McCurdy Group - Insurance and Financial Consultants

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Hacking of Equifax: Was Your Information Compromised?

What Happened. (As posted on the Equifax web site) - On July 29, 2017, Equifax discovered that criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files. Upon discovery, we acted immediately to stop the intrusion. The company promptly engaged a leading, independent cybersecurity firm which has been conducting a comprehensive forensic review to determine the scope of the intrusion, including the specific data impacted. Equifax also reported the criminal access to law enforcement and continues to work with authorities. Based on the company’s investigation, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017.

What Information Was Involved. Most of the consumer information accessed includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some instances, driver’s license numbers. In addition, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 consumers and certain dispute documents, which included personal identifying information, for approximately 182,000 consumers were accessed. We have found no evidence of unauthorized access to Equifax’s core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.

What Equifax is Doing. Equifax will send direct mail notices to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute documents with personal identifying information were impacted.

Also, Equifax has established a web site,, where you can check if your personal information is potentially impacted. The process is easy to do. Simply click on the link, “Check Potential Impact,” and provide your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number.

Based on that information, you will receive a message indicating whether your personal information may have been impacted by this incident.

Regardless of whether your information may have been impacted, Equifax provides the option to enroll in TrustedID Premier, a complimentary identity theft protection and credit file monitoring program.

Equifax also recommends that consumers be vigilant in reviewing their account statements and credit reports, and that they immediately report any unauthorized activity to their financial institutions.

Additionally, Equifax recommends that people monitor their personal information and visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website,, to obtain information about steps they can take to better protect against identity theft as well as information about fraud alerts and security freezes.

Suggestions from the Federal Trade Commission include:

·      Check your credit reports at You can order a free report from each of the three credit reporting agencies once a year.
·      Consider placing a credit freeze. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name.
·      If you place a freeze, you'll have to lift the freeze before you apply for a new credit card or cell phone - or any service that requires a credit check.
·      If you decide not to place a credit freeze, at least consider placing a fraud alert.
·      Try to file your taxes early - before a scammer can. Tax Identity Theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Respond right away to letters from the IRS.
·      Don't believe anyone who calls and says you'll be arrested unless you pay for taxes or debt - even if they have part or all of your Social Security number, or they say they're from the IRS.