You have likely heard about the recent Equifax data breach, as this unfortunate event affects approximately 44% of Americans. Equifax was compromised and the personal information of approximately 143 million consumers was stolen. The information leaked may include:
- Consumer names
- Social Security numbers
- Driver’s license numbers
This was NOT a compromise of Integrity Bank & Trust and no information was taken from our systems. We wanted to share this information about Equifax to ensure you are aware of the issue and take the proper precautions to reduce the chances of fraud and identify theft.
We recommended that you remain vigilant for incidents of fraud and identity theft by reviewing account statements and monitoring your credit reports. You may obtain a free copy of your credit report from each company listed below once every 12 months by requesting your report online at www.annualcreditreport.com, calling toll-free 1-877-322-8228, or mailing an Annual Credit Report Request Form (available at www.annualcreditreport.com) to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA, 30348-5281. You may also purchase a copy of your credit report by contacting any of the credit reporting agencies below:
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
PO Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
If you wish to place a security freeze on credit reports:
A security freeze protects against identity theft and the opening of fraudulent accounts with a consumer’s personal information. It will block an institution or lender from accessing a report, unless a pre-set PIN is provided to “thaw” the report; a credit report may be thawed at a particular bureau for a period of time or for a specific lender. Consumers must contact each of the bureaus listed below to place a security freeze.
- Go to the Equifax security freeze site and follow the instructions; record the PIN you are given.
- Go to the Experian security freeze site and follow the instructions; record your PIN carefully.
- Go to the Innovis security freeze site and follow the instructions; record your PIN carefully.
- Go to the TransUnion security freeze site and follow the instructions; record your PIN carefully.
Some states charge fees to place a freeze on, thaw or unfreeze a credit report; see the sites above for specific state details.
If you wish to place a fraud alert on credit reports:
A fraud alert on credit reports requires potential creditors to contact the consumer and obtain permission to open new accounts or lines of credit. Consumers are allowed by law to report they are an identity theft victim and file a fraud alert (aka a “security alert”) every 90 days; with proper documentation such as a police report, the fraud alert period may be extended to seven years.
If consumers contact one of the first three listed below, that bureau is required to contact the other two; consumers must contact the fourth bureau directly to place an alert.
- Place a fraud alert with Equifax or call 800.525.6285.
- Place a fraud alert with Experian or call 888.397.3742.
- Place a fraud alert with TransUnion or call 800.680.7289.
- Place a fraud alert with Innovis or call 800.540.2505.
Unless there is an extended fraud alert in place, make a reminder to renew the fraud alerts after 90 days.
If you believe you are the victim of identity theft, you should contact the proper law enforcement authorities, including local law enforcement, and you should consider contacting your state attorney general and/or the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”). You also may contact the FTC to obtain additional information about avoiding identity theft.
Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center
600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580; 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338)
State Attorneys General: Information on how to contact your state attorney general may be found at www.naag.org/naag/attorneys-general/whos-my-ag.php.
You may obtain information from the FTC and the credit reporting agencies listed above about placing a fraud alert and/or credit freeze on your credit report.
If you have any questions about your accounts at Integrity Bank & Trust, please feel free to give us a call, or drop into one of our branches.