Equifax Breach Affects 143 Million Consumers

As part of our ongoing efforts to help keep your personal information as safe as possible, we want to remind you to stay on the lookout for the many security threats. Like the big one reported last week.

As you may all now be aware, one of the three major credit reporting agencies experienced a security breach. Recently, we learned about a massive Equifax breach in which more than 143 million consumers may have had their information compromised, including:

  • Social security numbers
  • Dates of birth
  • Addresses
  • Driver’s license numbers
  • Credit card information (for approximately 209,000 consumers)

Due to the high potential impact of this breach, we recommend taking the following steps:

1) Determine whether you may have been affected. Through Equifax’s self-service portal, you can quickly determine whether your information may have been compromised. Enter your last name and the last six digits of your social security number, and you’ll find out whether Equifax believes you’ve been affected. This process takes only a couple of minutes.

2) Enroll in Equifax’s credit monitoring and identity theft protection. Equifax is now offering one free year of TrustedID Premier, its credit monitoring and identity theft protection product, to all U.S. consumers, even if you aren’t a victim.

Once you enter your information in Equifax’s self-service portal, you’ll be given the option to enroll in TrustedID Premier. Click Enroll, and you’ll be provided with an enrollment date. Be sure to write down this date and return to the site on or after that date.

3) Be wary of e-mails that come from Equifax. Because of the high number of victims, Equifax is notifying only the 209,000 consumers whose credit card information may have been affected via postal mail. Do not trust e-mails that appear to come from Equifax regarding the breach. Attackers are likely to take advantage of the situation and craft sophisticated phishing e-mails.

4) Monitor your accounts for suspicious activity. Equifax’s free TrustedID Premier service can help you monitor your credit—but be sure to monitor your other important accounts for any suspicious activity.

5) Consider freezing your credit. If you have no intentions of applying for any new loans or new credit cards in the near future, you can consider placing a security freeze on your credit. You will need to contact each of the three credit reporting agencies for this request. Fees may apply to place the freeze and to lift the freeze. 

For more information, visit Equifax’s FAQs page regarding the incident.

Please feel free to pass this information to family and friends as this will undoubtedly affect a large number of people. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Contact Us

Paul Doherty, CFP®
[email protected]

Richard Beebe, CFP®
[email protected]

Brett Saide, CFP®
[email protected]

Stanley Steinberg, CFP®
[email protected]

Nathan Law, CFP®
[email protected]

Mary Ellison
[email protected]

Sandy Callahan
[email protected]

Deirdre Legge
[email protected]