Not hit by Equifax data breach? Better check again

DETROIT, MICH - Did you check the Equifax website a few weeks ago and thank your lucky stars after you discovered that your personal information wasn't compromised?

Maybe you're not so fortunate, after all. You might want to check the Equifax site again — at www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.

Equifax said it would update its site "no later than Oct. 8" to reflect the additional consumers who are potentially at risk. Equifax recently bumped up its number by 2.5 million consumers. Now hackers might have had access to information regarding 145.5 million people.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said Monday that almost 80,000 additional Michigan residents were impacted by the data breach than originally thought. Overall, more than 4.6 million Michigan consumers have been hit by the Equifax breach.

Equifax has promised to send a notice by direct mail to the most recently identified consumers whose information was part of the breach.

Other new developments: Equifax has agreed to extend its deadline to sign up for free services to Jan. 31. Originally, that deadline was Nov. 21. But Schuette and other state attorneys general voiced concern about that early cut off date.

In response to the breach, the consumer protection team at the Michigan Attorney General's Office has also released a new alert called “Credit Freeze; Fraud Alert & Credit Monitoring.” See www.michigan.gov/ag.

Atlanta-based Equifax said it had to boost the number of impacted consumers after it worked with a cyber security firm to "conduct a complex and time-consuming investigation."

"The investigation is now complete, and these are the final numbers that will be reported," Equifax said.

The information accessed by hackers includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers.

Criminals also accessed credit card numbers for nearly 209,000 U.S. consumers. About 182,0000 U.S. consumers also were impacted after hackers accessed certain documents that were involved in disputes about information with the credit reporting agency.

Some consumers in Canada and the United Kingdom also were impacted.

Equifax is offering one year of free identity theft protection and credit file monitoring to all U.S. consumers, even if they are not impacted by this incident.

Equifax is offering its TrustedID Premier product, which includes credit monitoring of your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit reports; copies of your Equifax credit report; the ability to lock and unlock your Equifax credit report; identity theft insurance, and Internet scanning for your Social Security number.

Enrollment in TrustedID Premier is only available for consumers with a U.S. Social Security number.

Contact Susan Tompor: stompor@freepress.com or 313-222-8876. Follow her on Twitter @Tompor.

Detroit Free Press


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