Many of you are familiar with the Equifax data breach, which has potentially exposed 143 million Americans' personal information and Social Security numbers to outside sources. Many experts feel a credit freeze is the best way to protect your identity. However, this week many people have had a lot of trouble placing a credit freeze through Equifax’s website.
A credit freeze (also known as a security freeze) locks down your credit and can only be unlocked with a personal identification number (PIN) that you receive when you enroll.
We’re getting reports that Equifax’s security freeze website isn’t able to process some freezes during this time when so many of us are worried about identity theft. There are other sites that have agreements with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion (such as www.creditkarma.com) that can freeze your information online in about 15 minutes.
Equifax has acknowledged the sign-up problems in a statement on its website on Wednesday:
“Due to the high volume of security freeze requests, we experienced temporary technical difficulties and our system was offline for approximately an hour at 5PM ET on September 13, 2017 to address this issue. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
Many credit experts, including Clark Howard recommend that you sign up for a free site such as CreditKarma.com instead. It’s 100% free:
Follow these two steps to protect your identity:
- Sign up for an account with creditkarma.com to get free credit monitoring and notifications of suspicious activity
- Freeze your credit at all three main credit bureaus
This data breach is so severe that the criminals will be able to use this information for decades, so if you’re getting a message from Equifax that your request can’t be processed at this time — please keep calling.
Also feel free to call me with any questions or concerns:
Our office number is 404-889-8000