New Information Released on 2017's Equifax Breach
Feb 12, 2018
Last year's Equifax breach that resulted in the compromised sensitive information for 143 million American consumers, may be more serious than originally thought. More detailed personal information of customers may have been accessed than estimated in September of 2017.
The Senate Banking Committee now shows the number of customers affected by the hack to be 145.5 million, up from 143 million. In the original announcement of the cyberattack, Equifax revealed that some driver's license numbers were exposed. However, new documents show that the license state and issue date might also have been compromised. These documents now raise questions of how much information hackers may have accessed in Equifax's cyberattack.
The Wisconsin Bankers Association offers the following tips for consumers who are not sure if their information has been compromised, as well as steps for consumers who know their information was stolen:
Not sure if your information has been compromised?
- Visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, an online service Equifax has set up, to check if your information has been compromised as well as for up-to-date information and FAQs.
- Check all of your accounts via online services provided by Park Bank or your credit card provider. Consumers should be looking for any discrepancies in their purchasing habits. In general, this is a good practice to do regularly! Just because the bad guys have your information now, it doesn’t mean they will use it immediately.
- Consider freezing your credit. A credit freeze limits who can see your credit report information. The goal is to prevent anyone from opening any new accounts. It doesn't damage your credit or stop your credit report from evolving by your own actions. For more information on freezing your credit, click here. You can also set up your own credit freeze by going to the freeze page at each credit agency's website - Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.
- Monitor your accounts closely and frequently. Balance your checkbook monthly and match credit card statements with receipts. By viewing accounts online and checking throughout the month, you’ll be able to identify possible problems sooner. Park Bank offers services to keep you in the know – such as Online Banking email alerts and Visa® Purchase Alerts. For more information on these services, call Park Bank At Your Service at 608-278-2801.
- Review your credit report every three or four months. You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus per year. Request a single report from one of the bureaus every three or four months. By staggering these requests, you will be able to monitor your credit throughout the year. Call any one of the three credit reporting agencies to receive your free annual credit report or visit www.annualcreditreport.gov.
- Visit the Federal Trade Commission website at www.IdentityTheft.gov and www.ftc.gov/idtheft or by calling 1-877-438-4338 for information on identity theft and other resources.
- Register for eNotify from the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles at http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/online-srvcs/renew-licens/enotify-default.aspx. This service, among other things, will allow you to set up alerts confirming transactions regarding your driver’s license. If you didn’t request the transaction, this serves as an early alert system that someone is making unauthorized changes.
If your information has been compromised:
- Contact the security departments of your creditors or call Park Bank At Your Service at 608-278-2801 to close the compromised account(s). Explain that you are a victim of identity theft and this particular card or account has been compromised. Ask them to provide documentation that the account has been closed. You should also follow up with a letter to the agency documenting your request.
- Contact the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Trans Union and Equifax) via phone immediately to request a fraud alert be placed on your file. Once again, explain that you are a victim of identity theft and ask that they grant no new credit without your approval. Again, follow up with a letter to the agency documenting your request.
- File a report with your local police department and request a copy of the report. This is good documentation to have on hand to prove your identity has been stolen as you begin the process of restoring your credit and good name. In addition, the credit bureaus may request a copy of the police report too.
- Document all of your actions and keep copies of everything.
With a cyberattack this large be wary of phishing or spoofing email threats. An email appearing to be from a company such as Equifax will ask you to provide, update or confirm confidential information. Ensure the email is legitimate before clicking any links, opening any attachments or providing such information. As a reminder, Park Bank will never call or send an email to our clients requesting their sensitive personal information, or asking that it be verified on a website.
You can also visit our website’s security center to learn more about how to protect your sensitive data from cyber criminals. As a reminder, Park Bank takes your data and its security seriously. It is of upmost importance to us and our clients. And while the cybersecurity attack was not a Park Bank attack, we want to help you protect your information.
Equifax has established a dedicated toll-free number to answer questions you may have about the Equifax data breach and its effect on your personally identifiable information. You may call them at 866-447-7559.
If you have any questions, please contact Park Bank At Your Service 24/7 at 608-278-2801.
< Back to List