DALLAS - Credit reporting giant Equifax announced a huge security breach affecting 143 million people.
Names, social security numbers, dates of birth and even some driver’s license numbers have all been access by cyber criminals. Consumer reporter Steve Noviello said it’s a massive breach.
To put it in perspective, almost half of all American adults are affected.
And in addition to the laundry list of data already mentioned, credit card numbers and addresses have also been stolen from some people who have filed credit disputes in the past.
The breach happened between May and July of this year. Equifax will contact those who have been affected by mail.
So what should you do? First be on alert. Check back through your credit card statements and look for any unusual activity.
Next check your credit report to see if anyone is using your credit. The only free, government-sponsored site that allows you to check your credit report is annualcreditreport.com.
And finally, beware. Equafax will be contacting people by mail and you can bed scammers will be reaching out to people too by phone, email or text.
If you get a letter, call or email from anyone asking for your information or telling you they can fix or secure your credit, do not engage.
If you believe you are in danger of becoming a victim of identity theft, you can put a free fraud alert on your credit by contacting any of the three credit reporting agencies. That agency will then contact the other two on your behalf.
For more information, visit facebook.com/savemesteve.
Equifax has also set up a website for people to check to see if they’ve been impacted at www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/potential-impact/, but many people are reporting problems with the site.