143 Million U.S. Consumers Affected by Equifax Data Breach
Equifax is one of the “big three” credit reporting agencies. So, even if you don’t do business with Equifax directly, they know your business. Equifax knows all about you: Your credit card numbers, your social security number, your home address, your phone number(s), the banks you do business with, and more. So, even though you may have never heard of Equifax, Equifax has most certainly heard of you.
There are 3 major credit reporting companies. They are:
- Equifax – www.equifax.com. P.O. Box 740241. Atlanta, GA 30374-0241. 1-800-685-1111.
- Experian – www.experian.com. P.O. Box 2104. Allen, TX 75013-0949. 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
- TransUnion – www.transunion.com. P.O. Box 1000. Chester, PA 19022. 1-800-916-8800.
Every time you apply for credit, these are the “go to” agencies lenders rely on to get your up-to-date credit profile and credit information, They use the information gleaned from the credit reporting agencies to determine your credit worthiness. Your credit card companies, your mortgage lenders, your bank or financial institution (if you have a bank loan or car loan) all report your payment history and credit information to all three credit reporting agencies.
These 3 companies have a whole lot of information about you and it’s constantly being updated. Every time you miss a payment on a loan or credit card ( or just about anything else) it’s most likely being reported to all 3 of these credit reporting agencies. Every time you apply for credit, the lender is almost certainly going to request your credit report from the “big 3”.
Your credit score is determined by your credit history, how many credit cards, retail charge accounts, loan accounts, and mortgages you have, your on-time payment history, how many times you’ve been late with payments, how many accounts have been turned over for collection, and more — just about every thing you do financially that involves credit, gets reported to one of these agencies.
You can see your current credit score and credit reports with two of these agencies free by signing up with Credit Karma (it’s free and there is no credit card required). And every U.S. citizen is entitled to one free credit report, per year, from each of the three credit reporting agencies. If you’re interested in learning more about this visit https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action .
On September 7, 2017, Equifax announced that 143 million U.S. Consumers. According to Equifax… “Criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files. Based on the company’s investigation, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017…”
According to Equifax, they didn’t find any “unauthorized activity” on their core “consumer or commercial credit reporting databases… The information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers…”
Still, if you’re living in the U.S.A. and you have credit cards, loans, or mortgages, you should be extra vigilant and check your credit card(s) and debit card(s) statements very carefully.
Equifax is offering a free service ( for U.S. consumers) where you can check to see whether your personal information may have been breached. There’s no charge, no credit card required, and all you have to fill in is your last name and the last six digits or your social security number. We recommend you do this to find out if you may have had some personal information stolen. Here’s what you’ll see when you visit the website where you can sign up for this free service:
When you begin, you will be asked to provide your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number.
Based on that information, you will receive a message indicating whether your personal information may have been impacted by this incident. Regardless of whether your information may have been impacted, we will provide you the option to enroll in TrustedID Premier.
You will receive an enrollment date. You should return to this site and follow the “How do I enroll?” instructions below on or after that date to continue the enrollment and activation process. The enrollment period ends on Tuesday, November 21, 2017.
Visit this page to learn more, or sign-up for this free service and find out if any of your personal information has been impacted. NOTICE: We have now learned that participating in this service prevents you from participating in any class-action lawsuits against Equifax or any that may be brought in the future.
Finally, here’s the announcement made by Equifax:
September 7, 2017 — Equifax Inc. today announced a cybersecurity incident potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. Criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files. Based on the company’s investigation, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017. The company has found no evidence of unauthorized activity on Equifax’s core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.
The information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. In addition, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers, were accessed. As part of its investigation of this application vulnerability, Equifax also identified unauthorized access to limited personal information for certain UK and Canadian residents. Equifax will work with UK and Canadian regulators to determine appropriate next steps. The company has found no evidence that personal information of consumers in any other country has been impacted.