AG Paxton issues consumer alert following Equifax data breach

16 September, 2017, 01:07 | Author: Laverne Higgins
  • Credit reporting company Equifax Inc. corporate offices are

Since Equifax announced the breach last week, the Attorney General's office has received a number of calls from concerned Arkansans - and hopes more will do the same.

While the Attorney General's office is taking steps of their own to find those responsible and protect from further incidents, consumers can and should educate themselves and take their own action, first and foremost by checking whether they were affected. Equifax is offering free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection to all USA consumers, available through the dedicated website. You have to place a freeze with each credit reporting agency - placing a freeze with one agency will not freeze your credit report with other agencies. Identity theft is when another individual uses another person's information to commit fraud or other crimes, most commonly to obtain access to credit in your name.

Their businesses are based on getting customer data from banks, which allows them to track things like whether you've been paying your mortgage, your credit card or auto loan. That means that if you're in the market for a home or new vehicle, a credit freeze can be quite the headache. The FTC told consumers not to tell callers any personal information, not to trust caller ID, and if consumers receive a robocall, hang up. You can get free credit reports each year by going to annualcreditreport.com.

"This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do", said Equifax Chairman and CEO Richard F. Smith. Look for unusual accounts or activities that may indicate identity theft.

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It could be days, weeks or even years before we see the fallout from the Equifax breach, so it is important that you not let your guard down from here on out.

Not receiving expected bills or account statements. After a breach, a scammer may commit tax identity theft by using your Social Security number to file a tax return and steal your tax refund.

"When someone calls you and pretends to be Equifax, or even your bank ... there's really some due diligence on the consumer", she said.

If you choose to freeze your credit to prevent someone else from opening new accounts in your name, the fee is $10 for Virginia residents and free for North Carolina residents.

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