I’m sure you’ve probably heard by now, but Equifax has had a major security breach.
I mean when I say it was huge, I’m not exaggerating. As many as 143 million Americans have had their personal information compromised. Which, gasp, includes social security numbers.
You could be on the list and to check to see if you are – go to https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/potential-impact/, which is their breach security checker.
Keep an eye on your statements
I have been guilty of not paying attention to my credit card statements or not opening mail, but please do not do this.
There may be unauthorized charges you may not have been aware of or worse, accounts opened in your name without your permission.
I remember how someone had gotten their utilities opened in my mom’s name, which was after she had been living in another state for years. She only became aware of this when the electric company came looking for her to pay.
As soon as you receive your statements, go through them. If you see a charge, contact your credit card provider as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it becomes to deal with.
Pull Your Credit Report
You can get a free copy of your credit report through Annualcreditreport.com from all three major bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). Report any accounts that have been opened without your consent.
In addition, look to see if your credit was pulled. If so, contact the company and make sure no account was opened using your name and social security number.
Place a Freeze on Your Credit
If you’re a little apprehensive about someone opening credit in your name, then, by all means, put a hold on your credit. This may be a hassle when trying to apply for credit, but it’s one that is worth it.
Just remember to contact all three bureaus to initiate a freeze, which depending on your state may have a fee associated with it.