As you are likely aware, Equifax reported a data breach late last week, with as many as 143 million Social Security numbers, names and addresses from the company’s credit files potentially at risk. Though this breach was not related in any way to Midcoast Federal Credit Union, our commitment is to helping you navigate through this serious event. We’ve compiled a summary for our members, as well as links and resources to help you learn more, and take action to protect your identity and information.
Equifax: Next Steps
Like many Americans, you may be concerned that your private information was exposed in the recent Equifax breach. We encourage all of our members to visit the Equifax site to discover if their private information may have been compromised and to take advantage of the free credit monitoring service Equifax is providing to all consumers.
1. Find Out If You Were Impacted
Visit equifaxsecurity2017.com and click on the Check Potential Impact Tab. Enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number.
2. Enroll In Credit Monitoring through Equifax
Equifax is providing one year of free monitoring protection through TrustedID for all consumers, even those not affected by the breach. After checking your potential impact, you will be given an enrollment date to return and sign up for the free service. TrustedID allows you to monitor your credit. It also provides identity-theft insurance and internet scanning of your social security number. Note, that after significant criticism, Equifax stated that consumers would not have to give up their right to pursue class actions related to damages stemming from the hacking incident, if they signed up for the free credit monitoring protection. Equifax has also set up a dedicated call center at 866.447.7559 where you can speak to someone regarding any questions you may have about the breach.
3. Enroll in Savvy Money
As you will note above, Equifax’s Credit Monitoring is a free service for one year. Midcoast FCU is proud to offer to its members, unlimited free access to Savvy Money. Savvy Money is provided in partnership with Transunion and is an alternative resource for credit monitoring which includes access to your full credit report and credit score and will alert you to recent inquiries on your credit and new credit accounts opened in your name. Sign up is free and no credit card information is required.
4. Consider Freezing your Credit Report
Many credit experts agree that the best defense to the Equifax data breach is to place a freeze on your credit report. For information on credit freezes, please visit consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs
5. Review your Account Statements
Protecting yourself from fraud and identity theft takes vigilance. Carefully review your credit union account activity and monthly statements, as well any credit card statements for any unauthorized transactions and report them immediately.
6. Take Advantage of eAlerts
Your credit union and many credit card companies offer eAlerts that will proactively alert you to events on your account, such as account logins and transaction alerts. Contact the Credit Union for assistance on how to enroll in eAlerts.
We understand the importance of protecting your personal information and want to make sure you know that Midcoast FCU is committed to keeping that information safe and secure. If you have additional questions for us regarding the Equifax breach or additional ways to protect yourself, please call 877.964.3262. Also, please visit our website for updates on the Equifax breach and other security related matters.