I’m in the pool of 143 million Equifax clients who are highly likely to have had their personal information compromised. It has been a major topic of conversation between co-workers and in the general public. Individuals are either concerned about steps to take OR they are over-confident they are okay. What’s more, the scramble by Equifax to answer client questions has raised some concerns about their accuracy in identification of impacted clients.
Equifax is offering free credit monitoring for a year and has waived the requirement that you must relinquish your right to participate in a class action suit if you become a victim of identity theft. They have also stated that you will not be automatically billed for the service at the end of the twelve months of coverage. The credit monitoring is available to individuals who received a message they were likely to have had personal information stolen and for those who are getting the message they aren’t likely to be included.
A second step is to put a credit freeze on your accounts. Innovis should be added to the list of three credit bureaus referenced in our Money Tips blog post. The steps for placing a freeze on credit reports will include costs and will mean additional management steps when opening new accounts or securing loans. There are exceptions if you are freezing a child’s credit report or have proof of identity theft.
A third step is to monitor personal credit reports. As recommended, this means adding the step to your regular financial habits every three months.
You aren’t as likely to be able secure your tax information. Equifax is a data breach and not a confirmed case of identity theft. The IRS procedures to protect your information will only apply when there is a confirmed case of identity theft in filing taxes – this occurs when two different people file tax returns using the same social security number.
Stay tuned for future tips and news…..