Protecting Your Identity and Finances in Light of the Equifax Breach

[ 0 ] October 16, 2017 |

The staff at IAACU has received a lot of questions regarding the recent Equifax data breach.   Though there have been many high profile breaches (Target, Ebay, JP Morgan Chase, Home Depot – to name a few), this one seems unprecedented due to the number of people affected combined with the amount and type of personal data exposed. This is not a “one and done” crime, the effects of this breach will linger for years.

Equifax has communicated that the “breach” involves the personal data of an estimated 143 million consumers. With this massive amount of sensitive, personal information exposed, it’s vital that you take precautions to reduce the possibility of fraud to your identity and/or finances. While IAACU has no control over the security of your data outside of our institution, we can provide information to help you make informed decisions to reduce the risk of fraud.

Protecting and monitoring your private information

What do hackers want?

Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

Social Security numbers / Date of Birth/ Driver’s License numbers: used to open new accounts or to answer challenge questions to get into your accounts. This data is very valuable to fraudsters because it is difficult to change giving it an “indefinite shelf life”.

Payment Card Information (PCI)

Credit card numbers: used to make fraudulent purchases on your accounts.

Personal Health Information (PHI)

Health records: These records are a virtual gold mine because they contain Social Security numbers, date of birth, and in many cases credit card information kept at medical facilities to cover treatment expenses.

How do you protect your information? Here are some options to consider:

  1. Call the IAACU Service Center at (309) 557-2541 and ask to add a password to your IAACU account(s). This will keep fraudsters from using the data they obtained to access your IAACU account(s). We highly recommend this safeguard
  2. Sign up for Credit Monitoring:
  3. Contact the three credit bureaus and place a “freeze” on your credit. Be aware that there may be a fee to place and to lift a credit freeze. Contacts:
  4. Get a Pin with the IRS to prevent fraudsters from filing a fraudulent tax return in your name, in order to receive your tax refund. Here’s where to go: https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams/get-an-identity-protection-pin

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions.   Thank you for your continued support and membership!

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Category: CEO Corner, Featured

About the Author ()

Sean has been the Chief Executive Officer at the IAA Credit Union since June of 2005. He is a graduate of Illinois State University where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agribusiness with a minor in Economics. Sean and his family live in Eureka, Illinois.

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