Equifax breach and ways to protect yourself

Credit Report and Magnifying Glass

Most people have heard about the Equifax breach, but how do you protect yourself. Below are two things I will be doing:

Freezing my credit

To prevent someone from opening credit cards in your name, place a credit freeze on your account. When you freeze your credit, you (or anyone acting as you) will be required to unfreeze the account by providing the PIN you received when you froze your credit. Call each of the credit bureaus to do this:

  • Equifax: 1-800-349-9960
  • Experian: 1‑888‑397‑3742
  • TransUnion: 1-888-909-8872

Set a fraud alert

When a fraud alert is set, credit card companies will be required to verify your identity before opening an account. To set a fraud alert, contact just one of the credit card bureaus and ask for an initial fraud alert (it will update all the other agencies). Once the alert is set, it will last 90 days. After that, you’ll have to call again to put it back on.  Most agencies have a different phone number than the one for freezing your credit, see below

  • Equifax: 1-888-766-0008
  • Experian: 1-888-397-3742
  • TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289

 

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