I’ve been hearing about the Equifax breach in the news. What happened?
As you may well be aware, Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus, experienced a massive data breach that could impact as many as 143 million people. You can view Equifax’s statements and status updates here (opens a dialog) (opens in a new window) .
This was not a breach of any Tri Counties Bank system, but we are aware this Equifax incident may concern you.
Through Equifax, the hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people. Equifax plans to notify you if your credit card information was stolen.
Was my personal information stolen?
Go to this special Equifax website (opens a dialog) (opens in a new window) set up by Equifax to find out if your information may have been stolen. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Potential Impact,” enter some personal information and the site will tell you if you’ve been affected. Be sure you’re on a secure network (not public wi-fi) when you submit sensitive data over the internet.
How can I protect myself?
Use IDProtect®, automatically included with some Tri Counties Bank personal checking accounts.
If you have Trico Premier or Trico Bonus Checking, IDProtect® services are already included with your account if you have registered.
Enroll in Equifax’s services.
Equifax is offering one year of free credit monitoring and other services, whether or not your information was exposed. You can sign up at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/ (opens a dialog) (opens in a new window). Be sure to read all of the terms of this service. Tri Counties Bank does not endorse this product and this information is only provided to educate our customers on one of the various methods they can use to protect their personal information.
Monitor your credit reports.
In addition, you can order a free copy of your credit report from all three of the credit reporting agencies at annualcreditreport.com (opens a dialog) (opens in a new window) . You are entitled to one free report from each of the credit bureaus once per year.
Monitor your bank accounts.
We also encourage you to monitor your financial accounts regularly for fraudulent transactions. Use online and mobile banking to keep a close eye on your accounts.
Watch out for scams related to the breach.
Do not trust e-mails that appear to come from Equifax regarding the breach. Attackers are likely to take advantage of the situation and craft sophisticated phishing e-mails.
Learn more about protecting you bank accounts.
Learn more about security protection at the Tri Counties Bank website links below.
Should I place a credit freeze on my credit files or perhaps a fraud alert?
You may consider placing a credit freeze. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. If you place a freeze, you'll have to lift the freeze before you apply for a new credit card or cell phone - or any service that requires a credit check. Fees may apply.
Before deciding to place a credit freeze on your accounts, consider your personal situation. If you might be applying for credit soon or think you might need quick credit in an emergency, you may prefer to simply place a fraud alert on your files with the three major credit bureaus. A fraud alert puts a red flag on your credit report which requires businesses to take additional steps, such as contacting you by phone before opening a new account. Learn more about fraud alerts here (opens a dialog) (opens in a new window) .
How do I contact the three major credit bureaus to place a freeze on my files?
Equifax: Call 800-349-9960 or visit its website (opens a dialog) (opens in a new window) .
Experian: Call 888-397-3742 or visit its website (opens a dialog) (opens in a new window) .
TransUnion: Call 888-909-8872 or visit its website (opens a dialog) (opens in a new window) .
Where can I get more information about the Equifax breach?
You can learn more directly from Equifax at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com (opens a dialog) (opens in a new window) /.
You can also learn more on the breach by visiting the Federal Trade Commission’s web page at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do (opens a dialog) (opens in a new window) .
To learn more about how to protect yourself after a breach, visit https://www.identitytheft.gov/Info-Lost-or-Stolen (opens a dialog) (opens in a new window) .