More On The Equifax Security Breach And Other Important Info

identity theft equifax

If you’ve listened to my show the past two weeks, you know I am pretty honked off about what Equifax carelessly let happen to 143 million of us.  If you are a new subscriber or missed the original story I wrote, here is a link:

https://www.carprousa.com/equifax-security-breach

In the meantime, Equifax has set up a frequently asked questions page that may be of help to you:

https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/frequently-asked-questions/#tab-2

IN NEW NEWS

  • We have a better sense of the timeline.  On July 29th of this year, Equifax says they discovered the massive breach and brought in the security firm Mandiant on August 2nd.  Mandiant was also summoned in early March of this year due to another security breach, one that has still not been disclosed publicly by Equifax.
  • In other ineptness, since Equifax disclosed the breach, the company’s official Twitter account has mistakenly tweeted a phishing link four different times, instead of the company’s actual breach response page. Luckily for Equifax, the page isn’t malicious
  • Equifax Inc. has insisted that three executives who sold off 1.8 million dollars in shares two days before news of the massive hack of were not aware of the breach when they made the sales, however, the news of the March 2017 breach, likely by the same hackers as the July breach, may call to light illegal activity by the executives.

If you missed my article last week about what to do if you find out your identity was stolen, here’s the link for that:

https://www.carprousa.com/what-to-do-if-your-identity-is-stolen

MONITORING MAIL

I also shared with you how to monitor your mail.  It is actually a cool thing to do even if your identity has not been hacked, but could prevent an issue if mail is stolen from your mailbox,

Mail theft is a common source for identity thieves.  Don’t let your mail stack up, remove it daily and if you are going to be away from home, get a neighbor to gather it for you or put a stop on it with the U.S. Postal Service.

One thing I personally use and love is called Informed Delivery and it is a free service of the Postal Service.  All mail is scanned for delivery, so every morning, I get an email with a picture of each piece of mail coming that day.  It won’t give you things like bulk mail or circulars, but you know in advance what is coming to you, and if something is missing, you can report it.  Here’s the link to sign up:

https://informeddelivery.usps.com/box/pages/intro/start.action

It is not available in every area but will be soon.

STOP PRE-APPROVED CREDIT OFFERS

No matter if you have good or poor credit, offers come in the form of regular mail, emails, social media messages, or even phone calls.  So how does this happen?  Simple, companies pay the three credit reporting agencies for a list of people who meet the criteria they are targeting.  This is one way the credit reporting services make money.  Credit card companies, insurance companies, and a host of others use your credit score for specific solicitations.

Do you feel violated?  You probably should.  These are inquiries on your credit report, but they do not hurt your credit score, still it feels like a privacy invasion.  There is good news, you can stop this.

If you decide that you don’t want to receive prescreened offers of credit and insurance, you have two choices: You can opt out of receiving them for five years or opt out of receiving them permanently. 

  • To opt out for five years: Call toll-free 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit www.optoutprescreen.com. The phone number and website are operated by the major consumer reporting companies.
  • To opt out permanently: You may begin the permanent Opt-Out process online at www.optoutprescreen.com. To complete your request, you must return the signed Permanent Opt-Out Election form, which will be provided after you initiate your online request.

When you call or visit the website, you’ll be asked to provide certain personal information, including your home telephone number, name, Social Security number, and date of birth. The information you provide is confidential and will be used only to process your request to opt out. 

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1 Comment
  1. Dennis Hart 2 weeks ago

    This has some really good information in it.

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