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Protect Yourself from Equifax Data BreachSubmitted by Townsend Asset Management Corp. on September 12th, 2017
The Equifax data breach is a cause for concern, but here are some positive actions that you can take:
Check your credit report.
Go to annualcreditreport.com for your free annual credit check at the 3 main credit companies: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. Be on the lookout for any accounts that you don’t recognize.
Freeze your credit.
This prevents fraudsters from opening new accounts in your name. The downside is that if you open a new account or get a loan in the future, you will have to “unfreeze” your accounts with a special PIN. Unfreezing your account may take a few days and possibly incur a small cost, but it is well worth it. Freeze your accounts online using these links or by telephone:
Experian (888) 397-3742
Transunion (888) 909-8872
Equifax (866) 349-5192
Innovis (800) 540-2505
Note: Keep your unfreeze PIN(s) in a folder in a safe place, so that when and if you need to undo the freeze, the process is simple.
Check bank and credit card statements.
Look for any unauthorized activity.
Sign up for free credit monitoring offered by Equifax.
Go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to enroll in TrustedIDPremier - one year of free credit-file monitoring and identity-theft protection.
Note: Due to the large volume, after initially entering your information, you will be given an enrollment date to go back to the website to sign up. Mark this on your calendar as you will not be sent a reminder.
Identity Theft Resource Center.
If you believe you have been a victim of identity theft, go to www.idtheftcenter.org, or call (888) 400-5530 for advice. All services are free.
Some additional resources:
Townsend Asset Management Corp. is a Registered Investment Advisor located in Raleigh, North Carolina.