The Equifax security breach has personal implications for many of us. It is important to be careful with our personal financial decisions as a result.
As many of you already know, the consumer credit reporting agency Equifax was recently hacked from mid-May through July. During that time, the personal information of approximately 143 million people was stolen. The information that was stolen included Social Security numbers, addresses, and birth dates. In some instances driver’s license numbers and credit card numbers were also accessed.
Criminals can use this information to commit a variety of crimes including identity theft and tax fraud. This is extremely serious as these crimes can significantly impact your personal finances.
To find out if you were affected by the breach, you can visit Equifax’s website. If your information was stolen, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends you should: check your credit reports, consider placing a credit freeze on your files, monitor your existing credit cards, consider placing a fraud alert on your credit cards, and file your taxes early. You can never be too cautious to protect yourself from identify theft and fraud.
To help you navigate this complicated situation, I am providing this link to a helpful Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website. This site includes links to the Equifax website as well as detailed instructions on exactly what you need to do to protect yourself.
I take this security breach very seriously. Next week Congress will begin holding hearings to get to the bottom of this breach. Please know that I am monitoring this situation closely and will continue to provide updates when more information becomes available.
Member of Congress