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How to find out if you're affected by the Equifax hack

13 September 2017

It gets its data - without you even knowing - from credit card companies, banks, retailers, and lenders. There are a lot of services like Lifelock or Identity Guard that will do that work for you. Equifax now says that's not the case anymore. President and CEO of itSynergy, Michael Cocanower, says the long term benefit far outweighs being able to take part in a potential class action lawsuit. But you can opt out of that provision if you notify the company in writing within 30 days. Using the "freeze" option does not protect your personal information but will protect your credit if someone tries to access it. You can request a copy of your credit report online at www.annualcreditreport.com. He says it's a good idea to freeze your credit immediately. There are several different ways of calculating and reporting credit scores, but each of the three bureaus has the same goal of providing an accurate reflection of a borrower's credit history. If you believe you've been a victim of identity theft, you should also contact law enforcement. Is there another story you'd like us to VERIFY?

Once a month itSynergy has a 15-minute, free webinar so you can learn about the latest trends and how to protect yourself. Some lenders report information to all three bureaus, while others report to just one or two. Start with putting a freeze on your credit.

"Regardless of whether you're affected or not, I recommend freezing your credit report". If someone else goes to take out a loan in your name, the lender will not be able to pull your report and therefore can not extend the credit. Fees to freeze your account vary by state, but commonly range from $5 to $10.

"I am extremely concerned about the Equifax data breach that exposed almost 5 million North Carolinians' personal data", said Attorney General Josh Stein.

The Federal Trade Commission's website, www.ftc.gov/idtheft, also offers information about how to protect yourself against fraud.

As the magnitude of the Equifax hack sinks in, more people are realizing they've been victimized and cyber security specialists are being inundated with calls and questions about what to do next.

How to find out if you're affected by the Equifax hack