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Equifax data breach
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Contributors to this thread:
Pat Lefemine 08-Sep-17
Woods Walker 08-Sep-17
Woods Walker 08-Sep-17
K Cummings 08-Sep-17
Woods Walker 08-Sep-17
K Cummings 08-Sep-17
bigswivle 08-Sep-17
gflight 08-Sep-17
Pat Lefemine 08-Sep-17
Woods Walker 08-Sep-17
K Cummings 08-Sep-17
Whitey 08-Sep-17
gflight 08-Sep-17
Pat Lefemine 08-Sep-17
Ace 08-Sep-17
K Cummings 08-Sep-17
bad karma 08-Sep-17
JTV2 08-Sep-17
freeglee 08-Sep-17
Keith 08-Sep-17
Salagi 08-Sep-17
Bob H in NH 11-Sep-17
HDE 11-Sep-17
From: Pat Lefemine
08-Sep-17

Pat Lefemine's Link
If you haven't heard, one of the three credit bureaus got popped. Worst data breach ever with 143 million victims. Highly likely you are a victim. Both my wife and I were on the list.

Hit the link to see if you are on the list. This is really, really bad and will make ID Theft and Fraud even worse - if that was even possible.

From: Woods Walker
08-Sep-17
Pat: I tried that link and provided them the info they wanted and all it said was that my info "may have" been compromised, so I really don't know any more than I did before. Did I not do it right?

From: Woods Walker
08-Sep-17
I also see that they want you to enroll in yet another "secure" plan they are offering for free (for now). Are they serious???? At this point in time, seeing as almost HALF the population of the United States has been compromised, I'd say trusting Equifax is about like trusting Mexican tap water.

From: K Cummings
08-Sep-17
My wife and I are on the list of "may haves" also Pat. I was given a date to enroll in the identity protection plan. I wonder why I can't just do it now?

KPC

From: Woods Walker
08-Sep-17
And why would you trust them???

From: K Cummings
08-Sep-17
What's the alternative?

If my ss number is out there, I want to know if anything is applied for.

KPC

From: bigswivle
08-Sep-17
Me and my wife are lifelock members. Has helped a couple times.

From: gflight
08-Sep-17
If everyone enrolls at once it will probably crash the server. The service will let you know if anyone tampers with your stuff. Your stuff is out there anyway so it can only help.

Thanks Pat...

From: Pat Lefemine
08-Sep-17
If you don't already know - my career is cybersecurity.

Anyway, the three credit bureaus control your ability to get credit, they already have a your financial history and buying power. They have everything on you already - so there is no sense worrying about giving them your information as requested to participate in their free credit monitoring offer.

Some people have asked me: "If they already have my data, why are they asking for it again?" And it's a good question. They could easily just enroll you automatically. But they won't. The answer is simple. They are hoping you don't take them up on their free offer for a monitoring package. Every person that opts in, costs them money. So they are making you go out of your way to sign up because by doing so, only a subset of those affected actually use their service.

One unique thing I saw is their free credit monitoring service includes locking your SSN with equifax. This is something we (cybersecurity people) already have enabled, but they are offering it to you free, so you would be wise to take them up on it.

I think the response that you 'May have been a victim' is wordplay. They are required to notify and provide credit monitoring when there is evidence of a breach, but no clear evidence the data was copied or compromised. It's like saying someone may have stolen something from you but all they really know is a robber entered your home. So rather than speaking in the definitive - they word things so they are ambiguous. It's common. For all practicable purposes, "may" means "is" so just go with that.

Hope this helps.

From: Woods Walker
08-Sep-17
Thanks Pat.

From: K Cummings
08-Sep-17
Pat:

Can you explain the "locking you SSN" thing please?

KPC

From: Whitey
08-Sep-17
Locking SSN means no one can establish a new credit account with that SSN. You have to go through a locking and unlocking process that verifies its you to open a new account.

From: gflight
08-Sep-17

gflight's Link
Another viewpoint....

"Sharp-eyed social media users have combed through the data breach site's fine print — and have found what they argue is a red flag. Buried in the terms of service is language that bars those who enroll in the Equifax checker program from participating in any class-action lawsuits that may arise from the incident. Here's the relevant passage of the terms of service:

AGREEMENT TO RESOLVE ALL DISPUTES BY BINDING INDIVIDUAL ARBITRATION. PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE SECTION CAREFULLY BECAUSE IT AFFECTS YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS BY REQUIRING ARBITRATION OF DISPUTES (EXCEPT AS SET FORTH BELOW) AND A WAIVER OF THE ABILITY TO BRING OR PARTICIPATE IN A CLASS ACTION, CLASS ARBITRATION, OR OTHER REPRESENTATIVE ACTION. ARBITRATION PROVIDES A QUICK AND COST EFFECTIVE MECHANISM FOR RESOLVING DISPUTES, BUT YOU SHOULD BE AWARE THAT IT ALSO LIMITS YOUR RIGHTS TO DISCOVERY AND APPEAL."

More at link.

From: Pat Lefemine
08-Sep-17
Whitey is spot on.

I can elaborate some. You can request this service from any of the 3 credit bureaus. Some states have mandated this to be free for their residents, others you have to pay a fee for this service unless you have a police report proving you are a victim of Identity theft.

So bad guy gets your SSN and tries to establish credit in his name, or through a money mule, and when the SSN gets submitted by the creditor it is stopped - because you locked it. There is a notification process for you to unlock it but that goes back to your phone - which the bad guy does not have. Obviously, you would say NO. So you effectively prevent ID theft using your SSN. The bad guys throws away your SSN and moves on to an easier target.

Brilliant and simple step that nobody ever takes advantage of. It is being offered free by equifax if you are part of this breach.

From: Ace
08-Sep-17

I'm hoping that the guy who buys my information on the Dark Web improves my credit score some.

Reminds me of the old joke. One guy says to another, "Somebody stole our credit card". Other guy says: "Did you report it to the police?" First guy replies: "Nah, he spends less than my wife."

From: K Cummings
08-Sep-17
Thanks Pat.

Is there any downside to locking ones ssn, and do you have to lock it with all the credit rating agencies or does one cover all?

gflight: FWIW, many would prefer individual arbitration to a class action lawsuit.

KPC

From: bad karma
08-Sep-17
Thanks, Pat, Whitey and others.

WRT the arbitration clause, you already are under several. If you have a problem with securities, you arbitrate with a SEC arbitrator. Car rental agreements go to arbitration. One I recall has all arbitrations in Phoenix, AZ under the laws of the state of Arizona. Such clauses are common.

Businesses like them because litigation is expensive. Arbitration, with a retired judge, can be faster and cheaper even after paying the cost of the judge.

That works for both sides. A civil lawsuit is not cheap. Spending $50-$100k on legal fees and years to get to hearing isn't for everyone or every problem.

From: JTV2
08-Sep-17
Ace, I'm with you, pity the SOB that tries stuff with my info ... they ain't getting crap ... lol

From: freeglee
08-Sep-17
Sales Pitch!!!

Only Gullible Chumps need apply!!!

From: Keith
08-Sep-17
I locked with the 3 CC agency's a few years ago when the USPS returned my opened tax return envelope, sans my federal tax returns. All my information was in there. I changed my bank account because I wrote a personal check to cover my taxes, and filed a police report, just in case. I refiled and was late filing taxes that year, but the IRS waived most of the fees because it was my first time being late. It is a nominal cost to lock the accounts, and I have code numbers that I placed in a safe deposit box for when I need to unlock the accounts, if and when I need to apply for credit. I looked into lifelock, but locking the accounts on your own made more sense to me.

The way I have it set up now, it's a pain to unlock any of the accounts, and I believe there is a small charge to unlock the account but it keeps me from opening up any extra credit cards. The only real draw back is when a store offers a deal if you open a store credit card, I end up passing on it because of the hassle of unlocking the accounts,

From: Salagi
08-Sep-17
I got a probably not compromised answer when I tried Pat's thread.

Doesn't surprise me, someone stole my ID once. After they looked it over they sent me a hundred dollars and said they'd pray for me. ;)

From: Bob H in NH
11-Sep-17
My understanding on this is systems like lifelock catch the theft after it happens and help you clean up the mess.

Locking the SSN, called a credit freeze, needs to be done with each individual credit reporting agency. Vendors (car dealers, banks, etc) will call one of the big three, you need that one locked. So to be safe, you freeze all 3. It might cost a bit and you have to do it each time you freeze it. So if you are "frozen" and then go to buy a car, you have to unfreeze whichever vendor that financing will use, then you re-freeze it, which might cost again.

From: HDE
11-Sep-17
Mine says was not compromised.

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