Off topic, but relevant to a caregiver's sanity: dealing with the Equifax hack.

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Someone kindly raised this issue in another context on another thread; I don't recall which one though, so I'm starting a new thread.

I've been doing some research on what we'll need to do to protect ourselves after the Equifax hack and their lack of diligence in addressing it, and am thinking about getting a credit monitoring service.

Does anyone use this, and if so, which one? How often do you get reports? Has the service ever notified you of hacks, or of fraudulent activity? What are the monthly costs? Do they require you to pre-authorize monthly charges?

I had a trial monitoring service several years ago but it didn't provide much, although presumably that would be good b/c it didn't notify me of any breaches.

What I'm really wondering is if anyone has ever been notified of a breach, of fraudulent activity, and if anyone's who's had a monitoring service finds it worthwhile. Or is it just a waste of money, playing on consumers' fears of credit being breached?


Also under "Frauds and Scams" topics.
About July, maybe sooner, I had put a "Security Freeze " on all of our accounts.
That is what I explain to others when discussing my accounting methods:
Intuitive Accounting. Lol.
There but for Grace, go I.
I've been following this story as apparently some Canadian accounts were effected too, and I'm dismayed at what I've learned. It seems that we Canadians can do little more than pull our blankets over our heads and hope for the best. According to the CBC
"Companies aren't yet required to report data breaches or disclose any information about such breaches. We are severely lagging behind many countries in this regard including the U.S. but leagues behind leaders like Europe."
"Americans can ask the four major credit bureaus including Equifax not to provide their information to anyone, which will stop anyone from trying to get a car loan or credit in their name if the financial institution or service provider requires a credit check.But that option really doesn't exist in Canada.
Some of the bureaus do allow you to flag your account requiring additional ID or someone to contact you to approve any new credit applications, which may be helpful, but not all have that option and it's not something that's easy to figure out."
Just put a freeze on your credit accounts at the three big reporting agencies for free. Then you will have to be contacted before anyone opens a new account in your name. So go to experiandotcom, equifaxdotcom, and transuniondot com. Each one has a place to sign up for a freeze. Don't pay anything for it - I believe Congress will step in soon to make sure we don't have to pay to watch out for hackers because of Equifax's stupidity. You can also go to creditkarmadotcom and get free credit reports each month. I've done it for over a year and it's great. Every month they email me and I check my two scores.
Thanks for all the suggestions and comments.

Blannie, requires acceptance of a shrink wrap TOS with liberal terms for it in use of my personal information, and given that it's already demonstrated its irresponsibility in mishandling the hack, I was reluctant to sign in online and agree to its restrictive terms. That's like opening the door for the fox to come in the henhouse.

I think what would be great and appropriate is a class action suit against Equifax. I might even do some research and contact some class action law firms in this area, but the bigger firms in NY and DC could easily handle this kind of suit and probably have better financial bases to fund that kind of suit.

So, you're pleased with Credit Karma? Just curious....when they e-mail you your reports, do they block out any identifying information (SS no., address, etc.) and just show the entries?
Send, following your suggestion, I found this article to be especially helpful:

That was a helpful article.

CWillie, I'm going to do some research to see how European companies handle data breaches. Unfortunately, I think that like global warming and more intense hurricanes, data breaches are going to be a part of life.

Chase was hacked as well sometime ago, but b/c of its high level security, the hackers got names but no account numbers. I don't know if the hackers ever did get anything out of that massive hack.

And it's not just us consumers. Foreign governments have been hacking the Federal government for years. I recall an interview with a law firm sometime back in the late '90s. The interviewer and I diverted from qualification issues and discussed when the law firm had been hacked, and its website Chinese.

I have to add that not all companies cooperate either. A major cell service provider refused to cooperate when some unknown thief began charging his/her cell bill to my father's account. When I reported it to the police to get a report so I could get a credit freeze, the detective said that this particular company was known for its refusal to cooperate in these kinds of situations.

The reason: the individual who was fraudulently charging his/her cell service was its customer and they prided themselves on protecting their customer's privacy. Apparently that extends to customers who commit fraud.

I cancelled my service with them b/c of that attitude.
Blannie.....appreciate your info BUT the cost for a credit freeze at any of the 3 major credit agencies is dictated by your state, not by the companies. You must, luckily, live in a state where it's free,  SC? state (MI) charges $10.....some states charge $40!!! (MA)....and that's for each freeze/company.....
Equifax has offered "free" credit monitoring (not clear if that includes credit freeze). I signed up 5 days the "thanks we've received your info and processing.....will send you email to complete process" screen.....5 days and email yet. Which means I cannot complete the process to freeze my account.
Experian was an online dream. Done in less than 2 minutes.
Trans Union forces you into signing up for their $20/month "credit monitoring" membership online. Try calling? Hahaha!.....Automated system Option #1: Equifax Hack: get a worthless lecture after which hang up!!! Option #2: Connect to a "person".....50 minutes on hold later, I hang up.
Total FUBAR . ..... and where are the "people's" representatives/protectors/legislators???? No doubt having a "lunch w/strings attached" w/ lobbyists for Equifax who spent $1.1ML last year lobbying Congress for fewer consumer protection fact, they were actively lobbying the day before this massive hack was announced publicly.
Fact is: It's all on keep vigilant, monitor accounts, etc....Good Luck to all.
Mina, thanks for your input as well. I'm still fantasizing about a massive class action suit in which all 143 million people, or more or less as may or may not eventually be revealed, are compensated from funds Equifax has amassed over the years.

But to spend $1.1 million to lobby, and to know that Equifax is still in business w/o really having addressed the seriousness of their irresponsibility - well, that REALLY irks me.

I just did some checking. Revenue in 2016 was $3.144 billion. That's enough to compensate those aggrieved by their irresponsibility and still pay a $10 bonus to the execs, which is more than they deserve.

Just found a Bloomberg article which if I read it correctly indicates there were 2 breaches of security, one in March, and another on July 29.

I'm feeling a little bit better about the potential repercussions from the stock market, the government, and perhaps just plain old deserving what they get, after reading the article, indicating that revelation of the first breach is being considered in conjunction with "a series of unusual stock sales by Equifax executives." The proverbial rats jumping ship???

Insider trading? The DOJ is starting a criminal investigation. Paraphrased from the Bloomberg article.

To read the full article, Google "Equifax stock", then click on the Bloomberg icon in the pictorial hits. Or Google: "Equifax Suffered a Hack Almost Five Months Earlier Than the Date It Disclosed".

I'm beginning to see a Ch. 11 filing after these potential insider trading issues hit the proverbial public fan, and as or after the DOJ investigates.
I thought I saw this on the news just recently that Equifax will provide free monitoring because of the breach...check their website...if not them maybe one of the other major players is doing it.
GA and blannie.....I just signed up this evening w/CreditKarma ..... easy peasy online. Lots of things I like about this company: * Their home page tells you right upfront about their sophisticated encryption program to protect your data and their website.....didn't see anything like that on any of the Big 3 credit agency sites! * Continues to be one of the best funded young (2007) startup companies * Very high reviews 4.5-4.9/5.0.....thanks blannie for your personal endorsement * You can set the individual parameters for notification. I left the defaults in place for now, i.e., "Notify me of bank withdrawals over $500" can be adjusted up or down as you prefer. * Love their confirmation email in which they remind you to never share passwords w/anyone....including them! * The service is FREE FOREVER! * They just announced on 9/15 that THEY would add Equifax credit score/monitoring to their free service totally showing up Equifax, those incompetent morons (I am still waiting for my email from Equifax just to complete my enrollment in their "free for 1 year" credit monitoring service.....6 days and counting).

Credit Karma monitors any activity thru Trans Union (the other problem child in my experience....see yesterday's post above) and now Equifax. I had already frozen my account at Experian ..... they sent me a confirmation and PIN if I want to unfreeze and they will have to notify me if anyone asks for my information.

Upon confirmation of my enrollment, immediately had credit scores (updated w/in last 19 hours) from both Equifax and Trans Union w/option to review full reports (haven't yet done that). So far very happy and feeling for the moment, a lot less stress.....

Did I's FREE.....forever??!!!

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