Equifax, one of the major credit reporting bureaus, announced a major cyber breach potentially affecting 143 million Americans. The data breach primarily involved names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, but in some cases, driver’s license and credit card and cash reserve account numbers.

We suggest you take the time to thoroughly read the information below and take the following steps:

1. Monitor your credit for fraudulent activity.

Did you know you can request a free credit report each year? There are also several free online credit monitoring tools and services available, which enable you to see if there’s been any inquiries against your credit or unauthorized accounts opened.

If your credit has been affected, you can go to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s website, IdentityTheft.gov, to fill out a quick online form. You’ll be provided with resources and next steps to help resolve any identity theft issues.

2. Keep an eye on your money. 

If you see any unfamiliar transactions with your FirstBank accounts, please contact our 24 hour customer service 1-800-964-3444 (press 0 to speak with a representative).

You can also enroll for Online Banking Alerts to be notified by email or text message when changes are made to your account or other account activity occurs such as deposits or withdrawals. Simply login to your online account at efirstbank.com, go to the Online Banking tab at the top of the page, click on “Alerts” under the Communication Center to enroll.

3. Consider setting up fraud alerts or freezing your credit. 

A fraud alert is free and allows creditors to get a copy of your credit report as long as they take certain steps to validate your identity. You’ll still need to monitor all bank and credit card accounts for fraudulent transactions.

A credit freeze, on the other hand, locks down your credit and restricts access to your credit report, which makes it difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name, because creditors require access to your report in order to approve a new account. However, be warned: freezing your credit may slow your ability to obtain credit and fees may apply (they typically range from $5 to $10).

Please note that both tactics will not impact your score, but you will have to contact all three credit reporting bureaus to set up alerts or freeze your credit, including Equifax, Experian and Transunion.

  • Transunion – 1-888-909-8872.
  • Equifax  -1-800-349-9960.
  • Experian – 1‑888‑397‑3742.

 

 

7 comments on “Equifax Cyberattack: Three Things You Should Do

    • Hi Terry, the Equifax breach didn’t result in compromised checking and savings account information. But it did result in social security and other personal information like home addresses, etc. being stolen. That’s why we’re encouraging all customers to monitor their credit reports and take necessary measures (e.g. credit fraud alerts and freezing, if necessary) to ensure no unauthorized credit cards or credit accounts have been opened fraudulently under their name. While it’s unlikely these Equifax hackers can use your personal information to identify where you bank and empty your accounts, it’s always encouraged that you monitor your accounts just in case to make sure there aren’t any unauthorized transactions. Please contact 24 hour (number is above in the article) if you have anymore questions/concerns.

  • Is First Bank taking any additional steps to protect our accounts from the Equifax breach. Other than the 3 things listed on your web site.

    • Hi Daniel, we have a fraud department that monitors for fraudulent activity. However, the Equifax breach didn’t result in compromised bank account information. The Equifax breach compromised social security numbers and other personal information — not personal savings and checking accounts. So that’s why we’re encouraging all customers to monitor their credit reports and take necessary measures (e.g. credit fraud alerts and freezing, if necessary) to ensure no unauthorized credit cards or credit accounts have been opened.

      All FDIC banks, including FirstBank, have very rigorous verification procedures we have to meet to ensure people are indeed who they say they are before they open any accounts. Hope this helps.

    • Hello Margaret. Great question. You can obtain a free credit report from http://www.annualcreditreport.com. This is the only federally authorized website where you can obtain a free credit report, from each of the three credit reporting companies, once per year. Please visit that site for additional information or to request your credit report.

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