"Attacks start out very small and then they escalate and in this case probably one of the largest breaches we have seen in the country", says Cronin.
A Laredo man says that he was one of the 143 million Americans whose private information was compromised in the latest security breach at Equifax.
Leach also recommends freezing credit with the two other major credit reporting agencies: Experian (888-397-3742) and Trans Union (1-888-909-8872). Multiple congressional committees have also signaled their intent to hold hearings on the Equifax data breach. "I want to know exactly how that happened, but more immediately, I am concerned about the confusion that you have caused for consumers".
File your taxes early - as soon as you have the tax information you need, before a scammer can. If you've been impacted, Equifax will offer free credit monitoring for a year.
The Equifax data breach is causing US consumers to question how secure their information is in the lending industry.
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.
But a credit freeze is problematic for people who need to keep their credit report open as they need to secure a loan, perhaps buy a home or a vehicle.
Equifax established a website to help people find out if their information was compromised and help protect that information. Enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security Number.
Mainers can call Equifax at 800-349-9960 to freeze your credit report, Leach said. Morfeld said that offering only a year of free monitoring means that Equifax, which provides credit monitoring as a paid service, stands to profit from its security breakdown.
Credit bureau staff will review your report with you.
The Canadian Press made multiple calls as consumers to Equifax Canada's customer service line and was told that consumers whose credit files were not checked outside of Canada are unlikely to be part of any breach. You can check your credit reports at www.annualcreditreport.com for unauthorized charges or other signs of fraud.