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On Sept. 7, Equifax, one of three major credit bureaus in the US, announced a major security breach. More than 143 million records containing social security numbers, birth dates, addresses and credit card numbers were stolen.

Equifax has posted the latest information at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. The entire Progress Update, Consumer Notice and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) should be read before taking any action.

Contained on the Consumer Notice tab is a list of other credit agencies for your consideration. These are “pay-for-service” providers www.experian.com and www.transunion.com. There are others such as www.lifelock.com (fee) and www.creditkarma.com (free). Before you subscribe to any service you should read the terms and conditions. Auburn University does not endorse any specific product.

The Equifax site also offers tips for protecting yourself against identity fraud and credit fraud.

  1. Consider freezing your credit report to prevent fraud.
  2. Monitor your bank and credit card activity carefully.
  3. Review your credit report often.
  4. Notify law enforcement if you find fraud.

Protect Yourself: Identity Theft

Identity theft seems to always be in the news. Regularly checking your credit report can help you detect signs of identity theft. Consumers have tools they can use to assist them in protecting their credit information. The Federal Trade Commission has an excellent website with helpful ways to protect your identity.

Report identity theft and get a recovery plan

If you have become the victim of identity theft, one place to start is IdentityTheft.gov. This website will lead you through the process of reporting and offers steps you can take if you are a victim.