Consumer Alert: How to Protect Yourself from the Equifax Data Breach

September 13, 2017 – Massachusetts’ Attorney General Maura Healey has launched an investigation into a major data breach at Equifax to determine whether the company used proper safeguards to protect consumer information. In July, hackers accessed confidential consumer information, such as Social Security numbers, addresses, birth dates and driver’s license numbers. The data breach potentially affects 143 million consumers nationwide, with nearly three million Massachusetts residents at risk.

Equifax has set up a phone line – 866-447-7559 – as well as a website, for consumers may have questions about this breach or want to check the status of their information.  If you do not want to sign-up for free credit-checking and fraud protection through Equifax, here are some other ways you can protect your identity from hackers:

  1. Freeze your credit files to make it harder for hackers to open an account in your name.
  2. Check – and continue to check – your credit reports by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Keep a look out for accounts or activity you do not recognize.
  3. File your taxes early before scammers get the chance to. Try and respond to letters from the IRS right away and do not believe callers who threaten you will be arrested unless you pay taxes or debt.

If you believe you are the victim of identity theft and that your information may have been compromised, click here. More information on how to protect your identity can be found at https://www.identitytheft.gov/.