Credit monitoring company says breach exposed data of 143 million Americans
ATLANTA -- Credit monitoring company Equifax says a breach exposed social security numbers and other data from 143 million Americans.
The company says the breach happened sometime around mid-May through July and it was discovered on July 29. After the breach was discovered, Equifax says they acted immediately to stop the intrusion. The company says they have not found any evidence of unauthorized activity on their core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.
Equifax says the information accessed in the breach includes names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some cases driver's license numbers. Credit card numbers for more than 200,000 Americans were also accessed in the breach along with other personal identifying information for another 182,000 U.S. consumers.
Equifax has created a dedicated website to help consumers find out if their information was compromised in the breach. Users can also sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection on the website. The offering, called TrustedID Premier, includes 3-Bureau credit monitoring of Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit reports; copies of Equifax credit reports; the ability to lock and unlock Equifax credit reports; identity theft insurance; and Internet scanning for Social Security numbers - all complimentary to U.S. consumers for one year. The website also provides additional information on steps consumers can take to protect their personal information. Equifax recommends that consumers with additional questions visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com or contact a dedicated call center at 866-447-7559, which the company set up to assist consumers. The call center is open every day (including weekends) from 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m. Eastern time.
In addition to the website, Equifax will send direct mail notices to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute documents with personal identifying information were impacted. Equifax also is in the process of contacting U.S. state and federal regulators and has sent written notifications to all U.S. state attorneys general, which includes Equifax contact information for regulator inquiries.