Free Equifax Credit Freeze, ID Theft Protection & Monitoring Through 01-31-2018: NOW OPEN TO EVERYONE


  • Global Moderator

    ETA: since the breach was found to be more extensive than previously known, this is now open to everyone and the deadline extended from 11-21-2017 to 01-31-2018 https://phatwalletforums.com/post/24137

    In the wake of the Equifax data breach, they are offering to waive the fee for their credit freeze service for requests initiated through November 21st. You can request a refund if you’ve paid for this service since September 7, 2017 when they finally announced the breach (something I think they should do automatically for any of the 143 million accounts put at risk by the breach).

    IMHO, it should always be free since you didn’t ask them to collect and report your private financial info, nor can you have them delete your account… but I degress.

    Stolen data included name, DOB, address, emails, Social Security numbers, etc., so it is important for those affected to freeze their accounts at all 4 bureaus (Equifax should pay for that too). With a freeze, you, current creditors, debt collectors, and officials with search warrents/subpoenas can access your report but new creditors can’t, meaning new credit applications will be denied. I’m not sure how temporarily unfreezing your account for X amount of time or a specific authorized creditor/employer/landlord would work (i.e., would they charge you to refreeze it after November 21st?), but it costs about $10 unfreeze depending on your state.

    To find out if your data was compromised, go here: www.equifaxsecurity2017.com

    To request a free Equifax credit freeze, call 800-349-9960 (their website option is buggy).

    You can also contact the other agencies at: Experian: 888‑397‑3742
    TransUnion: 888-909-8872
    Innovis: 800-540-2505

    Thanks to Paul at TCA


  • Global Moderator

    I believe the freeze is free only to start, if you have to unfreeze for a large purchase and re-freeze, they charge, correct?


  • Global Moderator

    @mistercheap said in Free Equifax Credit Freeze Through 11-21-2017:

    I believe the freeze is free only to start, if you have to unfreeze for a large purchase and re-freeze, they charge, correct?

    Thanks, that’s likely the way they’re going to play it given that they’re not bothering to reimburse you for freezing your credit at the other bureaus. That makes the free freeze useless if you ask me. If you’re on the breach list, they should have the decency to give you lifetime freezing/unfreezing privileges for free. If you were planning on opening a new credit account in the near future, it may be best to do it before you initiate your free freeze.



  • …or before you shop for insurance, change cell providers, and so many other things where they soft or hard pull your data. I’m still tempted to freeze mine, but fear finding it will be a giant hassle to function in the real world with everything frozen. Also have to wonder if the bad guys can detect when freezes are lifted (for instance, a bot that keeps pinging to see if your data is available). If so, then the whole concept is pretty useless and expensive for the individual.



  • So, consequences be damned, I took a little break from testing things here and froze my file at all 4 - Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, and Innovis. TransUnion forces you to create an account and is the biggest PITA of the four.

    Forever offended at having to pay Experian and TU $10 each to freeze my reports, but ultimately decided it’s better than having to straighten out fraudulent accounts opened in my name.

    Guess I won’t be chasing any CC sign-up offers for a little while. 🎻


  • Global Moderator

    @mikk1 said in Free Equifax Credit Freeze Through 11-21-2017:

    … froze my file at all 4 - Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, and Innovis…

    Forever offended at having to pay Experian and TU $10 each to freeze my reports…

    How much, if anything, did Innovis cost?



  • @fivetalents Innovis was free, at least for my state (IL, where we pretty much get screwed in every way possible). They postal mail the PIN to you.



  • Links to online freeze requests and more info nicely summarized here -

    USA Today Article


  • Global Moderator

    The more I think about the freeze/unfreeze thing and being charged bogus fees for it, the more ridiculous it seems. In light of the inability for any company or agency (including the federal government) to protect private data from hackers, there should be a law that all accounts are always frozen. Whenever anyone wants to access your report, you’d then log into your bureau account, request a unique , time limited, one time use access code that is emailed to you. You then give it to whomever you’ve authorized to access your credit. Annoying yes, but infinitesimally less so than having your identity stolen, paying over and over to have your account refrozen, waiting hours or days for your accont to unfreeze, etc., … and no more unauthorized hard pulls.


  • Global Moderator

    Equifax allows for free locks/unlocks through the trusted id product that is free for a year if you’re someone who may have been affected. Transunion has a similar product that allows free locks/unlocks called TrueIdentity. I’ve looked into it and these locks are very similar to freezes.


  • Global Moderator

    @jtownsucks46 said in Free Equifax Credit Freeze Through 11-21-2017:

    Equifax allows for free locks/unlocks through the trusted id product that is free for a year if you’re someone who may have been affected. Transunion has a similar product that allows free locks/unlocks called TrueIdentity. I’ve looked into it and these locks are very similar to freezes.

    Excellent info, thank you. My concern is that if your SSN# and associated info was stolen from Equifax, you are compromised for life, not just one year… and you have to pay for the identity protection services at 3 different bureaus or the freeze/unfreeze fees for life because one agency screwed you over.


  • Global Moderator

    @fivetalents said in Free Equifax Credit Freeze Through 11-21-2017:

    @jtownsucks46 said in Free Equifax Credit Freeze Through 11-21-2017:

    Equifax allows for free locks/unlocks through the trusted id product that is free for a year if you’re someone who may have been affected. Transunion has a similar product that allows free locks/unlocks called TrueIdentity. I’ve looked into it and these locks are very similar to freezes.

    Excellent info, thank you. My concern is that if your SSN# and associated info was stolen from Equifax, you are compromised for life, not just one year… and you have to pay for the identity protection services at 3 different bureaus or the freeze/unfreeze fees for life because one agency screwed you over.

    I agree - at least Transunion is free - I guess they could always change that though. I’m hoping that during the year, Equifax decides to offer their service free for life rather than just the year. Hopefully there’s pressure put on them to do this. No matter what Experian offers no way to lock without a subscription and because of their subscription price, for most people it will probably be more cost effective to just pay to freeze and then pay to unfreeze and refreeze as needed.



  • So if I froze all the services can I just unfreeze only Transunion to get a loan then refreeze?


  • Global Moderator

    @redmed said in Free Equifax Credit Freeze Through 11-21-2017:

    So if I froze all the services can I just unfreeze only Transunion to get a loan then refreeze?

    Yes, that’s my understanding since each bureau independently collects/reports their own data on you and independently offers their own locking/unlocking services.



  • @fivetalents Good! I feel a cold wave coming across my account.



  • Did anyone get a message that freeze can’t be placed online. They requested paper work to be sent. After this data breach I am hesitant to send them the required information by mail? Also it is not clear if only a written request is required or if you need to send the supporting docs as well (such as a copy of SSN/DL/Utility bill etc.)


  • Global Moderator

    @skywalkerninja said in Free Equifax Credit Freeze Through 11-21-2017:

    Did anyone get a message that freeze can’t be placed online. They requested paper work to be sent. After this data breach I am hesitant to send them the required information by mail? Also it is not clear if only a written request is required or if you need to send the supporting docs as well (such as a copy of SSN/DL/Utility bill etc.)

    Which bureau?

    I’m surprised you had to submit anything via snail mail. @mikk1 seemed to report freezing his account at all 4 bureaus on the same day that I posted this thread.



  • @fivetalents This was for Equifax. I was able to place a freeze for all bureaus for my account (including Equifax). For my spouse I ran into issue with Equifax where they asked me to provide a written letter.



  • All of mine went through online. I’m thinking I will wait a couple weeks for any accounts that might have been opened in my name to complete processing, then pull reports from all the bureaus.



  • Going to toss this out there also - if you’re checking your reports to see what is out there, also a good idea to see what is in your CLUE reports.

    C.L.U.E reports come in two flavors:

    There’s one for personal property loss pertaining to your house and one for auto losses. You must be the owner of the home or vehicle you’re requesting a report on; you can’t do it speculatively for a car or property you’re thinking about buying.

    More information here

    Request your reports here



  • Here’s some notes to myself I’ve written just in case I find a new account opened in my/DH’s name that we did not authorize.

    1. I will NOT call the bank/FI involved. IF I discover this, I will file a police report immediately and ask for a receipt. I leave it up to the police to investigate but a report is necessary to state my claim;
    2. I will look for the postal address (not email) of the legal department of bank/FI and send them via snail mail a letter with the following content:
      a. name/dob/current home address;
      b. tell them that I did NOT open a new account I discovered on X date;
      c. I would like necessary corrections be made ASAP;
      d. I do not expect any collections activity report to any of the 3 CRAs that’s why I’m being pro active;
      *I will attach the receipt of police report I filed as proof that my SSN has been compromised.
      *I will NOT put my SSN in my first letter so they will reply to me in writing requesting for it for further action.

    Hopefully, I do not have to write this kind of letter but in case I have to, I know exactly what to do.

    I will keep a separate file of all these communications in case I need them in the future.





  • @Ma-Barker good feedback!

    If there’s anyone here who has gone through the pain of having fraudulent accounts opened in your name, it would help all of us if you could share your experience in a new thread - we could build on the info provided by @Ma-Barker to put together a “here’s what you should be doing and thinking about” checklist for everyone’s benefit?



  • @mikk1 good idea!

    it’s best for us to be pro-active now before there are issues. knowing what to do next lessens the anxieties. I have been reading a lot of suggestions online and decided to put them together as note to self.



  • @backsplatter Thanks! I hadn’t seen that bit of news yet! Hopefully that will put pressure on the other CRAs to do the same.

    I still wonder if the bad guys will have some way to detect when a freeze is lifted so they can go nuts.



  • I am a CC and bank sign-up bonus churner so I’m not inclined to freeze n thaw all the time, I am losing a lot of opportunities by doing so. I feel violated by this recent massive breach but remind myself that anger will get me nowhere. I must stay compose all the time so I can think clearly while keeping in mind to make all my communications with companies short, firm and straight to the point. This frame of mind has worked for me a lot of times without having to burn bridges and losing opportunities.


  • Global Moderator

    @mikk1 said in Free Equifax Credit Freeze Through 11-21-2017:

    @Ma-Barker good feedback!

    If there’s anyone here who has gone through the pain of having fraudulent accounts opened in your name, it would help all of us if you could share your experience in a new thread - we could build on the info provided by @Ma-Barker to put together a “here’s what you should be doing and thinking about” checklist for everyone’s benefit?

    Totally agree: I nominate @Ma-Barker to create a new thread in which she copies her to-do list and explains the purpose of the thread.



  • how much do ya’ll think it’ll cost to change citizens’ SSNs? If lots of people encounter problems and citizens band together and demand for this, will the gov’t acquiesce and let Equifax pay for it? just thinking out loud if changing SSNs will solve a lot of potential issues.


  • Global Moderator

    @ma-barker said in Free Equifax Credit Freeze Through 11-21-2017:

    how much do ya’ll think it’ll cost to change citizens’ SSNs? If lots of people encounter problems and citizens band together and demand for this, will the gov’t acquiesce and let Equifax pay for it? just thinking out loud if changing SSNs will solve a lot of potential issues.

    I kinda agree with you… until the next major hack… and there will be another… and another… and…



  • @fivetalents you’re right, hackers will be always one step ahead BUT if these agencies to whom we entrust our SSNs are given more just a wrist slap to cause them loss of their business, maybe…just maybe they’d be more careful. PLUS there should be criminal charges lodged against top honchos of these companies or else they just retire with a “measly” few hundred millions in their pocket while all of us are left to suffer the consequences of their actions.



  • @skywalkerninja said in Free Equifax Credit Freeze Through 11-21-2017:

    @fivetalents This was for Equifax. I was able to place a freeze for all bureaus for my account (including Equifax). For my spouse I ran into issue with Equifax where they asked me to provide a written letter.

    It’s possible they saw a request for two different people coming from the same device in a short time frame and it got flagged. It seems odd that they would flag a freeze request, but I guess there are scenarios in which an impostor may want to freeze it.



  • Experian is offering a free dark web scan for your email address - see https://www.experian.com/consumer-products/free-dark-web-email-scan.html



  • @jtownsucks46

    I am questioning the free for 1 yr. service. First, this is run by Equifax as I understand…not good. Second, after the 1 yr. is completed, a monthly charge (approx. $15/month) is started.
    I prefer to attempt to watch my own data (freeze all 3 providers) then give the crooks open access.


  • Global Moderator

    @mikk1 said in Free Equifax Credit Freeze Through 11-21-2017:

    Experian is offering a free dark web scan for your email address - see https://www.experian.com/consumer-products/free-dark-web-email-scan.html

    I stupidly did that about a month ago. It’s such a scam/money-grab to try to up-sell you into buying more of their products.

    "Your email address is on the Dark Web. Here’s what to do next:

    • Change and strengthen your email passwords
    • Get daily Dark Web Internet Surveillance from Experian ($10/month)
    • Protect yourself with Experian Identity Theft Protection ($20/month)
      Start free for 30 Days"

    Plus, they don’t even tell you which website/source your info was compromised on and only show asterisks for your compromised password (even though I’m logged into their supposedly secure site). It felt like they were fear mongering, trying to get me to sign up by holding back critical info. Also, the number of asterisks used to represent my passwords were much shorter or longer than any passwords I’ve ever used. Let’s not mention how many emails they immediately start bombarding you with to get you to sign up.

    Some terms:

    • A credit card is required to start your free 30-day trial membership1 in Experian IdentityWorksSM Plus. You may cancel your trial membership at any time within 30 days without charge. If you decide not to cancel, your membership will continue and you will be billed $9.99 each month for Experian IdentityWorksSM Plus. You may easily cancel your trial membership online anytime within the trial period without charge.
    • The credit monitoring benefit may only be available for 28 days during your trial period since enrollment can take up to 48 hours. You may cancel your trial membership any time during your first 30 days without charge.

    Privacy Policy: you have none… we let the thieves take it



  • Thanks @fivetalents - didn’t look at email they sent yet and realize it was shilling for their services. Will leave the info here so others are aware.

    @lslps1 Welcome! Glad you joined us!



  • Did my first free unfreeze last night. Had to call in to get it done.


  • Global Moderator

    Bump. There is only one week left to sign up for the free credit monitoring and protection.


  • Global Moderator

    Recording the latest ‘promises’ here for posterity:

    On October 2, 2017, Equifax announced that additional consumers may have been impacted. To minimize confusion, Equifax will mail written notices to all of the additional potentially impacted U.S. consumers identified since the Sept. 7 announcement. The feature “Am I Impacted?” has been updated to reflect the additional impacted U.S. consumers.

    To help consumers determine if their information has been potentially impacted we are offering a complimentary identity theft protection and credit file monitoring product, called TrustedID Premier.

    Anyone with a U.S. Social Security number can enroll in TrustedID Premier (to Protect & Monitor Credit for Free), even if your personal information was not impacted, for FREE through Wednesday, January 31, 2018.

    Provide your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number.

    ===============================================================

    TrustedID Premier includes five separate offerings, all complimentary.

    1. Equifax Credit Report: Copies of your Equifax Credit Report.

    2. Equifax Credit Report Lock: Allows you to prevent access to your Equifax credit report by third parties, with certain exceptions.

      Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Global Consumer Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com.

    1. 3-Bureau Credit File Monitoring: Credit file monitoring and automated alerts of key changes to your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files.

      Credit monitoring from Experian and TransUnion will take several days to begin.

    2. Social Security Number Monitoring: Searches suspicious web sites for your Social Security number.

      SSN Monitoring attempts to scan internet sites where consumers’ personal information is suspected of being bought and sold, and periodically adds new sites to those it searches. However, the internet addresses of these suspected internet trading sites are not published and frequently change, so there is no guarantee that Identity Protection provided by Equifax is able to locate and search every possible internet site where consumers’ personal information is at risk of being traded.

    3. $1M Identity Theft Insurance: Up to $1 million in ID theft insurance. Helps pay for certain out-of-pocket expenses in the event you are a victim of identity theft.

      Identity theft insurance underwritten by American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida or its affiliates. The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms, conditions, and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms, conditions and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.

    Important Reminders:

    • Because TrustedID Premier includes 3-Bureau credit monitoring, please note that credit monitoring by all three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) will take several days to begin.

    • Enrollment in TrustedID Premier is only available for consumers with a U.S. Social Security number.

    ===============================================================

    Enrollment Steps

    To enroll and activate your complimentary identity theft protection and credit file monitoring product, called TrustedID Premier, please follow the steps outlined below. We ask for your cooperation in adhering to this process so that we can enroll all consumers who sign up as quickly as possible. Click here to enroll.

    The enrollment period ends on Wednesday, January 31, 2018.

    1. Step One: When you begin, you will be asked to provide your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number so we can determine if you have been impacted by this incident.

    2. Step Two: Regardless of whether your information has been impacted, we will provide you the option to enroll in TrustedID Premier. If you want to enroll click the enroll button.

    3. Step Three: To enroll in TrustedID Premier, you will be asked to provide additional information to verify your identity including a valid email address and mobile number. Within a few days, you will receive an email with a link to activate TrustedID Premier. Please be sure to check your spam and junk folders if you do not receive your activation email within that timeframe.

    4. Step Four: When the email arrives, follow the link to verify your email address and complete your enrollment. You will create a password and verify your identity by answering a few brief questions that only you should know. TrustedID Premier will then be active. Please keep your password in a safe and secure location.


 

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