Identity Theft: Dealing With A Data Breach
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Equifax Credit Team
If you are a victim of a data breach, it does not necessarily mean that you are or will become a victim of identity theft. However, Equifax recommends that you take the following four steps as soon as possible to protect your personal information from misuse.
The basics of fraud alerts and security freezes:
2. Close accounts. Contact the appropriate creditors, banks, phone companies, and utility companies to close any accounts associated with the breached company, as well as any accounts that you know have or believe have been compromised or opened fraudulently.
3. Monitor your credit report. Credit monitoring enables you to watch your credit account activity and protect your identity during a period of time when you may be more vulnerable to identity theft. Some breached organizations offer free credit monitoring services to affected consumers for a limited time; if you receive a letter that offers free monitoring, take advantage of it before the offer expires.
Monitoring products typically charge a monthly fee and include these core product features:
Consumers can also obtain a free annual credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies at www.annualcreditreport.com.
4. Stay alert. Identity thieves may not use your personal information right away—sometimes they can take up to a year or more. To stay on top of the situation, continue to monitor your credit reports regularly, and read your financial account statements promptly and carefully.
Watch for signs of identity theft like:
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