'Somebody needs to go to jail' after Equifax data breach, Heitkamp says

Gladys Abbott
September 13, 2017

Equifax has proven it can not protect individuals' key personal and financial information.

Indianapolis, In. - The top consumer advocate In IN says up to 3.8 million Hoosiers had personal information compromised In the Equifax data breach.

Additionally, credit card numbers for about 209,000 people were exposed, as was "personal identifying information" on roughly 182,000 customers involved in credit report disputes.

Additionally, consider freezing your credit report so companies you already do business with are the only ones who have access.

Just recently, Target agreed to payout over $39 million to settle litigation with banks and another $18.5 with consumers over a 2013 breach that exposed 40 million credit and debit cards and the personal information of about 60 million customers.

"Ask your credit card issuer to give you a new credit card number".

Credit monitoring and fraud protection are also good ideas because in addition to all of your personal information, Equifax also failed to protect your credit card information. An emailed statement from the credit-monitoring agency said the executives "had no knowledge" of the breach beforehand.

To enroll, go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and click on the Check Potential Impact tab. Following a tip I saw on the Twitter account of Zack Whittacker, security editor for ZDNet at CBS, I entered the numbers as "123456" and the last name as "Test".

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The reporting agencies tell you that this may delay a legitimate credit request. More than 80 percent of all breaches take place in industries other than those signing the letter.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, an independent agency that reports to Parliament, said in a statement posted on its website on Tuesday that it had advised Equifax to alert affected Canadians as soon as possible.

Partly, I'm bitter. A decade ago, I fell victim to identity theft and a Seattle hacker with a bit of an online shopping addiction. The credit bureaus will tell you it is all created to make these transactions smoother, quicker and more efficient for both parties involved. This information is exactly the information that we rely on to verify someone's identity. It will last for 90 days and can be renewed. Many have made a decision to take precautions and put their credit on ice: a credit freeze. If someone else goes to take out a loan in your name, the lender will not be able to pull your report and therefore can not extend the credit.

∙ Do NOT provide personal information over the telephone to someone who contacts you that claims to be from a government agency or a financial institution. Fees to freeze your account vary by state, but commonly range from $5 to $10.

With millions of people feeling vulnerable after the hack and scrambling to secure their most important information, getting a credit freeze has been more hard than usual in the past few days.

If you have more questions for Equifax, the company has set up a designated call center at 866-447-7559.

The Federal Trade Commission's website, www.ftc.gov/idtheft, also offers information about how to protect yourself against fraud.

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