09.11.2017 | Client Alert
As many as 143 million personal records may have been compromised by a breach of Equifax — among the nation’s largest credit reporting agencies. The potential impact is massive — lines of credit, bank accounts, credit cards, tax refunds, Social Security payments, and even your driver’s license.
Identity theft on this scale can mangle your finances, sully your reputation, and even implicate you in criminal activity. Nevertheless, you are not powerless and there are steps you can take.
- This breach is so well publicized that if you are a victim, it should be easier to challenge the use of your information in ways that are not typical of your activity.
- You can put a freeze on your credit records. A credit freeze lets you restrict access to your credit report, making it more difficult for identity thieves to use your name to open new accounts. Be aware that some companies charge a small fee to freeze your accounts.
- Equifax is offering a website to help you learn if you were impacted by the breach. Go to Breach Check. They are also offering free credit monitoring.
- Tap into the resources of the Identity Theft Resource Center. The IFRC is funded by both the U.S. Department of Justice and credit protection businesses, including Experian and LifeLock.
We will continue to monitor for developments on this breach. If you have questions, contact your Berdon advisor.