Equifax Data Breach
Posted on: September 8th, 2017
On September 7th, Equifax confirmed a data breach that may have affected approximately 143 million Americans. Equifax is one of three nationwide credit reporting agencies. If you have a credit report, your sensitive personal information may have been exposed.
According to Equifax, the breach lasted from mid-May through July. The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people. Hackers also accessed information of people in the United Kingdom and Canada, although Equifax isn’t reporting how many.
How can I protect myself?
Here are some steps you can take to help protect yourself after this data breach:
- Visit Equifax’s website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, or call Equifax at 866-447-7559. On the website, you can find out if your information was exposed by clicking on the “Potential Impact” tab and enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. Your Social Security number is sensitive information, so make sure you’re on a secure computer and an encrypted network connection any time you enter it. The site will tell you if you’ve been affected by this breach.
- Consider signing up for an identity theft monitoring service. There are many services available that can help secure your identity. Equifax is offering consumers one year of identity theft protection and credit file monitoring services. Additional information is available at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/enroll/.
- Check your credit report for free by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft.
- Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely for charges you don’t recognize.
- You may consider placing a fraud alert or credit freeze on your files. A fraud alert warns creditors that you might be a victim of identity theft. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open new accounts in your name. To learn more about fraud alerts and credit freezes, visit the Federal Trade Commission website at https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/blogs/business-blog/2017/09/fraud-alerts-vs-credit-freezes-ftc-faqs?utm_source=govdelivery.
- Watch out for email phishing attacks. Data breaches often generate phishing attempts in which thieves pose as the affected company to trick you into giving up your personal information.
Clear Mountain Bank has fraud security in place and we are monitoring the situation closely. Even though we have fraud monitoring security in place, we strongly encourage Clear Mountain Bank customers to monitor their accounts and credit card activity:
- To monitor your account activity, please go to www.clearmountainbank.com and log in to your Online Banking account, or monitor your activity within Clear Mountain Bank’s mobile banking app.
- To monitor Clear Mountain Bank Credit Card activity, please go to www.mycardstatement.com and log in to your account.
If you notice any fraudulent activity on a Clear Mountain Bank account, please report it as soon as possible by calling your local Clear Mountain Bank branch, or call (304) 379-2265. Additional information on the Equifax data breach is available from the Federal Trade Commission at this website: