If you haven't yet heard about the Equifax security breach, you need to start paying attention and start taking measures to protect yourselves. Sensitive information, including social security numbers, credit card numbers, birthdates, etc. has been compromised for some 140+ million people. There's a 50/50 chance your information was compromised. Equifax has known about this breach since July without notifying anyone. It's critical to start mitigating any compromise of your data now.
The post below from Gene Mundt, one of Chicago area's top mortgage lenders, provides great information on steps that you can take to protect your credit. Do it today! Don't wait until tomorrow!
The Equifax Security Breach:
Assume the Worst
Typically, making assumptions is not good. In the case of the Equifax security breach discovered on July 29, 2017? Just the opposite is true.
Yep, you read that right ...
ASSUME the worst and proactively take measures to protect yourself, your finances, and your credit history/credit scores. Don't wait for confirmation yea or nay.
With this recent breach of security at Equifax being so large (an estimated 143 million people are affected), chances are good that you will be receiving notification soon, as that number represents a whopping 50+% of the population.
The information/data stolen during this breach include:
- Birth Dates
- Social Security Numbers
- Driver's Licenses (on a small number of consumers)
- Personal Identification Info (on approximately 182,000 consumers pursuing credit report disputes)
- Credit Card Numbers (on approximately 209,000 people)
Note: Equifax will be direct mailing an alert to only those consumers that:
- Had their credit card numbers stolen
- Were involved in credit disputes at the time of the breach
So again, act proactively in protecting yourself. Do not wait for confirmation in any form from Equifax.Presently, Equifax is suggesting that you visit their website to see if you've been affected by this breach ... and to sign-up for their credit monitoring service. But as of this writing, the advantages of signing-up are unclear or small, at best.The Equifax credit monitoring service does not become available until next week on Monday (9/11). And there is conflicting advice as to the use of this service. So make sure you thoroughly educate yourself to the pros and cons of the Equifax credit monitoring service ... or any other service (or action) you might take regarding this matter.Fraud Alerts and "Freezing" your credit are two such options. (Definition of Credit Monitoring) Do your homework regarding each prior to taking action of any kind.
- Pull your Credit at: www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Make this routine!
- Review/monitor your Credit Card Account Statements often and consistently
- Review/monitor your Bank Account Statements often and consistently
- You can also request your FREE copy of your Credit Report from each of the 3 main Credit Bureaus: TransUnion, Experian, Equifax. Continue to do this on a routine/timely basis.
- When filing Taxes: File early before any scammer in possession of your Social Security Number does it
- Respond immediately to letters/communications received from the IRS
- Respond immediately to letters'communications received from banks, credit card companies, etc.I can't stress the importance of taking these actions strongly enough. Act proactively to protect yourself regarding any personal information or data of yours that may have been stolen in this breach.Make it part of your routine to monitor all your accounts on a timely, consistent basis. Pull your free credit report as they become available to you. Seek ... ask questions.If you think you have suffered fraud: Take action quickly. Report it. Don't assume anyone besides yourself will take responsibility for, address, or correct the issues that arise from this breach.The more quickly you act, the more quickly the problem is remedied ...* Hoping to Buy or Refinance a home in the Chicagoland Area? Contact Me! I'll put my 40 years of mortgage experience and expertise hard to work on your behalf.I'm easily found at:
Mortgage Originator - NMLS #216987
IL Lic. #0006220 - WI License
Gene Mundt, Mortgage Originator, 40+ years of #mortgage experience, will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking: #Conventional, #FHA, #VA, #Jumbo, #USDA, and Portfolio Loans in #Chicago and the greater Chicagoland region, including: The #Lincoln-Way Area, #Will County, (#New Lenox, #Frankfort, #Mokena, #Manhattan, #Joliet, #Shorewood, #Crest Hill, #Plainfield, #Bolingbrook, #Romeoville, #Naperville, #Wilmington, #Peotone, etc.), #DuPage County, the City of Chicago, #Cook County, and elsewhere within IL and Wisconsin.
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