What happened

  • On September 7, 2017, Equifax announced that the records of approximately 143 million Americans were breached between May and July.
    • Those records contained personal information such as names, birth dates, addresses, Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers and 209,000 credit card numbers were obtained.
    • It is still unclear who initiated this breach.
  • At this time, the biggest risk posed is the threat of identity theft. Identity theft is the deliberate, fraudulent use of someone else's identity, usually as a method to gain a financial advantage or obtain credit and other benefits in the other person's name.
  • Additionally, criminals may begin using this information to craft sophisticated phishing communications encouraging consumers to provide more personal information.
  • To learn about your rights as a consumer if your personal information was compromised in the breach, visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com or Federal Trade Commission: "The Equifax Data Breach".

What should you consider

Consider placing a fraud alert on your credit files

  • A fraud alert helps prevent fraudulent accounts from being opened in your name. It requires businesses to verify your identity before issuing credit in your name. It’s important to know that fraud alerts must be renewed every 90 days. Refer to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website for instructions on How to Place a Fraud Alert.
  • It’s also a good idea to notify ChexSystems to keep an eye out for fraud committed in your name. ChexSystems allows consumers to place a security alert on their credit data to make it more difficult for identity thieves to fraudulently open checking and savings accounts. For more information, visit ChexSystems.com.

If you are active duty military, place an active duty alert on your credit files

  • An active duty alert provides additional credit file protections at no cost to active duty service members while deployed away from home. For more information, visit Military Consumer tools.

Consider placing a credit freeze with all three credit bureaus

  • A credit freeze restricts access to your credit files and makes it more difficult for fraudulent accounts to be opened in your name. A unique PIN will be provided by each credit bureau so you can temporarily or permanently lift the freeze on your credit file if you want to apply for a new account or accounts.
  • Without a temporary or permanent lift on the credit file, any new attempts to apply for credit will be declined, thus protecting your credit information. Freezing your credit file does not impact your ability to use your credit and/or debit cards.
  • For more details on this service and potential charges, the FTC provides Credit Freeze FAQs.

Periodically request copies of your credit report

  • In addition to freezing your credit file, you should periodically request a free copy of your credit report. By law, each of the major credit reporting bureaus must provide a free copy of your credit report each year through a government-mandated site: www.annualcreditreport.com. It is recommended that you review a report every 120 days and report any inaccuracies or questionable entries when or if you spot them as several forms of identity theft may not be blocked by a freeze. Avoid other sites that offer “free” credit reports.
  • Remember to report suspicious or fraudulent activity immediately to the credit bureaus and your financial institution:
    • Equifax: 1-866-349-5191 or www.equifax.com
    • Experian: 1-888-397-3742 or www.experian.com
    • TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800 or www.transunion.com
    • First Horizon Bank: 1-800-382-5465

Consider enrolling in credit monitoring or ID theft protection services.

  • These services are primarily useful in helping consumers recover from identity theft and generally have a monthly fee. Examples of these services and their providers are listed below in the Identity Theft Protection Services Table.

Important Note: Should you decide to enroll in a credit monitoring or ID theft protection service, be sure to read the terms and conditions associated with the service(s).

Identity Theft Protection Services Table*

Experian IdentityForce® Identity Guard® LifeLock®
Price: $9.99 or $19.99/month $12.95 or $19.95/month $19.99 or $24.99/month $12.95 or $19.95/month
Number of Plans: 2 2 3 3
Three-Bureau Monitoring: Yes
Only on highest priced plan.
Only on highest priced plan.
Yes Yes
Only on highest priced plan.
ID Insurance: $1 million $1 million $1 million $1 million
(varies by plan)
24/7 Support: Yes Yes Yes Yes
Years in business: 125 years 38 years 20+ years 14 years
Website: Experian Identity Force Identity Guard Life Lock

Website information:

Experian: http://www.experian.com/consumer-products/identity-theft-and-credit-protection.html

Identify Force: https://www.identityforce.com/

Identity Guard: https://www.identityguard.com/

LifeLock: https://www.lifelock.com/

* Disclosure Statement: Reference in the Table to a third party product or service does not constitute an endorsement, authorization, sponsorship, or affiliation by First Horizon Bank, or its affiliates, of the third party or its products or services. Examples provided are for informational purposes only.

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