Alert: Equifax Data Breach
On September 7, 2017, Equifax, the credit reporting agency, announced that more than 140 million consumers could be affected by a data breach involving Equifax data. Equifax says that those affected could have had their social security numbers (SSNs), birth dates, and driver’s license information exposed.
Updates are posted below, as dated:
ID Theft Protection with your HFDFCU Debit MasterCard
Update on 09-19-2017: Honolulu Fire Department Federal Credit Union Debit MasterCards are included in a universal MasterCard service called MasterCard ID Theft Protection. If you have an HFDFCU Debit MasterCard, you can enroll in this MasterCard service, which provides these three key services:
- ID Theft Alerts
- Emergency Wallet Replacement
- Expert Resolution Services
There is no additional cost or recurring cost for this service and you can enroll or cancel at any time as long as you have an active HFDFCU Debit MasterCard. To enroll, visit the MasterCard ID Theft Protection home page. If you can’t see the link or would prefer to enter it on your own, enter: https://www.mastercard.us/en-us/consumers/payment-technologies/id-theft-protection.html
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FTC Warns Consumers About Callers Claiming to be from Equifax
Update on 09-18-2017: The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers to be wary of callers claiming to be from Equifax or other organizations promising to assist you with the Equifax breach. The full FTC article can be read here, but their main three tips to stay ahead of scammers are:
- Don’t give personal information. Don’t provide any personal or financial information unless you’ve initiated the call and it’s to a phone number you know is correct.
- Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers can spoof their numbers so it looks like they are calling from a particular company, even when they’re not.
- If you get a robocall, hang up. Don’t press 1 to speak to a live operator or any other key to take your number off the list. If you respond by pressing any number, it will probably just lead to more robocalls.
The Federal Trade Commission, a government agency, is set-up to assist consumers in many aspects of commerce throughout the country. For identity theft, the FTC has set-up a specific website and an extensive library of resources to assist consumers with preventing and dealing with identity theft. The FTC’s Identity Theft website is IdentityTheft.gov.
For the Federal Trade Commission’s full website, visit FTC.gov.
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Equifax Breach Update 2
Update on 09-08-2017: Consumer watchdogs have raised red flags about Equifax’s terms and conditions related to entering consumer information to determine if you’re affected by the Equifax data breach. Details of those concerns are detailed in this Washington Post article.
While Equifax has promised to provide identity theft monitoring service for anyone affected (subject to the terms that are in question, described above), Equifax is just one of the three major credit reporting agencies available to consumers. While Equifax will not be paying for identity theft monitoring service from these other credit reporting agencies or other services, consumers should also consider paying for their own monitoring, which are available.
The identity theft monitoring services available separately from the service Equifax is providing are:
- Click for details on: Experian Identity Theft Protection or call 866-541-6913
- Click for details on: TransUnion TrueIdentity Free Identity Protection
There are other third-party services offered by businesses not affiliated with credit reporting agencies. We encourage consumers to conduct research on those products before paying money or transmitting any personal information.
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Equifax Breach Update 1
Update on 09-07-2017: Honolulu Fire Department Federal Credit Union does not actively use Equifax in its current credit checks. However, this does not mean that credit union members would not be affected. Any consumer who has had their credit report reviewed by any other organization could potentially have interacted with an Equifax product. As a result, Equifax has said that all consumers that are affected by this will be mailed a physical letter from Equifax.
Equifax is offering resources immediately. However, consumers may want to wait until they receive a letter from Equifax before taking any drastic action. Equifax will be providing information on how to enroll in identity theft monitoring services and other resources related to protecting your identity. For additional information about these options, consumers should visit EquifaxSecurity2017.com or call 866-447-7559.
As the situation develops, the credit union will post updates.
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