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Equifax is offering a ‘lock’ after data breach: Is that a good idea?

LockIf you’re like most consumers, including myself, you are probably still wondering what to do about the Equifax data breach of 143 million consumers’ data.

The New York Attorney General Eric suggested calling Equifax to determine if they’ve have been affected by the breach. I tried to call the phone number twice and was referred both times to the Equifax website. When I went to the Equifax website, they wanted some of my personal information. I didn’t continue because I didn’t trust Equifax’s ability to keep further information about me safe.

Mike Litt, consumer advocate for U.S. PIRG, said Equifax and other credit bureaus have fought for years against the right to freeze credit reports and then demanded fees to do it.

“We are still trying to figure out why they are pushing a newer thing they call a ‘lock,’” said Litt.

Previous offers from Equifax to victims of the Equifax breach came with strings attached – specifically, signing away your right to a day in court in the future, he said, adding his organization is working to determine whether signing up for the “lock” service raises similar concerns.

“Whether it’s a freeze or a ‘lock,’ Equifax is still, even three weeks later, failing to completely protect consumers by not offering it with all three credit bureaus,” Litt said.

The best way to protect yourself from an identity thief opening a credit account in your name is still by getting credit freezes at all three credit bureaus, he said.

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson suggests visiting to check your credit reports for free to check for suspicious activity; each credit reporting agency is required to give you a free copy once a year. Request a report from a different credit bureau every four months, 120 days, to keep up to date on changes to your credit report.

Ferguson also recommends reviewing your bank statements, credit card statements, and other account statements for suspicious charges.

Copyright 2017, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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Laura Lee Carter

So Rita. you should know that I just went to that link you provided to receive a free credit report. After answering all sorts of personal questions online, I got back that I still need to send in a paper form to Equifax for them to send me anything. I HATE EQUIFAX and hope they SOON ARE PUT OUT OF BUSINESS!


Hi Laura Lee,

I'm sorry the link didn't work better. Hopefully, Equifax will get their processes figured out better.


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