Equifax Breach Response

By: Alex Cramer on 19 September 2017

We know what you’re thinking: another day, another data breach…

This one’s a biggie though, and it should prompt you to take a couple of quick steps to better secure your identity, accounts and payment relationships. Read on for more info and our offer to pay for your credit bureau freezes (#freefreezes).

What happened?

According to Equifax’s recent press release, criminals accessed their databases, which likely contained your personal information, and stole the records of potentially 143 million U.S. consumers (plus some Canadian and UK consumers). The data included:

  • Names
  • Social Security Numbers
  • Birth Dates
  • Addresses
  • and in some cases Driver’s License numbers, Credit Card numbers and other personal or payment information
  • The intrusion itself started in May, so you may already be impacted (...check your credit reports as soon as you can), but we recommend a few other immediate actions to protect yourself going forward.

    What should you do?

    1. Freeze your credit records at all 3 major credit bureaus (NOW!), which will help prevent unwanted new accounts from being opened in your name. Use a Final card (step 2, below) to set up the freezes and take advantage of our free freeze offer. The links below will take you directly to the forms that each bureau requires to set up a freeze:
      • Equifax
      • Experian
      • TransUnion
      • Note 1: Credit freezes do not impact your credit score, and remain active until you request they be turned off
      • Note 2: Freezing your credit file will prevent access by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies, but will not prevent access to your credit file by any other credit reporting agency (which means that your accounts with existing credit monitoring and ‘free credit report’ services should continue to work), federal/state/local government agencies and potential employers. Still, it remains a tangible step in protecting against unauthorized account creation.
      • Note 3: Final uses Experian for credit bureau “hard” pulls during our underwriting process, so you should consider applying for Final before setting up freezes
    2. Use a unique Final card to pay for each of your 3 credit bureau freezes
      • Give each bureau a unique card number when paying for the freezes. These generally cost between $3 and $15, except Equifax, which should be free for a time in the wake of this breach. Giving unique card numbers offers additional payment security and...
      • As a limited time offer for current and new customers - we will reimburse the bureau charges for credit freezes1
    3. Change passwords to strong, unique ones and add two-factor authentication for any websites/services that offer it. Criminals often use information gathered through data breaches to “engineer” their way into your email, financial and other accounts.
    It’s important for everyone to consider taking the steps above, especially since Equifax is only offering 1 year of ID theft monitoring.

    As always, we are here to help. Email us with any questions at support@getfinal.com.

    1 If you place a credit freeze with a credit reporting agency in the United States using your Final Visa Credit Card Account, Final will reimburse you for the costs associated with placing the freeze, up to a total of $30 per account, within sixty (60) days from the date the transaction posts to your Final account. To be eligible for reimbursement; you must be a Final cardholder and you must have paid for the costs of initiating the freeze with your Final Visa card. Reimbursement only applies to freezes placed on credit reports issued by Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. This offer expires at 12/31/17, 11:59PM Pacific Time. Final reserves the right to modify this offer at any time.