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Equifax Announces Breach Affecting 143 Million Consumers

On September 7, credit reporting giant Equifax Inc. announced that it had been hit by hackers over the summer exposing the names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, and other personal information of approximately 143 million U.S. consumers.  In addition, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers, were accessed.

Equifax claims it discovered the unauthorized access on July 29 of this year and acted "immediately" to stop the intrusion.  Equifax advised it has established a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to help consumers determine if their information has been potentially impacted and to sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection.  The company is making the offering free of charge for all U.S. consumers for one year.  In addition to the website, Equifax will send direct mail notices to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute documents with personal identifying information were impacted. 

Due to the sensitive nature of the information involved in the breach, consumers should remain vigilant in reviewing their finances, including watching personal credit reports and monitoring credit cards and bank accounts.  Additionally, consumers can consider placing a credit freeze or fraud alerts on their files.  To find more information about what to do about protecting yourself after a data breach, visit identitytheft.gov/databreach

To find more information about what to do about protecting yourself after a data breach, visit identitytheft.gov/databreach, and contact one of Selman Breitman’s Cyber Law attorneys