Millions of Americans Affected By Massive Equifax Data Breach

Social insecurity: You and me and the Equifax breach

The credit-reporting company announced last week that the personal information of over 140 million Americans could have been accessed by hackers between May and July.

In the wake of the Equifax data breach, which affected 143 million Americans and an unknown amount of Canadians, officials are warning people to be wary of calls purporting to be from the credit company.

"Attacks start out very small and then they escalate and in this case probably one of the largest breaches we have seen in the country", says Cronin. Multiple congressional committees have also signaled their intent to hold hearings on the Equifax data breach.

What should you do if you've been unable to place a credit freeze online? You can get free credit reports each year by going to annualcreditreport.com.

Duncan said she has called Equifax several times to put a freeze on her credit file but every time she is prompted to give her personal information she is told the request can't be processed.

Erdman urged people to monitor their accounts closely and frequently, match credit card statements with receipts and balance their checkbook monthly.




Consider a credit freeze: A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open an account in your name, but it will not stop them from changing accounts once they have access to them.

Iowans also can visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, a website Equifax established to allow consumers to check if they're affected. You'll need to enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social.

The Better Business Bureau recommends checking credit reports, something Campbell says she will probably do. The company has lost $6 billion in shareholder value, about one-third of its total value, since disclosing the breach on September 7.

Warner said in a letter to the FTC that Equifax's lapses in security and methods of handling customers' inquiries "may potentially represent a systemic failure by firms now incentivized to collect and store highly sensitive identification and financial data for Americans".

Credit bureau staff will review your report with you. If you contact any one of the three major credit reporting agencies, fraud alerts will be automatically added by the other two agencies as well.

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