Half of the people in the US had their full credit records stolen in the Equifax data breach.
Which half are you in and what do you do?
There has been a lot of news around about the Equifax security breach that left over 140 million people in the US at risk of credit and identity theft problems.
You can go to the Equifax site and provide your name and the last 6 digits of your SSN and they will tell you that you probably are at risk and offer you 1 year of their free credit monitoring service. Then next year they will ask you to pay for it. If you don’t trust them (who would now) you can call my friend Linda Bodiker with Legal Shield and IDShield at (760)802-6184 or http://legalshield.com/hub/lbodiker
According to most articles…
1 – The best protection is to freeze your credit account at each of the credit services…Equifax, Experian & TransUnion. There will be a small charge to unlock and relock but much less than the headaches of ID theft.
To freeze your credit reports, you need to contact each of the three credit reporting bureaus via phone or their online forms:
• Equifax — 1-800-349-9960
• Experian — 1 888 397 3742
• TransUnion — 1-888-909-8872
You may also pay a fee, ranging from $5 to $10 per bureau, depending on your state. If you’re a victim of identity theft, you can get a credit freeze for free if you can provide a copy of your police report or other supporting documents required by your state. Additionally, some states grant discounts to seniors over 65 and minors.
When the credit freeze takes effect, each bureau will send you a confirmation letter with a PIN code or password. Keep these in a secure place since these codes are required to lift the freeze. In most states, a credit freeze will remain on an account until it is lifted by the account holder.
Or you can place a fraud alert for free with Experian, Equifax or TransUnion®. When you request that a fraud alert should be added with any of the three major credit bureaus, the bureau you contacted will notify the other two and alerts will be added with those bureaus as well. A fraud alert (also known as an initial security alert) will warn lenders that you may have been a fraud victim. This extra precaution will notify the potential lender that they should take additional steps to verify your identity before granting any new line of credit in your name. The fraud alert will stay on your credit report for 90 days, and you can renew it when it expires. A little more work but it is free and easier for you to change.
2 – Go to https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action and request a free copy of your credit report and score each year. But if you check one of the 3, every 4 months, you can check for fraud and theft 3 times a year.
3 – Closely monitor your bank and credit card accounts for suspicious activity. Also, watch your Health Insurance for suspicious claims and tax returns.
4 – Block electronic access to your Social Security Number at https://secure.ssa.gov
5 – Be even more alert for Phishing Scams, especially if coming from what appears to be Equifax.
6 – Change your passwords or invest in password protection software like LastPass.
The New York Times had a good article on Equifax.
Kim Komando has several articles about Equifax on her site at
She has a very informative site about all things technology (just too much click bait on her site).
Check out my previous blog on Credit Repair at