A massive security breach was revealed today by one of the three big credit reporting bureaus: Equifax.
Hackers stole personal information, including social security numbers on some 143-million people. This hack will go down as among the biggest ever...involving nearly half the U.S. population.
Equifax says the data breach involved the names, addresses, social security numbers, birth dates, and even driver's license information for 143-million people!
In addition, roughly 209-thousand credit card numbers were also stolen.
We’re told the breach occurred between mid-May and mid-July and was discovered on July 29th - although we're just hearing about it now.
Late today, Equifax Chairman and CEO Rick Smith released a video statement:
"I deeply regret this incident and i apologize to all of our affected consumers and partners."
Equifax is one of the three big credit reporting agencies.
Ironically - it's where people go when they fear they've been hacked.
"The sheer number of people who could be potentially affected is what's so striking about this particular attack. I mean this is like Hurricane Irma size proportions affecting US customers," says Aditi Roy, of CNBC Business News.
That comparison to Hurricane Irma was not an exaggeration. Everyone needs to immediately log on to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to see if they've been affected.
If you have, immediately put a freeze on your account with all three major credit bureaus.
You should also sign up for a credit monitoring service. There are free ones out there.
And this is the perfect time and example of why you should order a free copy of your credit report from annualcreditreport.com.
Also know, if you have been affected by the breach, and take Equifax up on their offer for free credit monitoring you are giving up your right to sue them in the future. Read more on that below:
Other free monitoring services