Last week, Americans learned their personal, financial and credit information was placed in jeopardy when criminals broke into databases storing that vital information at Equifax. The stolen records include names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers and more.
Given the severity of this data breach, there are important steps you should take to protect yourself against fraud. At the outset:
• Place a free 90-day Fraud Alert with Equifax, TransUnion or Experian. When you place a 90-day Fraud Alert at any one of those three, it will automatically be placed at the other two.
• Place a free 90-day Fraud Alert at Innovis. Innovis, generally referred to as the “fourth credit-reporting agency,” does not interact with the other three agencies.
Because the credit-reporting agencies may try to steer you to products they sell instead of a 90-day Fraud Alert, here are the phone numbers and web addresses you can use to go directly to the Fraud Alert resources:
Equifax: 888-766-0008 or http://www.alerts.equifax.com
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TransUnion: 800-680-7289 or fraud.transunion.com/fa/fraudAlert
Experian: 888-397-3742 (press 2; 1; 2; 1) or http://www.experian.com/ncaconline/fraudalert
Innovis: 800-540-2505 or http://www.innovis.com/personal/fraudActiveDutyAlerts
Next, go to annualcreditreport.com and obtain a free copy of your credit report from Equifax, TransUnion or Experian.
You are entitled to one free credit report every year from each credit-reporting agency. By rotating through all four credit-reporting agencies (Innovis also provides an annual free credit report at innovis.com), you…
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