Equifax Hack… What Should You Do?
By now you have likely heard about the cybersecurity breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies, in which 143 million American consumers’ personal information was compromised.
This data breach does not directly affect your accounts managed by Boyer & Corporon Wealth Management (BCWM). However, your personal and virtual safety is of the utmost concern to us. If you feel you have been the victim of identity theft, call your advisor at BCWM so that we can work with you to help minimize the impact of cybercrime.
What can you do to help prevent against identity theft?
One of the most effective ways is to place a “security freeze” on your credit report at each of the three main credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
A credit freeze is designed to prevent new credit, loans and services from being approved in your name. Existing credit cards and other loans will not be affected. Although a freeze could be helpful in preventing fraudulent inquiries to your credit, a freeze could also prove to be an annoyance for you. For example, if you wanted to finance a new car purchase, you would first need to contact each credit agency and unfreeze your credit so the lender could pull your credit report. Once the car loan process is complete, you would need to re-freeze your credit.
Depending on the laws in your state, there may be a $5-$10 charge each time you freeze/unfreeze your credit. Below is a direct phone number for each of the three major credit rating agencies. However, you can also implement these freezes online.
- Equifax – www.equifax.com. 1-800-685-1111
- Experian – www.experian.com. 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
- TransUnion – www.transunion.com. 1-800-916-8800
Regarding the credit cards you currently have in place, security experts recommend you keep a watchful eye on the purchases made as often as you can. Many credit card companies have a program in place that calls you in the event your card is used in a city other than the one in which you live.
The breach that occurred at Equifax, while widespread and daunting, has no effect on the assets held at our custodian, Charles Schwab.
Click here to learn what Charles Schwab does to protect your assets and additional steps you can take to add extra layers of security.
As always, contact your BCWM team with further questions.