Equifax Breach: Key Tools to Protecting Your Identity
Equifax has set up a website at www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to help consumers determine if they were affected by their breach. However, whether or not the website says you were affected by the Equifax Breach, it is safest to assume that your information has been compromised. Here are options available to help protect and monitor your identity:
Review your credit report:
Call any one of the three credit reporting agencies to receive your free annual credit report or visit www.annualcreditreport.gov. Since each credit bureau must provide you one free report each year, you can check your credit report every 4 months for free, using one credit bureau at a time.
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
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Chester, PA 19016
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Atlanta, GA 30374
Enroll in a credit monitoring product:
If the Equifax website indicated you were affected by the breach, Equifax will direct you to enroll in their credit monitoring product, TrustedID Premier, which is complimentary for one year. However, you are not required to enroll in this service, and there are multiple options for credit monitoring, including First Bank & Trust’s product. Ask your banker for details if you are interested.
Consider a credit freeze:
Credit freezes restrict access to your credit report, making it more difficult for criminals to open credit lines in your name. You can find more information here: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs
Consider placing a fraud alert on your credit report:
Fraud alerts warn creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and signal that they should verify further. However, not all creditors do so, and these alerts only stay in place for 90 days. You can find more information here: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0275-place-fraud-alert
Set a password on your bank accounts:
First Bank & Trust has many customers who have set passwords on their accounts to provide greater security. Contact us at 1-800-843-1552 or ask your favorite banker to add a password to your customer profile.
As always, be vigilant about monitoring your accounts:
Review your account statements to spot any suspicious transactions. You can also monitor your account activity online at any time at www.bankeasy.com. If you spot any suspicious transactions, please contact us immediately at 1-800-843-1552.
If you believe you are the victim of identity theft and have had a fraudulent account opened in your name, immediately follow the steps provided by the FTC, located here: https://www.identitytheft.gov/.