Equifax Has Announced a Security Breach

On September 8th, Equifax, one of the major credit reporting agencies, announced a breach from mid-May through July 2017. During this period, hackers accessed people’s names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and credit card numbers.

Be assured that Federated Employees Credit Union was not breached. The Equifax breach is separate incident that applies to data stored at that organization. We continue to take necessary steps to keep your information here secure.

Equifax has set up a website for consumers to check if their information was exposed: www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. This website may provide pertinent information to consumers trying to determine whether they have been affected by the breach. To use the website, consumers should click the “Potential Impact” tab, enter their last name and the last 6 digits of their social security number. Consumers are urged to take standard precautions, including using a secure computer and an encrypted network connection.

The Minnesota Department Commerce website offers practical tips to consumers for what they can do to prevent identity theft and protect sensitive personal information from being misused. These tips include:

• Check your credit reports. Every 12 months, you can request a copy of your credit report for free from each of the three major credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228. Carefully review the information and immediately report any unauthorized accounts, suspicious activity or inaccuracies.

• Request a security freeze on your credit report. A freeze restricts access to your credit report, making it nearly impossible for someone to open a new account or line of credit in your name. If you are a victim of identity theft, Minnesota law allows you to place a credit freeze for free. Otherwise, there is a $5 fee. The Minnesota Department of Commerce website has a form you can use to request a freeze from the three major credit reporting agencies.

• Place a fraud alert on your credit report. If you decide against a security freeze, consider placing a fraud alert on your credit report. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim, so they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name really is you.

• Monitor your existing credit cards and financial accounts. Immediately report any suspicious charges or activity. Be alert if your monthly bill or statement does not arrive on time. It may be a sign that someone has hijacked your account. Sign up for email/text alerts with live card activity card issuer’s website: 

You can also visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website on the Equifax breach to learn about what happened and what to do to prevent a identity theft, and to learn what steps to take in response to proven identity theft.