You probably have already heard that hackers have stolen the identity information of 143 million Americans by hacking into the Equifax computer system. (Equifax is one of the three major credit reporting agencies along with Experian and Trans Union.) The information stolen included social security numbers, birthdates, addresses and a yet-to-be-determined number of driver’s license numbers. The hackers also made off with 209,000 credit card numbers.
A number of news stories offer suggestions on how to protect yourself from the Equifax security breach. Many stories say you should put a “credit freeze” on your credit report file. Experts say this credit freeze is only effective if you do it with all three major credit reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. There is a fee to freeze and unfreeze your credit report file but Equifax is waiving their fees for the next 30 days.
NBC just released an informative article explaining the pros and cons of putting a freeze on your credit file which you may find useful:
It is also a good idea to periodically monitor your credit to check for any unfamiliar accounts. As you may already know, you can obtain a copy of your credit report from Experian, Equifax and Trans Union once a year for free by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.
We hope you are finding our consumer alerts useful. And, as always, if you know someone who is struggling with overdue debts, please have them call us for a bankruptcy consultation at 212-315-3755.