Equifax data breach and what you need to know.

Equifax is one of the three large credit bureaus in the United States. Financial institutions use credit bureau data to make credit decisions. On September 7th, Equifax announced that its systems were breached for 143 million Americans! This breach includes personally identifiable information such as Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses, etc.

Here are the steps MySherpa advises to take and protect yourself:

  1. Find out if this breach affects you. Equifax has set up www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to determine if you are impacted by the breach. According to Equifax, you will be asked to provide your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. If your data is breached, you will be enrolled in TrustedID credit monitoring.

    If your data is not breached, you will receive a message stating, “Your enrollment date for TrustedID Premier is: xx/xx/2017. Please be sure to mark your calendar as you will not receive additional reminders.”

  2. Check your credit reports. Look for new accounts that you did not open or activities that are unfamiliar. If you see suspicious or unfamiliar entries, then I recommend you immediately freeze your credit reports or sign up for a service like LifeLock to give yourself a power assist.

  3. Freezing your credit reports. Contact Equifax, Experian and Trans Union to request a freeze on your account. Freezing prevents all companies from accessing your credit information. It will, however, prevent other legitimate companies from seeing your credit. You can lift this freeze for those specific companies.

  4. To freeze your credit, contact each of the credit bureaus using these phone numbers:
    Equifax: 1-800-349-9960, Experian: 1‑888‑397‑3742, TransUnion: 1-888-909-8872

    When you freeze your credit, you (or anyone masquerading as you) will be required to un-freeze your account by providing the PIN you got when you froze your credit.

  5. I highly recommend, and personally use additional fraud protection. There are companies like LifeLock, EZ Shield, and Identity Guard provides benefits including credit monitoring, change verification, and dark web monitoring.

    Case in point, I recently had an experience where someone used my name and credentials to open up credit at Walmart. LifeLock immediately notified me there was a credit request, and asked me if I was familiar with the request. I responded, “no” and that automatically kicked off the process of rectifying the situation via a conference call with all three reporting bureaus.

    LifeLock knew what to say and who to speak with as they apparently have special contacts at the bureaus. This half-hour exercise was invaluable.

I’ve included additional resources for more detail:


Hope this helps and that you are not affected by this breach.

Greg Gurev
Head Sherpa