Watching for criminal activity on accounts after Equifax hack - Hometownstations.com-WLIO- Lima, OH News Weather Sports

Watching for criminal activity on accounts after Equifax hack

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One of the three major U.S. credit bureaus, Equifax, has been hacked, and they say that that means that an estimated 143 million U.S. consumers have now been exposed to the threat of identity theft. One of the three major U.S. credit bureaus, Equifax, has been hacked, and they say that that means that an estimated 143 million U.S. consumers have now been exposed to the threat of identity theft.
Even if you aren't affected by the Equifax hack - it's still important to check your credit score and information periodically. Even if you aren't affected by the Equifax hack - it's still important to check your credit score and information periodically.

One of the three major U.S. credit bureaus, Equifax, has been hacked, and they say that that means that an estimated 143 million U.S. consumers have now been exposed to the threat of identity theft. Names, social security numbers, and other personal information was stolen in the hack. In this situation, there are two major steps that online thieves may use with that information.

"With the Equifax breach, people can use that information to open new accounts that people didn't have in the past, and also access information to use existing accounts, said Keith Eiden, Executive Vice President for Sales & Lending for Superior Credit Union.

For those affected, it's important that they take action now and monitor their accounts for anything that seems off and taking steps to stop criminals from applying for credit in their name.

"Monitor your credit report; with Equifax, because this breach was their fault, offered consumers across the country one year of free credit monitoring for people, so if they open up those new accounts, they can see that what's happened on existing accounts," Eiden said.  "We always tell people, you've got to watch your account."

"See if you have any charges on your credit card or anything like that, you can put a freeze on your account or you could put a fraud alert on your account and that lasts for 90 days," said Cheryl Parson, President of the BBB Lima Office.  "Put in either one, but it will not stop anyone from charging on your existing credit cards - all that does is it stops somebody trying to apply for credit in your name."

And even if you aren't affected by the Equifax hack - it's still important to check your credit score and information periodically.

"You never know what's going to pop up on your account - it could just be that posted the wrong thing on yours, things do happen but it's always important to check because you don't know was going to get that," said Parson.

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