In September, Equifax, one the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies, suffered a data breach. It was reported that 143 million Americans may have had their personal information exposed. The hackers also got personal information from some European and Canadian consumers. Many people are wondering if they have been affected and what they can do about it.
If you have any type of credit product such as a credit card, mortgage, or auto loan, there’s a chance your personal information may have been compromised. There is no need to panic. Here are some simple steps to make sure your information is secure.
- Visit com. Click the “Potential Impact” tab, enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. It will say if you’ve been affected by the breach
- Get a full year of complimentary credit monitoring through Equifax’s TrustedID product. The site above has details; the last day to enroll is Nov. 21, 2017
- Consumers can place, lift, or permanently remove a freeze from their Equifax credit files at https://www.freeze.equifax.com/Freeze/jsp/SFF_PersonalIDInfo.jsp
- Monitor any credit activity in the names of your children
- Look closely at email addresses from anyone that is asking for your information. Never respond to any email from an address that appears to be close to a legitimate sender but just one letter or word off
- Inspect all financial account statements closely and promptly dispute any unauthorized charges
Five Star can’t stress enough to be cognizant of phishing in your email. Five Star will not ask its members to verify account information via email. If you feel you have been a victim, contact the Member Care Center at 888.619.1711 (option 7).
For additional information, you can visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website. The site has ways to spot if you are being targeted by scammers and the latest scams that have grown from this data breach.