What Equifax is telling Canadians about the data hack

Kristopher Drake
September 17, 2017

"They can take out a mortgage, file tax refunds, file Social Security benefits, you name it, they can take all your benefits away", says cyber security expert Avivah Litan. Cybercriminals stole consumers' Social Security numbers, names, birth dates, addresses and driver's license numbers.

Investigation into the data breach, which compromised the personal information of up to 143 million people, is being handled by the Federal Trade Commission. The contacted credit reporting bureau will subsequently notify the other two bureaus and place an alert on your behalf.

"If you believe that your personal information was acquired during this data breach, it does not necessarily mean your information will be used", CPD said. Here's how you can protect yourself by initiating a credit freeze.

If the message saying your information has been compromised comes up, what do you do? Every 12 months, you can request a copy of your credit report-for free-from each of the three major credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion).

We're getting reports that Equifax's security freeze website isn't able to process freezes during this time when so many Americans are anxious about identity theft. That prohibits a credit reporting agency from releasing any information from your credit report without written authorization and makes it harder for an identity thief to access credit in your name.

"Step number one - go to equifaxsecurity2017.com and I know that sounds insane because this is the place where you had your information taken, but you have to begin the process in a methodical way".

Promptly report this to the account provider.Having a credit application denied when there is no reason to believe there is a problem with the credit history.

Rafael Flores says he first found out about the security breach on the news.

"After the 2015 breach of (the Office of) Personnel Management put information of government employees and members of Congress at risk, Congress passed 10 years of free credit monitoring", Brown said. "So, that's a lot of people affected by this".

Credit bureau staff will review your report with you.

Equifax responded Wednesday to the arbitration clause issue, asserting that mandatory arbitration "will not apply to the free products offered in response to the cybersecurity incident or for claims related to the cybersecurity incident itself". You can check your credit reports at www.annualcreditreport.com for unauthorized charges or other signs of fraud. Alerts force credits to verify you're really you before extending credit.

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