AG Paxton issues consumer alert following Equifax data breach

Mike Stewart	

	The headquarters of Atlanta-based Equifax in Midtown Atlanta

Equifax, one of the largest credit reporting agencies in the United States, confessed on last Thursday that personal details of 143 million customers were leaked by the hackers between mid-May and July.

"We learn of new data breaches every day", said Cynthia Erdman, president of Partnership Bank in Tomah. "My office has been and will continue to be in touch with Equifax until we get to the bottom of this massive data breach".

When I personally called the number to ask about Equifax waiving the fees for security freezes, the call center representative couldn't answer my question.

"It is a little frustrating because, like, I only have one credit card and I'm just now starting to build my credit and just to think that I've been putting all that work into building my credit and it's nothing really I can do about it", said Campbell. Don't give out personal information to those who contact you asking for information to verify accounts, and be wary of clicking on links or downloading attachments in email messages.

If you visit myaccount.google.com you can see Google tracks your activity, it can tell what you search, sites you visited and can date back years.

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Review your bank statements, credit card statements, and other account statements for suspicious charges: Contact the bank or credit card company immediately if you see charges you don't recognize. Identity theft is when another individual uses another person's information to commit fraud or other crimes, most commonly to obtain access to credit in your name.

If you have ever applied for a line of credit, or even a lease for an apartment, the three major credit monitoring companies - Equifax, Transunion, and Experian - likely have our information, and you could be affected.

Rutledge said this could be the largest breach involving social security numbers in history. "You're entitled to a free one".

Warner said in a letter to the FTC that Equifax's lapses in security and methods of handling customers' inquiries "may potentially represent a systemic failure by firms now incentivized to collect and store highly sensitive identification and financial data for Americans". "Equifax is where they are getting your report from so they have a lot of information", said Chip Filer, Chair of Old Dominion University's Department of Economics. Run your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com as soon as possible so you have a current look at your credit file.

Enroll in free credit monitoring services.

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