credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name.
Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely for unauthorized charges. Call the credit card company or bank immediately about any charges you do not recognize.
https://lnkd.in/eGCiYtR to see if your personal data was impacted.
Since Social Security numbers were affected, there is a risk of tax fraud. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Consider filing your taxes early and pay close attention to correspondence from the IRS.
Please take precautions over the next few days, and share this information with your friends and family.
Government agency should investigate Equifax data breach http://hill.cm/iqR4A7B