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YSK - The Equifax breach impacts YOU whether your identity was stolen or not. It is safer to assume you ARE compromised and impacted by the breach.

This is mostly for the US, Canada, and UK

If you were like me, I put the Equifax breach on the backburner when it first came out, which was dangerous of me to be used to 'breach fatigue'. The free credit monitoring service offered by Equifax is by TrustedId, which is a subsidiary of Equifax acquired in 2012 and the 'free' service is only for good for one year. Some folks are unsure if it's a good idea to use their services now it's been a couple months since the breach. This could just be another way for them to earn revenue after the 'free' credit monitoring service is up, people may feel the need to pay for their services. The 'free' service offer expires Jan 31, 2018 so you do no harm by registering. I'm not signing up for it because I don't expect to apply for credit anytime soon but instead doing a credit freeze (more on that next paragraph). A credit monitoring service like TrustedID is only good in helping you recover from identity theft which basically means these services do not prevent thieves from using your identity to open new lines of credit, and from damaging your good name for years to come in the process. The most you can hope for is that credit monitoring services will alert you soon after a thief DOES steal your identity.

If you are truly concerned, the BEST thing you can do is go for a security freeze on your credit (also known as credit freeze) - not a security lock (important!) since it's not the full credit freeze. The fee ranges from $0 to $15 per bureau, depending on what state you are in. It's recommended to put a freeze at all four credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, and Innovis. Be sure to keep track of the logon/password/security information you create when you go through the process; you need it if you want to unlock access if you apply for credit anywhere. If you want to be extra careful, check out the last two Q&A's in security writer Brian Kreb's post.

Another thing you need to do is periodically order a free copy of your credit report. By law, each of the three major credit reporting bureaus must provide a free copy of your credit report each year — via a government-mandated site: The best way to take advantage of this right is to make a notation in your calendar to request a copy of your report every 120 days, to review the report and to report any inaccuracies or questionable entries when and if you spot them. Avoid other sites that offer “free” credit reports and then try to trick you into signing up for something else.

To get up to speed with all of this, I suggest reading these reliable sources I used to inform myself and the info above. The NY Times article is probably the most comprehensive (and was recently referenced to in an article as recent as Dec)

Some solid advice from Forbes on what NOT to do

Security writer Brian Krebs has an excellent Q&A guide

Some FAQ about Credit Freezes from the FCC

Costs of credit freezes

Would suggest doing this as well -- protecting your bank accounts

Edit #1: Whoah, this blew up, glad I could finally give back to you guys... and I just found this sub today, sorry! Thanks to folks from LPT for recommending to post here!

Edit #2: Some of you have mentioned that there's a fifth major credit bureau, ChexSystems. Thousands of banks rely on ChexSystems to verify customers that are requesting new checking and savings accounts, and ChexSystems lets consumers place a security alert on their credit data to make it more difficult for ID thieves to fraudulently obtain checking and savings accounts.

Edit #3: Did some more research and apparently there are nearly 40 credit reporting agencies in the U.S. -- however, most financial services companies, employers, landlords, etc, don’t rely on these alternative credit reporting agencies nearly as much as the major credit bureaus.

Edit #4: Getting late over here, I'd love to answer all of your questions but fair disclaimer, I am by no means an expert and am learning all of this on the fly. Will try and answer to the best of my ability in the am.

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It is infuriating that the best solution for this situation is to pay these fucks money...

There’s no one who deserves my money less than these assholes.

What about the ta-li-ban in Af-gha-nistan

56 points·4 months ago

At this point...

In regards to ability to directly damage my quality of life...

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Aaaaand that's the long con.

A protection racket:

“We’re gonna mess you up”

But i didn’t do anything. How can i stop this from happening?

“Pay us. Pay us regularly. Miss a payment, and it’d be a shame if something were to happen to you...”

I get the eerie feeling someone is going to bust my kneecaps with a baseball bat...

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The best solution for me was fucking up my credit five years ago. No one wants my credit.

Fuckin' bingo, dude. Go ahead, steal all my identity, I ain't using it. If I need to ever take out a massive loan, guess I'm fucked. But the upside is I haven't given more than five total minutes of thought to this whole fiasco since it broke.

i figure if i cant even get a sympathetic bank branch manager to give me credit, then someone stealing my identity cant get credit either

There should be a TV show where they steal your identity and then improve it. Kind of like a surprise home renovation show, but they renovate your credit and it takes like 7 years instead of a weekend.

36 points·4 months ago

This happened to someone i know who had their ssn stolen by an apparently very fiscally responsible illegal immigrant.

The number was stolen when they were a kid and when they went to open there first account they had like 700+ credit

That’s one of the good people Trump was talking about I guess.

Steal my identity plz fiscally responsible undocumented immigrants

I know of this happening to stolen online accounts. Like your steam got breached, recover it a few years down the line and have new bought games on your account now.

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8 points·4 months ago

Except for the part when they default on all the shit they got when they ruined your credit and you spend the next five years trying to prove it wasnt you. And shitty strict processes to even do something like file your tax return:

Which is usually one of the first red flags people get, they cant file their tax regund cause someone else already has

Yeah, that’s the major bummer of it all, I suppose. But I knew the price of admission going into this, I figure the juice is worth the squeeze.

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Seriously. What a ducking ripoff

I see you are continuing from your phone. I to like to live Abernathy.

Impossible not to be excommunication

In a couple decades we will discover there actually was no breach, and the credit bureaus fabricated it to get people to give them more money

/Tinfoil hat off

Best option is to change your social security number.

A victim of identity theft continues to be disadvantaged by using the original number.

When we assign a different Social Security number, we do not destroy the original number. We cross-refer the new number with the original number to make sure the person receives credit for all earnings under both numbers.

So it basically does nothing??

Comment deleted4 months ago(5 children)

Correct. In addition, You can change SSN up to 3 times in a year and 10 times in a lifetime.

Spending one of your 10 lifelines on a breach this massive is a good idea.

Comment deleted4 months ago(0 children)

Agreed. This system needs to be replaced with some kind of digital signature or one time use number. So, you have an account with the Social Security Administration and you can login at any time and generate a one time use number everytime you need to let someone confirm your identity, or they request an identity confirmation and you login to sign that request with your digital signature.

Perfect use-case for a block chain application. Maybe your grandchildren in the US will see such a system in action....

The Swiss are of course experimenting with exactly such a system.

Fire up the ICO.

But I finally memorized mine :(

Original Poster5 points·4 months ago

I felt blindsided when I figured that out too.

To this day I still say that was a clean block.

Original Poster3 points·4 months ago

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What exactly did Equifax do to get access to all of our information like this? Since this is a public company with this detailed information on every American, does that mean our information always available to credit monitoring companies like this?

Why do they get access to this information? And has anything been done to stop another event like this from happening in the future?

Planet money did a good job explaining the rise of the credit bureaus and why they have so much access to our information.

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when you sign up for a credit card/loan you agree to give them this info

what if I don't have a credit card, but only debit (bank) cards that double as credit cards?

Wondering this as well.

Hey, I worked at Experian for a bit and can give some insight.

So the basics are if you never applied for anything credit related in your life, meaning no credit card, no loans, nothing, you have nothing on your record.

Now that should mean you're generally safe because you have never given your information to them, right? Well it's always better to be safe than sorry.

The best way to check your credit for free is Annual Credit Report. It's a website run by the government, not the Credit Bs and you get 1 free check per year.

Credit Karma and Experians free credit subscription are good places to get your report for free once per month, however it is free because you sign you are allowing them to sell your information online to ad agencies.

TL;DR: We're pretty screwed with this system either way you look at it.

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Visa/MasterCard are the key masters, Equidouche is the gate keeper.

Hey, I worked at Experian for a bit and can give some insight.

So the basics are if you never applied for anything credit related in your life, meaning no credit card, no loans, nothing, you have nothing on your record.

Now that should mean you're generally safe because you have never given your information to them, right? Well it's always better to be safe than sorry.

The best way to check your credit for free is Annual Credit Report. It's a website run by the government, not the Credit Bs and you get 1 free check per year.

Credit Karma and Experians free credit subscription are good places to get your report for free once per month, however it is free because you sign you are allowing them to sell your information online to ad agencies.

TL;DR: We're pretty screwed with this system either way you look at it.

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Things are going to get worse before it gets better

Things are going to get worse before it gets better


I did not ask for this!! Why should I have to give you money to keep my information, which I did not choose to give to you, safe, it's a classic mob move. Freezes should automatically be built into the bureaus policies, shouldn't they want the highest level of security??

Comment deleted4 months ago(30 children)

Because when they fuck up, you pay them. Why innovate?

The best solution is to encrypt and obfuscate the data to a point that the only people who can read it are the end users with the decryption key. At that point even deep breaches like full db exports won't be a problem.

That can't really work. The sacrifice to data availability would make their service basically useless.

I believe Bloom is trying to do this actually.

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They're somehow benefiting from the insecurity

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What’s this got to do with rocket league?

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There really needs to be an opt out for some company you don't do business with storing your information... why isn't this a thing?

Actually, when you apply for credit, it says in the clause that you will be using these services. I'm not excusing them in any way, but technically you did sign off on giving them your data.

68 points·4 months ago·edited 4 months ago

His point is that there is no way to avoid it. You don't have any other options.

You could live off the grid and eat berries!

Don't use credit, but everything upfront with cash... /S

This shouldn't be a /s but the system is designed in such a way that only the moderately wealthy can avoid loans entirely... Homes become unaffordable if they take 30 years to save up for (really longer because in addition to saving for the non-mortgage you're going to bed paying rent that you wouldn't be paying had you been living in the home) 10+ years to afford college...

It's a great idea if you have latent wealth, and good income up front, and can essentially not have expenses... But in the real world someone making 35,000/yr can never progress without investing in themselves via loans/credit.

Houses are that expensive only because people don't pay with their own money. Also, you don't have to own a house.

Also, you don't have to own a house.

No, but you can either choose to own something else which has the same problem or rapidly loses its value, or rent and completely throw your money away.

I don't see renting a city-owned flat as throwing money away. As for privately owned, maybe, but so is paying mortgage, the banks profit.

Many people use their houses as investment and retirement funds. If your renting, the money you would be putting into your house that you retrieve when it sells, is going to the landlord and becoming non-retrievable. I can pay into my mortgage for ten years, and at the end I'll sell and have $100k in my bank account. You pay the same in rent and after 10 years you have nothing.

Tell that to people who bought a house in 2007....

I’m being a little flippant, but really home ownership is not a “sure win” and really isn’t for everyone. Renting is a great (even the best) option for a variety of circumstances.

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Original Poster9 points·4 months ago

Yep, exactly this.

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At this point I just assume all my information is out there somewhere and it's just a matter of time.

Original Poster11 points·4 months ago

As do I but I figure it's better putting a freeze on your stuff instead of having it happen to you and you're forced to dig yourself out of this hole.

What the fuck is Innovis now?! Never ever heard of it and I'm in my mid 20s and generally consider myself financially literate.

Anyway, froze my credit with them too. Thanks, OP!

I feel like I could start a credit checking company just to get people to pay me to freeze their account.

What's stopping you? Screwing your fellow Americans is what's hot right now! /s

1 credit freeze plz

I'd prefer a credit blizzard.

Can I get uhhhhhhhh small credit freeze

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(Domt quote me, I'm not 100%)

I believe they are a credit bureau that focuses on business credit decisions.

Like of you were applying for a business loan to open a restaurant or gas station.

If that's the case, it makes sense that most people don't know about them

Their primary business is credit portfolio management. They are mainly business to business. Instead of dealing with that auto loan or store card to Sears, they deal mainly with other financial institutions for large scale credit analytics.

Original Poster2 points·4 months ago·edited 4 months ago

Honestly, I'm probably more financially illiterate, but hey, it was the least I could do!

If you forget your password, don't worry. You can give them the information that was stolen to get it unlocked!

SHIIIT...I lost my financial identity YEARS ago when I opened a Wells Fargo Account. Equifax aint shit compared to W.F.

these institutions are the reason why satoshi nakamoto invented the gun

I always thought credit was a scam.

Have no credit history? No loan for you!

Have credit history, but not long enough? High interest rate for you!

Have great credit history? You’ll never achieve the perfect score no matter how hard you try!

79 points·4 months ago

Yup. There are people out there that never missed a single payment ever. Not even once. No late, full amount, all the right steps. And their credit is less than perfect.

It's one big fucking scam.

At my peek of having decent credit, the only thing from stopping me from being at the top was not being rich, but then why would I need credit?

because rich money gets tied up in investments with variable liquidation times

but i get your point

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Years ago starting out I missed a payment to see what would happen. Next month: “congrats you’ve received a higher limit!”

I had six cards charged off in 2003. Was a poor stupid former student/college dropout without understanding of how credit works. And got to the point where every card I had was over the limit and couldn't make even minimum payments by using one card to pay another.

These days my credit score is 790-805. Didn't do anything special. It just takes time.

The worst thing for my credit is when I do periodic requests for credit line increases with my existing cards. Those (sometimes) result in hard inquiries. And that lowers the score.

Other than that: no, the system isn't rigged against you. Nobody is out to get you. The man isn't holding you down. (And that applies not just to credit, but to pretty much everything else people love to bitch about.)

11 points·4 months ago

So I was wrong and it is fact possible to get a perfect score?

If not, I have no idea what your argument is.

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The too long; didnt read is pay yo fuckin bills and don’t buy stuff you don’t need.

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It is a scam. They only lend money to people who don't need it

If that was true, there would be no loans in the world.

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How should it work? Should some guy who has defaulted on thousands of dollars of loans get the same interest rate as someone who has never defaulted?

Someone loaning money out needs to have SOME way of deciding how likely they are to not pay it back. The system isn’t perfect, but I have never heard alternatives that are better.

Yeah, it sucks that someone who has always paid back what they borrow doesn’t have a perfect credit score, but there are other factors, too. I don’t care how great you have been at paying your $500 a money credit card bill, I am not going to loan a million dollars to some guy who makes 20 grand a year. Even if you both have always paid your bills, loaning money to the person who makes more money per month is less risky, because they are better able to absorb unexpected expenses.

I am curious if you have an idea about a better system. I am all on board for making it more fair and equitable.

2 points·4 months ago·edited 4 months ago

Unfortunately I don’t have a better idea. Maybe lower interest rates for those just getting started until they prove their credit worthiness?

What I do know, however, is how hard it is to get started as an 18 year old with broke parents and no education on how to create a successful financial outlook.

I have excellent credit and have been working my entire adult life to earn it, but have never received a perfect score. Is it even possible??

My suggestion would be to educate children on credit and finances overall before they are on their own. I do this with my children but I would have greatly benefited from this type of education as a teen.

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Agreed, freeze all accounts. Took me about 10 minutes. Worth saving weeks/years of headaches down the road.

I'm still iffy about needing to remember a password and pay $30 or whatever every time I want to apply for a loan for the rest of my life.

Just tattoo it on your face, and tell people it's from your time in prison.

Original Poster6 points·4 months ago

Too easy, hackers would decipher that in a jiffy.

Some states passed laws that require credit freezes to be free. Check whether your state is one of them. As for remembering a passcode/password every time you want to apply for a loan or new line of credit, when was the last you did not have your phone on you? While not the safest place, a password manager that has a mobile app would work pretty well I assume.

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21 points·4 months ago·edited 4 months ago

Completely understand the hesitation, it took me like six months after the big breach to finally put freezes on my credit. I decided it was worth an inconvenience of a few minutes, or even a couple hours, on the infrequent occasions I need a new credit line to temporarily lift the freeze. I decided that the immense pain in the ass that it is to have your identity stolen just isn't something I want to risk. Smart thieves won't use this data right away either, and I really don't want to be looking over my financial shoulder for the rest of my life because of some company's negligence.

I'm pretty sure you don't need to pay the fees to put a temporary lift on the freezes, it's just a one time cost to establish them. I went through the process a couple of months ago and that's what it sounded like, perhaps I misunderstood what I got myself into.

Edit: I've been informed that fees to lift freezes vary by state.

As for remembering the passwords, get physical copies of them and put them in a very safe place, like a safety deposit box or fireproof safe.

So, about 15 million Americans get their identity stolen every year, giving about a 5% chance per year of having your identity stolen. That means if you need to use your credit once a year, and it adds 30 minutes to the time it takes to use your credit, it is only worth freezing if it takes more than 10 hours of work to fix your identity being stolen.

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When the big breach was in the news I put a freeze on my credit with all three of them. I just recently applied for an increase in my credit line on an existing card and a few months later applied for a new card with a different company. Both times they called me a few days after applying and let me know there was a credit freeze on my account. All they needed was to call through to the credit bureau with me on the line, then I gave the credit bureau the PIN I was assigned when I got the freeze. They then exchanged whatever info they needed and that was it. I wasn't charged again for unfreezing and freezing my credit. I don't know whether this is a standard experience, but it was mine with two different companies going to two different credit bureaus. It was relatively simple, and was definitely worth it for me.

Comment deleted4 months ago(1 child)

California. It was like $10 or $15 each for the original freeze, but nothing for the temporary lifts since then. I'll add, since it happened this morning, that this procedure was the same with another company when applying for a car loan.

Verify this of course, but I believe a credit freeze only lasts for 7 years.

Depends on your state.

Original Poster5 points·4 months ago

Yep! 7 years is the max. Read that somewhere, not sure which article. :)

Consider using a password manager.

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What do you do after you freeze accounts? Just keep them frozen?

Yes. You have to unfreeze at least one of them whenever you want to open a new line of credit though (buy a car, rent an apartment, etc.).

To know which one(s), ask the entity who is providing credit which bureau(s) they use.

12 points·4 months ago

Except I don't wanna pay money to unfreeze it and God help you if you forget your passwords.

Even freezing your credit is a shit option.

It’s a lot cheaper and easier to freeze/unfreeze your credit than spending years trying to undo the damages of identity theft. We shouldn’t have to freeze our credit but in the reality we live in, it’s the best option. As for remembering your password, I highly recommend a password manager. All my online accounts have random, strong passwords. All I have to do is remember one master password to access my database from my browser or phone.

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How? Any guide would be really helpful.

It's recommended to put a freeze at all four credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, and Innovis.

I just did it. In my state it was $5 for each of Experian and TransUnion, and the other two were free. Probably took about a half hour with stashing the info safely. Also Innovis will send you physical mail rather than give you information online.

4 points·4 months ago

Same fees for me, seems cheap for the peace of mind it brings. All the security stuff went straight into my safety deposit box.

You just go to the websites and click “credit freeze” then follow the steps. Just google “equifax credit freeze”, “trans union credit freeze”, and “experian credit freeze” to find the websites.

What data are they using to verify that its you to unfreeze it that wasnt in the breach? I thought i read that this one had the mothers maiden name, street you grew up on, first make of car kinda info too.

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Comment deleted4 months ago(8 children)

I agree. I'm in the middle of expanding and improving my credit/credit score. Inconveniencing myself is just stupid.

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14 points·4 months ago·edited 4 months ago

I was told that freezing doesn't really protect you either because if you forget your PIN, they use your SSN to give you a new one. Is this true? It still seems like it would protect you, because I doubt a criminal is going to go through that when they could just go to the next person's info.

To get the PIN you have to write in with proof of identification. If however, you forget and just want to unfreeze it, it takes a brief five minute phone call requiring personal information I.E. your bank accounts balance, credit card limit, past employers, previous residence, and/or favorite cake topping.

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24 points·4 months ago·edited 4 months ago

Nobody in here mentioning CreditKarma? Free credit monitoring. You can check your score as often as you want, they alert you to any changes... It's pretty ideal. Won't protect you from harm but will help you notice quicker.

I'll be damned if I'm going to give Equifax a cent of my money as a reward for fucking me in the first place. I'll just heavily monitor and deal with any fallout.

"Hey I know you guys lost all my personal info. I'm gonna give you each $15 and this time REALLY keep it secret, okay? Thanks."

Just a heads up for anyone else like me who just now found about CK, if you've already frozen your credit you'll have to unfreeze them before CK can do anything.

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Original Poster3 points·4 months ago

I've never used it but definitely signing up for this. Keep in mind that a credit monitoring service doesn't necessarily prevent you from getting ID theft, having a freeze on your credit will prevent this, full stop.

Yeah, it's more of an alert than any kind of actual protection. But hey, it's free. Can't hurt.

Original Poster3 points·4 months ago

u/EchoSniper who claims to work for Experian mentioned this...

The best way to check your credit for free is Annual Credit Report. It's a website run by the government, not the Credit Bs and you get 1 free check per year.

Credit Karma and Experian's free credit subscription are good places to get your report for free once per month, however it is free because you sign you are allowing them to sell your information online to ad agencies.

TL;DR: We're pretty screwed with this system either way you look at it.

Equifax has already given my information to criminals for free, so I'm cool with Credit Karma doing it for profit to ad agencies.

Credit Karma IS Equifax just so you know.

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Even if I am not living in US?

Original Poster9 points·4 months ago

Depends where but from what I read, security writer Brian Krebs mentioned this in his write-up:

Q: Was the breach limited to Americans?

A: No. Equifax said it believes the intruders got access to “limited personal information for certain UK and Canadian residents.” It has not disclosed what information for those residents was at risk or how many from Canada and the UK may be impacted.

I am in South East Asia not North America.

Comment deleted4 months ago(1 child)

Ahh. Okey, then. Time to get angry at my government for doing something wrong again.

Original Poster3 points·4 months ago·edited 4 months ago

I wouldn't be too worried if I were you, but don't take my word for it.

Edit: If you're a Brit, an American, or Canadian living abroad chances are higher that you may be impacted by it.

I was living in South East Asia when the info was stolen and mine was included in it. I am from America though not sure if you are as well but it might make a difference.

Comment deleted4 months ago(8 children)

For the record, there is absolutely no way that waiver will hold up in court. It may slow down the process, but the idea that they could dupe you into signing away your right to litigation by holding information about whether or not your information's been stolen hostage is hysterical.

They even came out and said you could still be involved in the class action amd receive settlement. The other guy is living under a rock.

Original Poster7 points·4 months ago

If you sign up for trustedid you waive your rights for suing in a class action lawsuit.

This is true, but those who used TrustedID Premier do not give up their right to participate in a class-action lawsuit or arbitration against Equifax over the 2017 data breach.

sauce here

Big ups for Credit Karma. Their app is also easy to use and totally free. Speaking of apps, most banks have an app and you can check your credit score on it. If you haven't done this you have no excuse, it's our responsibility.

Original Poster2 points·4 months ago·edited 4 months ago

I don't know enough about Credit Karma --- but definitely signed up for it!

It’s a good service.

You can also look at creditsesame if you want the third bureau.

It’s all a bullshit scam though. These companies collect your personal informationwithout you agreeing to take your information and creating a profile about you.

These should be an opt-in service. Not an “oh we already did, and we are making money off it” service.

Original Poster3 points·4 months ago

It’s all a bullshit scam though. These companies collect your personal information without you agreeing to take your information and creating a profile about you.

We pretty much gave up our privacy ages ago, from tracking our preferences online to this.

These should be an opt-in service. Not an “oh we already did, and we are making money off it” service.

Damn right

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If I am a 23 y/o college student who only has a bank account and debit card, no credit cards/bank loans am I effected by this?

No you're affected

Original Poster3 points·4 months ago

Great question, I wondered about this too!

Might wanna double check with your parents. I was surprised to find out my mom had put me on all her credit cards (since we both use them), so whatever she does with those in terms of payments reflects on my credit.

Oh, and she put a credit freeze on all our accounts in the family (without my knowledge) and lost the fucking password to unfreeze them. This has been a fucking nightmare.

Do you have a cell phone? Because that's something that requires a credit check, as well, so The bureau may have gotten your info that way

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When I froze 3 of the 4 accounts I was given a password for each one...except Equifax. I swore under my breath when the recording rapid-fired my password at me and it took that as permission to hang up. I never recieved any emails. I never received any traditional, physical mail. I literally have absolutely zero idea what my password is at this point months later.

What can I do?

Call them. By the sound of things you may have to mail them ID or do something to have them send you another password/PIN. You don't lose anything by calling them, well outside the cost for the line or your precious hours of your life.

Better to fix it before you need it rather than waiting when you do need it.

Ha you can't steal my identity when it was already thoroughly ravaged by the OPM databreach a couple years back.

Nice try, identity thieves, you can't steal stolen goods!

my wife was part of the OPM data breach. i was part of the "security clearance" breach. i was part of the Nevada MMJ data breach. i was part of the Equifax data breach.

not a single one of those was my fault. in every one of them i had no control of my data others did and they ALL failed miserably.

and for some reason it is entirely up to me to repair the damage. those responsible refuse to assist me or any of the millions of others in any meaningful way.

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Oh fuck, there's a FOURTH credit bureau?

Edit: read comments ... holy shit there are five of them now?

Original Poster5 points·4 months ago

I had no idea either, apparently there's a fifth one too but trying to figure this part out. Apparently it's a 'Real-Time Credit Bureau' - Clarity Services but I'm not so sure.

I’m an American who’s lived in Canada for over 10 years. After the breach it was a huge hassle even to get my free credit reports because the agencies want your “current address” for verification - really this means your last US address because that’s the only thing their systems understand. Fine, whatever, but although I also sent multiple letters explaining my situation, one of them (Equifax, of course) still sent the damn report to a previous address where my family has not lived in years. It took a while to contact the current residents and they eventually mailed the documents, but it took far longer than it should have to straighten it all out.

So I’m wondering, has anyone else dealt with this from outside the country? I would like to freeze all my US credit since I’m not going back anytime soon, but I don’t want all these passwords sent out to some random people simply because they can’t fathom the concept of Americans living abroad. Ideally this could all be resolved in person on the phone, but on my experience you can’t actually speak with human agents unless you pay for credit monitoring. Any advice?

Any chance you have family willing to help you in the US? I currently live in Japan and had issues putting my APO address in because it counts as a PO box. I am waiting for the day to start in the US so I can putin a family members address and then have them ship to me.

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6 points·4 months ago·edited 4 months ago

The whole process makes it feel like a scam

Original Poster3 points·4 months ago

Yeah... feels like I'm a scum too now that my credit is all meddled up in this clusterf%&$, but what gives, I rather do a freeze instead of doing a monitoring service that they can just charge me more $$ of.

Thank you so much for all of the helpful info and for finally pushing me over the edge to do this. I was ignoring it, putting it off and this was the motivation and helpful info I needed. I was able to freeze with all 5 and only had to pay for 2 of them.

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How is Equifax even still around after this? This is not fucking OK.

Only if you live in the wrong country.

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Does this apply to Canadians too? I'm soooo confused :(

Original Poster3 points·4 months ago·edited 4 months ago

Yep, unfortunately.

From what I read, security writer Brian Krebs mentioned this in his write-up:

Q: Was the breach limited to Americans?

A: No. Equifax said it believes the intruders got access to “limited personal information for certain UK and Canadian residents.” It has not disclosed what information for those residents was at risk or how many from Canada and the UK may be impacted.

I try really hard to spin negative things into positive (god knows it's not easy since the Great Recession).

One positive is that by locking up all our credit and all of us doing credit checks, our credit is safer than ever. Also, now that we have to spend $10 to unlock it just to apply for a line of credit, it will force people to really evaluate whether if it's really worth the hassle or not. More often, people generally fuck up their own credit compared to being a victim of identity theft.

Like I said, I'm trying really hard to spin this into something positive.

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Good advice. I've been wondering if there's any kind of class action suit being set up against Equifax and any other financial company that is so negligent. I know each person wouldn't get much, that's not my goal. I just think these bastards need to pay a massive fine. I'm guessing the government is going to just let them get away with this.

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How long do you freeze your credit for though?

Wouldn't this also prevent you from building credit while it's frozen?

Best question here... OP plz

Original Poster3 points·4 months ago

How long do you freeze your credit for though?

You can freeze it for upwards of 7 years max at a time.

Wouldn't this also prevent you from building credit while it's frozen?

I honestly don't know but my best guess is that I don't think this'd prevent you from building credit if you already have existing lines of credit open, since nobody can open a new line of credit in your name and as long as you do your payments right/minimize your risk.

Not if you're not American it doesn't

Q: Was the breach limited to Americans?

A: No. Equifax said it believes the intruders got access to “limited personal information for certain UK and Canadian residents.” It has not disclosed what information for those residents was at risk or how many from Canada and the UK may be impacted.

From what I've been told, we can't put freezes on our credit in Canada, either. It was a big point made when the breaches came up originally.

Wtf that is such bullshit!!

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Great advice. Will freeze.

What should i do it I'm overseas?

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Say if you nothing to begin with, does it still impact you then?

Thanks for this. Got me off my ass to do it. Only one that didn't work online was Experian. I have to mail stuff to them and pay $10. What a hassle.

Original Poster2 points·4 months ago

I hate the fact we have to pay them to "secure" our info.

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If you're a Walmart employee, consider yourself impacted.

Did this in NY state, where it's free to freeze. It was kind of easy, but basically took a half hour to complete by phone.

In NY state it's FREE to freeze and unfreeze. It costs about 5$ to to temporarily lift the freeze (i think for 30 days?), so if you're looking for apartments, applying for credit cards, or buying a car, need a loan, etc... it'll cost you a couple bucks

totally worth the piece of mind knowing that people can't open lines of credit in my name

In the USA, over 140 Million Americans had their info leaked. PRETTY EASY to assume you're one of them. Freeze your credit!

What was worse, is when this originally happened, I went to freeze my credit, and at least two of the big three had links for "FREEZE your credit" that led to a sign up form for their PAID monitoring service. Look at the fine print carefully. Luckily it looked fishy to me, and I saw the real teeny tiny link at the very bottom for "or Just FREEZE your credit" The three big ones waived the freeze fee, but I will pay a fee to unlock them. The fee is limited by your state, so if you went down this path and want to unlock your credit, you should make sure they're not overcharging you... and I believe that you can unlock for specific events, like for your mortgage company to qualify you for a new loan, etc. so as to not leave yourself wide open. I reacted right after the news, and with diligent effort it still took me three days to completely lock down my accounts for various reasons... long waits on the phone, websites being down, websites leading to hacker sites. SUCH UTTER BS.

I put a freeze on all three back around when the big breach happened. Now, I'm applying for work. What are my options? It hardly makes sense to freeze and unfreeze each time for each new place I apply. What do you recommend?

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This is a day late and a dollar short

At one time you could buy a zip of 10,000 for like $15 sorted to all have drivers license for not much more. Does anyone really think that they bought those to use right away? Jan 2019 copy and sell it's not like all these folders are ever going away and nether is your ssn or driver's license number. Years from now what do you mean I'm already retired and drawing.

I was able to put a freeze on all 3 immediately after the breach and was not charged a dime. I keep reading that one of them might charge you but I haven't received a letter or a notification or email or anything asking for money. Has anyone else experienced this as well? I'm in the US if that affects anything.

Original Poster2 points·4 months ago

Each state has different fees, some are free while others aren't.

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@op what if I have never had credit or a credit card?

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Great advice thank you

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2 points·4 months ago·edited 4 months ago

Honest question, why do these firms have rights to our SSN?

The best solution for now is to pay them after they screwed everyone, until at least they get all that data stolen too. Who the fuuuuuck would still trust the same company to protect them. Unbelievable. Can't believe people are paying them for security, something they have proven to be incompetent at before.

I had actually written myself a calendar note to check this again in a few days. Tried to do it all this morning,just to make sure I had a freeze everywhere. I was successful with Experian and Transunion. Never heard of Innovis, but will receive my stuff from them IN THE MAIL next week (did I click something wrong? No, that's how they do it). Equifax--what a screw up still. Entered my username and PW, nope. I must be wrong...ok, now, on second attempt, I'm locked out. Called and was told to use a different browser. OK..did that (from Chrome to FF). Still can't get in. Called again and talked to someone and he sent me an email to update my PW. Didn't click on the sent link, went directly to the site, put in username (verified as being correct one) and new temp PW. No go. Tried again. Nope. Got another email with temp link. Nope. Seriously? I still can't get into my account, even though, at the top of the page it says "Welcome, mamacat49." I've tried at least 10 times now and still can't get it. And after the 2nd phone call and the crappy attitude of the rep, I'll never call them again. I hate them more than any company out there. They potentially screw up MY life and then have no way for me to try and fix it. I hope the snow never melts where they are and that their windshield wipers stay frozen forever.

You should know my credit is so trash they couldn't even open a loyalty punch card at my local coffee place with my identity. It's the best protection of all.

Nah I'm good. I don't do business with them. TransUnion man over here. A great company that respects trans people.

Nah I will just pretend everything is fine and go on my merry way.

I'm from UK and have no idea what Equifax is. should I still be concerned

It's funny how most of us have forgotten about this and moved on. Like a breach here at equifax is arguably the worst kind of breach...

2 points·4 months ago
  • My credit is shit.

  • I refuse to give these fuckers money.

  • Chances are any criminals identity is more valuable than mine seeing as how I cannot even fucking start a utility without a hefty deposit.

This reeks of Hail Corporate

as someone said......someone stole my identity and now i have a better credit score.

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