United Methodist Connectional Federal Credit Union
Press Release on the Equifax Security Breach
September 20, 2017
If you have not heard, there was a cyber breach of the Equifax Credit Bureau. The United Methodist Connectional Federal Credit Union is aware of and monitoring the breach. It's important to know that UMC FCU has not received any alerts regarding any member's credit card accounts.
Members with Protection Plus Checking accounts have fully managed Identity Theft Resolution Services as part of your checking account. Should you suffer identity theft, an identity fraud resolution specialist will help you every step of the way until your credit and identity are completely restored. In addition, you can receive up to $10,000 Identity Fraud Reimbursement Coverage to help pay expenses, clear your name and repair damaged credit. Visit www.eClubOnline.net for additional information.
If you are concerned about whether your information has landed in the hands of hackers, here are five things you can do right now:
1. Check your free credit reports
Under federal law you are allowed to request a free copy of your credit report once a year from each of the three credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can request a copy of your credit report online at www.annualcreditreport.com. It will tell you if anyone has requested a check on your credit. This happens, for example, if someone tries to open a new credit card or apply for a loan in your name. But it could take time to show up on your report, so you won't necessarily see any changes right away. If you find something out of the ordinary, inform each credit bureau in writing.
2. Put a fraud alert on your credit
You can put a fraud alert on your credit reports for free by contacting one of the credit agencies, which is required to notify the other two. This means you'll be contacted if someone tries to apply for credit in your name. It will last for 90 days and can be renewed.
3. Keep an eye on accounts and credit card statements
Go through all your credit union, retirement, and brokerage accounts, as well as your credit card statements to look for any suspicious activity. Remember to change passwords frequently and do not use the same password for multiple online accounts.
4. Sign up for a credit monitoring or identity theft protection service
Monitoring services usually alert you when a company checks your credit history, a new loan or credit card is opened in your name, a creditor says a payment is late, or if public records show you've filed for bankruptcy, according to the FTC. But keep in mind, most credit monitoring services only track your credit reports. They still won't alert you to suspicious activity on your credit card or in your bank accounts. Some monitoring services include identity theft protection, which will alert you when your personal information is being used in ways that doesn't show up on your credit report. It could monitor things like utility and cable bills, payday loan applications, and social media.
These services won't prevent fraud from happening. But some do offer identity recovery services to help you regain control of your finances after identity theft occurs.
The government offers a free resource for recovering from identity theft at IdentityTheft.gov. While there is usually a cost involved with a credit monitoring service or identity theft protection, Equifax is offering a free year of credit monitoring through its TrustedID Premier business, regardless of whether you've been affected by the hack.
This will track your credit report from Equifax, as well as your reports from the two other reporting agencies, and alert you to certain changes. TrustedID Premier will also provide free copies of those reports and the ability to lock your Equifax credit report so companies cannot see it. It includes identity theft insurance and it will scan the Internet for use of your Social Security number, too.
5. If you're really worried, put a freeze on your credit
This is an extreme step and might not be necessary, especially if you don't know for sure that your information was compromised, or what personal information was stolen.
A freeze blocks anyone from accessing your credit reports without your permission. But it can be an inconvenience for you, too. If you want to take out a loan or open a new credit card, you'll have to contact the reporting agency to temporarily lift the freeze. It's also not free. Fees to freeze your account vary by state, but commonly range from $5 to $10. Equifax will freeze accounts at no charge if the request is made before Nov. 21, 2017.
Please contact our office if you have any additional questions.
Georgia: 800-282-9368 Florida: 866-687-2136