About The Equifax Security Breach
On September 7, 2017, Equifax – one of the three major credit reporting agencies that collects information on individuals and businesses worldwide – reported a cybersecurity incident that potentially impacted approximately 143 million consumers. Based on the company’s investigation, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017.
The information that was accessed included names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some instances driver’s license numbers. In addition, a small segment of this population involved credit card and certain dispute information containing personal identifying information.
While details of this incident continue to unfold daily, the following provides some information and tips that you should know about your account, and other potential safeguards they can implement themselves:
About Your Account with Us
- We have safeguards in place to protect our clients’ existing accounts including strong online security protection, Visa fraud protection for debit card purchases, and strong credential requirements for all interactions with the bank.
- There is no need to close your existing accounts or replace debit cards. However, we recommend signing up for Online or Mobile Banking to be notified of activity on your bank accounts.
- Be cautious of unsolicited phone calls and unknown callers requesting personal information. Do not provide personal information over the phone to unverified callers claiming to be from the bank, especially those requesting payments.
Tips for Safeguarding Your Credit Information
The following are some tips for safeguarding your credit information that you may wish to take:
- Visit Equifax’s dedicated website for client support during this incident: www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. Tools on this website can help you determine if you information may have been potentially impacted.
- Through this website, you are able to sign up for free credit monitoring, receive copies of their Equifax credit report, identity theft insurance and more. These service are free to consumers for one year.
- Clients can also can contact a dedicated Equifax call center at 866-447-7559.
- Please note that Equifax WILL NOT initiate calls to consumers. Clients should not give information to callers stating they represent Equifax.
Other helpful tips:
- Freeze Your Credit. Contact each of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) and request a "credit freeze." You will be given a PIN that will be required to unfreeze your account. This will prevent anyone from opening an account in your name. For more details on any potential charges for this service, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides credit freeze FAQs.
- Set a fraud alert. You may wish to contact at least one of the credit bureaus to request a fraud alert. This way credit card and other credit granting companies will be required to verify your identity before opening an account. Fraud alerts must be renewed every 90 days. See the FTC's instructions around How to Place a Fraud Alerts.
- Monitor all of your accounts. Keep watch for unusual activity, like suspicious login attempts and unknown charges. Do this for all of your accounts that contain sensitive information, not just your bank account.
- Strengthen your login. Change your passwords and challenge answers to your accounts if you suspect your information has been compromised. Set up multifactor authentication where it is available. It’s just another layer of protection you can add to keep yourself safe.
- Watch out for scams. Be cautious of suspicious callers, text messages and emails asking you to verify information or accounts. Stay aware of tax scams.
Please feel free to call our ExpressBank at (800) 234-6181 with any concerns.