Unity One CU informs: Ousted Equifax CEO to face 3 congressional hearings

Article originally posted on Data Breach Today
Written by: Mathew J. Schwartz

Equifax CEO.jpgThis week, Richard Smith, the former CEO and chairman of the board at embattled credit-reporting bureau Equifax, is set to testify before three Congressional committees over the company's massive data breach. In written testimony submitted before Tuesday's hearing, Smith says "human error and technology failures" led to the breach.

The breach at Equifax, which the company first disclosed on Sept. 7, exposed 143 million U.S. consumers' personal details, including Social Security numbers.

The hearings will likely focus on Equifax's information security practices, breach response, data obtained by hackers, as well as the suspicious timing of stock sales by three top executives.

Smith, who "retired" last week, is due to appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday, followed by the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday and the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday. At all three hearings, Smith - now listed as being "adviser to the interim CEO and former chairman and CEO of Equifax" - is the sole witness being called.

When Smith retired, he handed the reins to Paulino do Rego Barros, who will serve as interim CEO until the board finds a permanent replacement. Smith, meanwhile, has agreed to advise Equifax for 90 days.

Prior to his resignation, Smith had written that the breach was the "most humbling moment" in the history of 118-year-old Equifax.

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Unity One CU informs: Equifax isn't calling

shutterstock_712241206.jpgRing, ring. "This is Equifax calling to verify your account information." Stop. Don’t tell them anything. They’re not from Equifax. It’s a scam. Equifax will not call you out of the blue.

That’s just one scam you might see after Equifax’s recent data breach. Other calls might try to trick you into giving your personal information. Here are some tips for recognizing and preventing phone scams and imposter scams:

  • Don’t give personal information. Don’t provide any personal or financial information unless you’ve initiated the call and it’s to a phone number you know is correct.
  • Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers can spoof their numbers so it looks like they are calling from a particular company, even when they’re not.
  • If you get a robocall, hang up. Don't press 1 to speak to a live operator or any other key to take your number off the list. If you respond by pressing any number, it will probably just lead to more robocalls.

If you’ve already received a call that you think is fake, report it to the FTC.

If you gave your personal information to an imposter, it’s time to change any compromised passwords, account numbers or security questions. And if you’re concerned about identity theft, visit IdentityTheft.gov to learn how you can protect yourself.

For more information about the Equifax breach, visit Equifax’s website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com  (This link takes you away from our site. Equifaxsecurity2017.com is not controlled by the FTC.) or contact their call center at 866-447-7559.

Unity One CU informs: What to do after a data breach

 

shutterstock_709766398.jpgIf you have a credit report, there’s a good chance that you’re one of the 143 million American consumers whose sensitive personal information was exposed in a data breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies.

Here are the facts, according to Equifax. The breach lasted from mid-May through July. The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people. And they grabbed personal information of people in the UK and Canada too.

There are steps to take to help protect your information from being misused. Visit Equifax’s website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. (This link takes you away from our site. Equifaxsecurity2017.com is not controlled by Unity One Credit Union.) Equifax also says it will notify affected people via direct mail. The company has also set up a call center to handle inquiries, which you can reach at 866-447-7559.

  • Find out if your information was exposed. Click on the “Potential Impact” tab and enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. Your Social Security number is sensitive information, so make sure you’re on a secure computer and an encrypted network connection any time you enter it. The site will tell you if you’ve been affected by this breach.
  • Whether or not your information was exposed, U.S. consumers can get a year of free credit monitoring and other services. The site will give you a date when you can come back to enroll. Write down the date and come back to the site and click “Enroll” on that date. You have until November 21, 2017 to enroll.
  • You also can access frequently asked questions at the site.

Here are some other steps to take to help protect yourself after a data breach:

  • Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — for free — by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft. Visit IdentityTheft.gov to find out what to do.
  • Consider placing a credit freeze on your files. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. Keep in mind that a credit freeze won’t prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts.
  • Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely for charges you don’t recognize.
  • If you decide against a credit freeze, consider placing a fraud alert on your files. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name really is you.
  • File your taxes early — as soon as you have the tax information you need, before a scammer can. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Respond right away to letters from the IRS.
  • Reset account passwords, PIN codes and other log-in credentials on financial accounts that may be vulnerable. 
  • Establish multiple-authentication protocols for financial accounts and email, when possible.

Visit Identitytheft.gov/databreach to learn more about protecting yourself after a data breach.

 

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