Arts&Culture

Millions Impacted With Equifax Data Breach; Arkansas Attorney General Now Giving Tips

Millions Impacted With Equifax Data Breach; Arkansas Attorney General Now Giving Tips

One of the three major US credit bureaus, Equifax, has been hacked, and they say that that means that an estimated 143 million USA consumers have now been exposed to the threat of identity theft.

The breach, which was disclosed last week, includes individuals' Social Security numbers and other sensitive information that could be used by hackers to gain access to someone's bank accounts or tax returns.

The company provided a new website for consumers to check if their personally identifiable information (PII) was exposed in the breach, but the website was rife with problems. Typically, when data breaches happen hackers wait a while until they start making transactions with your information.

If you have been affected, Better Business Bureau first recommends taking advantage of the one year of free credit monitoring service offered by Equifax. Federal law requires each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies to give you one free credit report every 12 months if you request it.

Equifax shares sank to a 19-month low on Wednesday after the MA attorney general announced that she was preparing to sue the credit bureau over one of the biggest data breaches in history. Social Security numbers, addresses, credit card numbers and much more have been leaked.

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Frosh urged Equifax to remove any potential for the company to profit from the breach by suspending sales of credit monitoring services and charging Marylanders for credit freezes.

"Anyone that is trying to open your account or get an inquiry about your account, there's a blockage to them being able to do that without you giving permission", he said. The FTC told consumers not to tell callers any personal information, not to trust caller ID, and if consumers receive a robocall, hang up. This makes it more hard to do things like open a new bank account or get a loan.

Equifax Canada's website says that "only a limited number of Canadians may have been affected" and "the breach is contained".

"You have to kind of be your own detective with your finances".

I'm not a big fan of credit freezes. "Just pay attention, really that's the most important thing", said Dr. McGill. Look for unusual accounts or activities that may indicate identity theft.


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