You may have heard about the recent Equifax Data Breach that has potentially affected 143 million Americans. Here at Flat Branch Home Loans, we understand that applying for credit reports is an integral part of the application process when purchasing a home loan. Therefore, our consumers may be at risk. We intend to keep you informed when crises like this happen. We have some helpful steps to find out if your information was hacked, as well as tips to keep you protected in the future.
If you have a mortgage, applied for one, or had your credit pulled, then you may be one of the 143 million American consumers whose personal information was breached due to hackers during mid-May to July. Sensitive information like people’s names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, addresses, and even driver's license numbers were breached during the act. It has been reported that credit card numbers and dispute documents were also stolen. The first step is to visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to find out if your information was potentially compromised by the hack. Once you’ve accessed this link on a secure computer, click “potential impact” at the top and carefully follow the directions that follow thereafter.
Here are some other quick tips to help protect yourself:
- Enroll in Equifax’s free identity theft protection. Equifax is offering free one-year identity theft protection and credit file monitoring for all US consumers.
- Check your credit report. Equifax is one of the three major credit reporting agencies. Visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com to check for any unusual accounts or activity in your name.
- Consider placing a fraud alert on your report. A fraud alert notifies creditors that you may be at risk of identity theft and to identify with you when seeking credit on your accounts.
- Continue to monitor your existing bank accounts. This will help with easily recognizing purchases or withdrawals you’re not familiar with.
For more information on the Equifax security breach and other valuable tips, please visit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do and https://www.equifax.com/personal/.