2017 Equifax Data Breach and Settlement Information

On September 7, 2017, Equifax announced that it experienced a cybersecurity breach that exposed the personal and financial data of approximately 143 million consumers. Equifax is one of the three major credit reporting agencies responsible for collecting and compiling the credit history of consumers and businesses.

On July 22, 2019, Equifax agreed to a global settlement that included compensation for consumers for credit or identity monitoring services, other out-of-pocket expenses and agreed to provide all U.S. consumers with six free credit reports each year for seven years. Visit the Equifax Data Breach Settlement Website for more information.

Below are tips to help you protect your personal financial information.

  • Actively monitor your credit report for any suspicious activity or new lines of credit opened in your name. A free credit report can be obtained weekly from each credit reporting bureau – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion - at www.AnnualCreditReport.com through April 2022.

  • Be on the lookout for “Imposter” websites, that try to charge you a fee for your credit report. Some of these imposter sites will try to redirect you to other sites that try to sell you something or collect your personal information.

  • Do not disclose any sensitive information to individuals who call unsolicited claiming to represent your bank, credit card company or the IRS. They will not call to request personal or financial information such as your bank account or Social Security Number. Hang up and call the number you know to be associated with the company.

  • Dispute, in writing, any accounts that you deem unauthorized or suspicious.

  • Monitor your bank accounts and credit card statements to ensure no fraudulent purchases have been made. Dispute any unauthorized charges with the company immediately.

  • You may wish to place a credit freeze on your credit report, which will eliminate anyone from opening a new account in your name, or a credit alert, which ensures you are contacted if anyone attempts to open a new account in your name.

  • File your taxes promptly. While thieves may use stolen information to create fraudulent bank accounts, they may also file fraudulent tax returns. File your taxes as soon as you have the tax information you need and respond promptly to letters sent to you by the IRS. Note that the IRS will never communicate with you via email, so watch out for this type of fraud and don’t open emails purporting to be from the IRS.

For more tips on how to protect your identity, visit the Division’s Identity Theft page and read this Identity Theft brochure.