Half the US population may be affected by the hacking of credit reporting agency Equifax. I’m in that group along with 143 million other Americans.
Stolen were names, addresses, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers. Some credit card numbers were also lifted. Everything an identity thief needs to ruin your financial life.
Equifax is offering a year of free credit file monitoring to all US consumers. The wrinkle is that you need a reservation to enroll. Mine is five days from now.
You must enroll before November 21, 2017.
So, relief is not immediate. And since the break-in took place as much as 4 months ago, damage may already have been done. And once this information is loose in the world, your exposure will persist for years.
More importantly, signing up for the credit file monitoring waives your right to participate in any class action filed as a result of the data breach.
More on alternative approaches to problem.
What to do
Get a copy of your credit report for free from annualcreditreport.com.
Review carefully your credit card statements and bank activity for transactions you can’t identify.
Spotting identity theft- tips from the CFPB
Spread the word. I’m starting with my 89 year old mother who would otherwise struggle figuring out that she’s at risk.
Scam alert: the warrant for your arrest