Cyber criminals have stolen 143 million credit records in the recent hacking scandal at big-three credit bureau Equifax
You need to watch out for the following things:
• Phishing emails that claim to be from Equifax where you can check if your data was compromised
• Phishing emails that claim there is a problem with a credit card, your credit record, or other personal financial
• Calls from scammers that claim they are from your bank or credit union
• Fraudulent charges on any credit card because your identity was stolen
Here are 5 things you can do to prevent identity theft:
• First sign up for credit monitoring (there are many companies providing that service including Equifax but we cannot
• Next freeze your credit files at the three major credit bureaus Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Remember that
generally it is not possible to sign up for credit monitoring services after a freeze is in place. Advice for how to
file a freeze is available here on a state-by-state basis: http://consumersunion.org/research/security-freeze/
• Check your credit reports via the free https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action
• Check your bank and credit card statements for any unauthorized activity
• If you believe you may have been the victim of identity theft, here is a site where you can learn more about how to
protect yourself: http://www.idtheftcenter.org/. You can also call the center’s toll-free number (888-400-5530) for advice on how to resolve identify-theft issues. All of the center’s services are free.
And as always, Think Before You Click!