Credit reporting agency Equifax announced in early Sept. the discovery of a cybersecurity incident. This involves a data breach of confidential information such as birthdates and Social Security Numbers that could affect 143 million U.S. consumers. We understand you may be concerned and have questions.
Equifax has informed us that no data WSECU provides to them has been impacted or compromised by the cybersecurity attack. However, we still encourage you to see if your information was included in the breach since the credit reporting agencies have relationships with many other institutions and industries including rental housing, cell phone companies, insurance companies and more.
Equifax has established a website with a simple way to check if your information is part of the breach by entering your name and last six digits of your social security number. The company is offering free enrollment for one year of ID theft and credit monitoring. This service is available to consumers regardless of whether the company thinks your personal information was included in the breach. These kinds of services can provide some support to help monitor your accounts and data, though they do not cover all eventualities. Equifax has confirmed that despite earlier reports, you do not waive rights to pursue legal action against the company for this incident by accepting the credit monitoring service.
So, what can you do?
- Use the Equifax site to check if your information was included in the breach and decide if you want to take advantage of the fraud monitoring service after you have reviewed the offer.
- Keep a close eye on your accounts and report any unusual account activity to our Contact Center and the other financial institutions you use.
- Some members may want to consider what's called a credit freeze. Taking this step means that your credit is frozen and lenders are unable to extend an offer of credit without you lifting the freeze with a PIN. This step can be an inconvenience so it's important you fully understand if a credit freeze is right for your situation. Learn more about credit freezes and this particular breach on the Federal Trade Commission's website.
We know it's concerning when these situations arise and we'll do our best to continue to educate you about your options and the potential impact.