At least two proposed class actions have been filed in Canada and many more in the US against Equifax in connection with the data breach.
Description: Credit monitoring services send an alert, usually via email or a mobile application, when anyone accesses your credit file for any goal. For most individuals, "new account fraud" is the most damaging type of fraud. The FTC site can guide you through the recovery process with a plan suited to your situation, including placement of fraud alerts and notification of the identity theft with the credit bureaus. The data snagged during the breach included names, addresses and birth dates as well as encrypted data containing Social Security and drivers license numbers. As products of regulation, Equifax and its fellow credit agencies have to meet only the requirements of the law, not the industry best practices, which have more than eclipsed the FCRA's 45-year-old standards.
Description: A security freeze prevents creditors from accessing your credit file and provides protection against unauthorized use of your identity. In Maine, freezing and unfreezing your credit report is free. The Department of Consumer Affairs also advises consumers to pull their credit report or look into trustworthy and reliable identity theft monitoring services.
So if you pick the freeze, freeze with all three credit bureaus.
Equifax is one of three major credit bureaus. Review the report for any errors or credit accounts you didn't open.
Remember, aside from debit card theft which comes with less protection than credit card misuse, any losses sustained from ID theft shouldn't come from your pocket.
After you successfully freeze your credit history in all three credit bureaus, each bureau will give you a pin number.
Only Prevents Unauthorized Attempts to Open New Accounts: Does not prevent unauthorized use of active accounts, such as credit cards.
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If you, like us, were affected by this hack and, your personal information was possibly accessed, there are a couple of options you have and some general advice that's worth taking. "They have the ability to perhaps even take over your current accounts, so it's going to be vital that you're actually reading your current statements on the accounts you already have", says Britt Scearce with the Emery Federal Credit Union.
Tax identity theft is harder to spot.
Retain Control Over Your Credit: Does not impact your ability to access your own credit.
May Not Provide Certainty: "Dark web" sites are constantly changing, so scanning services can not provide absolute assurance whether your data is being sold.
Thieves can file a fake return under your name before you do.
Potentially High Burden: Filing early may be inconvenient or infeasible for some taxpayers.
Neither a credit freeze nor a fraud alert affect your current accounts; they only concern the opening of new lines of credit.
"The security risk goes beyond the potential for identity and credit theft for almost half of the USA population: it also poses a possible national security threat, as personal information of governmental employees useful for cyberwarfare will be available on the Dark Web for years to come", Friedman and other lawyers said in a September 12 request to have the lawsuits consolidated before a federal judge in Atlanta.
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