There is a good chance if you have a credit report that you are among the over 100 million American consumers whose social security numbers, birth dates, driver’s license numbers and addresses were compromised during the data breach at Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies. According to Equifax the breach occurred from mid-May through July. Even if you have never dealt with Equifax directly their servers are likely to contain your sensitive personal information.
This unprecedented data breach raises serious questions about the security of our personal information. We at Chesapeake Financial Advisors have always guarded your personal information and taken all precautions to assure that your financial information will not be compromised and for this reason we are recommending that you take a proactive approach.
The first thing that you should do is put a 90 day fraud alert on your credit reports, which is free. Call one of the agencies below and they are required by law to report it to the other two.
Experian (888) 397-3742
Equifax (866) 349-5191
TransUnion (800) 916-8800
To help protect your information from being misused visit Equifax’s website. To find out if your information may have been compromised click on the “Potential Impact” red box at the bottom left of the website. You will need to enter your last name and last 6 digits of your social security number. This site will tell you if you have potentially been affected by the breach and enables you to enroll in free identity theft protection and credit file monitoring. You must enroll in the service known as TrustID by November 21, 2017, to receive the protection. This will only cover Equifax so you must also enroll in similar programs with Experian and TransUnion.
Please call our offices if you need any help determining if you may have been exposed to the data breach.
Chesapeake Financial Advisors is a fee-only financial planning, investment advisory and tax planning firm with offices in Towson, Bel Air and Columbia, Maryland.