In light of a data breach that may have impacted more than 143 million people, Better Business Bureau® of Central Oklahoma is offering advice to those concerned that their personal identifying information (PII) may have been compromised.
Equifax, one of the largest credit reporting agencies in America, announced September 7th that there was a “cybersecurity incident potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers.” The company has maintained there has been no evidence of unauthorized access to core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases, and that they will be offering free identity theft protection and credit monitoring to all U.S. consumers.
“PII includes name, address, Social Security number, date of birth, and other information that can be used for identity theft,” said Kitt Letcher, president and CEO of BBB. “After an initial breach consumers need to keep an eye on all their credit and banking information for any suspicious activity.”
Letcher explained that when a data breach happens, companies often set up separate websites with information for customers, but BBB recommends that consumers always go to a company’s main website first and follow links from there. Scammers often take advantage of data breaches and subsequent confusion to set up spoof websites and send phishing emails.
“We know that Equifax is directing consumers concerned that their information may have been compromised to a dedicated website (https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/) established to educate those potentially impacted about the risks,” Letcher said. She added that for consumers with additional questions, Equifax has established a dedicated call center. The call center is available at 866-447-7559, every day (including weekends) from 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m. Eastern time.
BBB has posted tips for those concerned that their PII has been compromised which is available at bbb.org/breach
Also for those interested in setting up a credit freeze and fraud alert monitoring they can find more information at bbb.org/creditfreeze