Important Information About the Equifax Data Breach

by Alicia Palelej | Sep 08, 2017

You may have heard about the recent Equifax data breach, in which hackers accessed personal information — including Social Security numbers and driver's license numbers — from 143 million Americans.

Equifax has set up a website in response to the breach at www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, where you can verify whether your data has been compromised by providing your last name and last six digits of your Social Security number. We would also like to make sure you are aware of these additional steps you can take to safeguard your personal information.

What you can do to protect your identity:

  • Monitor your credit report. You can check your credit report for suspicious activity or inaccurate information — at no cost — by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.
  • Monitor your financial accounts. Make sure to check your accounts (checking, savings, and credit card) for suspicious activity. Enrolling in Online Banking allows you to check activity frequently.
  • Reset your account passwords. For your security, changing the passwords associated with sensitive accounts is recommended.
  • Be wary of connecting to public Wi-Fi Do not connect to unfamiliar wireless hot spots if you are going to access your Online Banking or other personal accounts via your laptop, tablet, or mobile device.
  • Don't respond to unverified requests for personal information. Be suspicious of phone or email solicitations for private identifying details. When in doubt, hang up the phone or delete the email and contact your financial institution directly to confirm if and why they need personal information from you.
  • Review an online Identity Theft Toolkit, or register for a free Identity Theft Solutions webinar. As a member of SF Police Credit Union, you have access to an online toolkit offered through our financial partner, BALANCE Financial Fitness. Click here to explore the toolkit, which offers a wealth of information on the tactics thieves use to steal your information. BALANCE is also offering a no-cost Identity Theft Solutions webinar on Wednesday, September 20th from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. PST (click here to register).
  • Speak to a BALANCE financial coach. BALANCE offers financial coaches who can help you review your credit report for discrepancies and answer any additional questions you might have. To speak to a certified BALANCE expert, call 800.777.7526.
  • Consider placing a credit freeze or fraud alert on your files. If you notice confirmed fraudulent activities on your credit report, you can place a fraud alert with one of the three credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) which will stay on your credit report for 90 days. Lenders will contact you directly before any additional loans or credit are established under your name. You may also consider placing a credit freeze, which makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name but won't prevent charges from occurring on existing accounts. Keep in mind that there may be fees associated with placing a freeze on your credit. Freezing your credit will also create a delay in approval times if you apply for a loan.

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