Lowcountry families may be affected by Equifax breach

Lowcountry families may be affected by Equifax breach

One of the three major US credit bureaus, Equifax, has been hacked, and they say that that means that an estimated 143 million USA consumers have now been exposed to the threat of identity theft.

-Check the Equifax website under "Potential Impact" to see if you've been compromised.

At the Equifax web portal, people have to enter their last name and the last six digits of their Social Security number to find out if their information was involved. Initially the company's credit monitoring did have a cost. This is especially important if you've confirmed you're a victim of identity theft. Schmidt's office says an investigation is underway but does recommend Kansans check their credit reports and even consider placing a freeze on their credit.

"The second thing you really need to do is to start monitoring your credit more".

Check your credit reports from the three major credit reporting agencies: Visit annualcreditreport.com to check your credit reports for free to check for suspicious activity; each credit reporting agency must give you a free copy once a year.

Experts said if you have been impacted by identity theft, you need to close any accounts that have been tampered with immediately.

More news: Iraqi parliament removes Kurdish governor of Kirkuk

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was among many state and federal leaders who argued, "The victims of this breach shouldn't also have to worry that they've waived their legal rights simply because they were trying to protect themselves".

Pay extra attention to your bank statements, credit card statements, and even medical or insurance bills to see if any unknown or unusual charges appear. That means that if you're in the market for a home or new vehicle, a credit freeze can be quite the headache.

Equifax says on its website that the breach, which it discovered internally in late-July and announced to the public last week, was the result of hackers exploiting a vulnerability in a website application called Apache Struts.

You can temporarily lift the freeze for a creditor if you know which reporting agency they're using.

They'll offer for you to enroll in a credit protection service for free, but that service is through a subsidiary of Equifax - the company that botched your info in the first place.

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