Every adult American shouldn't have to go through this bullshit because some company fucked up. This is a big enough of a deal that Congress should be actively looking into laws to enforce a more secure credit rating.
My understanding is that if I freeze my credit, existing accounts, including my credit cards, will work - I just can't open new accounts of any kind. Is that right?
And why don't we have this PIN system by default for credit? I feel like if I open a new account I should have to verify with this PIN every time. They could mail new PINs every year or so...
I shouldn't *have* to tell them to freeze my Equifax credit. You were compromised, freeze everyone's credit. They don't care. 3 multi-billion dollar corporations that handle ALL the credit for ALL Americans. I didn't buy their product but if I want any kind of financing I am in the system.
I'm really not banking on a 90 day or even 3-4 year alert doing much.
the people who stole this information are not stupid.
the people who stole this information are not 99 years old and going to croak tomorrow.
your SSN is not going to change in the next 100 years.
they have time.
they MIGHT get caught.
even if they do get caught they probably will sell the information to people for billions of dollars over the course of the next 100 years.
the vast majority the stolen information will probably not be sold off and used until a few years from now, when everyone's forgotten about this and fraud alerts are all expired.
this is basically going to be a problem for the rest of every person in the US's life. at any time until you die your identity can and very well may be stolen.
basically every person in the us fucked for about 100 years and then a few more will continue to be fucked for another 50 years.
correct me if i'm wrong.
>Are you an American adult that has ever held or inquired about a credit card, loan, car, bank account, cell phone account, electric service, water service, internet service, a security clearance, most jobs, most schools, most apartment complexes, or renting a house? Congratulations! You’re affected! I’m seeing a lot of “Well, if you ever did X…” Or “If you ever signed anything with this fine print…”
This is confirmed by the number of accounts compromised. Given that a sizeable portion of the population is under 18, has cognitive impairments, or is very old and has never used credit, 140,000,000+ accounts means that everyone who has ever interacted with the modern financial system is compromised.
WARNING: IF YOU CALL EQUIFAX, THEY WILL RATTLE OFF YOUR PIN ONCE AND THEN HANG UP ON YOU. Am I fucked? Does anyone know if they send confirmation by mail??
Equifax will waive all Security Freeze fees for the next 30 days.
[Equifax announced this today on Twitter.](https://twitter.com/Equifax/status/907382924621819906)
If you don't need to apply for credit in the near future, freezing your credit could be for you. It means no one will be able to use your stolen information to get credit in your name.
Thank you for this brilliant post. I can't believe the mods deleted the single most useful LPT in the history of that subreddit. Morons. Your legal stuff was right on anyway.
I loved what you said about small claims. Big companies and defense attorneys HATE hate hate small claims because there is NO discovery. They are easy for a non-attorney to file.
The only question I have is, what damages do I or anyone, really, have for this breach? Actual, hard numbers you can show a judge and get an award? Emotional distress or anxiety is not not necessarily recoverable in cases like this, typically or generally.
The laws of your jurisdiction will vary and this is NOT legal advice and I am NOT your lawyer.
I, and many of my friends, were part of the OPM breech. I cannot emphasize enough to put a freeze on your credit with all 3 agencies. Monitoring will tell you only after the credit cards have been opened under your name since there's a delay. Security frauds don't stop this and they only last for 90 days at a time.
It doesn't feel like a lottery that I was chosen but I one of the "lucky" few, it's a serious pain. It's been years and I still have someone actively trying to open credit cards and access my bank accounts (recommend NOT to use your debit card that links directly to your bank, rather credit cards that you can refute, I have friends that have found their bank accounts emptied). I took the freeze off my account for 30 days to apply for a credit card and 3 days into it I had false credit cards under my name. I have the monitoring service provided by OPM but the alerts through the free credit monitoring service through capital one has been faster and helped me shut down accounts before they could be used.
I monitor everything real time with instant alerts and emails from all of my financial institutions. I change my complex passwords on a regular basis. So far, I haven't had any financial damage but the potential for major damage has definitely been there. I've had to step away from meals to immediately deal with a notice I received for a new credit card being opened so I can report fraud and close the account.
I tried filing a police report but they wouldn't take a report since it was online. They directed me to an FBI line who wouldn't take it either and directed me right back to the local police. I was never able to file a report, thought the credit agencies will waive all fees for freezing if you're able to get one.
Don't take the chance, listen to this guy. Freeze your credit NOW.
I'm now subscribed to YSK and preparing to leave LPT. Thanks OP!
I'd wait a bit on annualcreditreport.com
Transunion can't be selected, it's greyed out.
Experian wants you to fill out a form, print it out and *mail it in*.
Equifax gives a timeout error and when it does work, tells you that online delivery is "unavailable" and to *also* mail your request in.
All three are useless right now. What a joke.
Then when you refresh, annualcreditreport.com thanks you for reviewing all three.
edit2: called Transunion to set up a freeze, got all the way to the end and it asked for my CC to pay them $10 for the freeze. When it took 15 seconds to get my credit card out, they said I took too long, were going to transfer me to a rep, and then I got a busy signal and was disconnected. Again, what a fucking joke. Burn these institutions to the ground and start over.
Edit3: Looks like Experian is up for some folks. Give it a shot!
There will be at least one lawyer on Equifax's team that kills themself if just a million people file in small claims court. You could destroy their ability to operate with enough of those lawsuits. They'll have whole offices dedicated to receiving process for this matter.
I don't think people realize the legal bloodbath that this is going to be. $100 million is an offensively low estimate of a class action settlement. That's less than a dollar per eligible class member. They should be expecting to pay a billion minimum to make this go away. Nobody should underestimate how appealing this case is to an experienced complex lit practice group. You've got a universally despised organization that's negligence has caused every adult American's data to be stolen. And it all happened in one single breach. That's a wet dream of a class action and potential damages are astronomical.
Great post OP!
Everyone should also check out the [mega-thread](https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/6yv4gb/official_mega_thread_recent_equifax_security/) over at /r/personalfinance for additional resources/advice.
PSA: through www.annualcreditreport.com, the site mentioned by OP, no credit reports are currently able to be generated. Experian says to submit in writing, Equifax systems are down, and then the site itself crashes when you try to settle for TransUnion.
Edit: It sounds like others have been having some success pulling their reports. Still nothing on my end--good luck everyone
"It is an automated system so don’t worry about interacting with a person."
You had me at hello. lol