What You Need to Know About the Equifax Data Breach
Credit rating firm Equifax recently revealed a data breach which exposed access to personal information of 143 million Americans and 209,000 U.S. credit cards.
You may be concerned about the effects this breach will have on you and your credit. Please be assured the security of your information is our top priority, and we will continue to monitor this situation closely and keep you informed of any developments that may affect Northern Credit Union members.
NOTE: Northern Credit Union will NEVER contact you by phone or email and ask you to verify your account details such as debit or credit card numbers, social security number, and/or passwords. If you receive such an email/text message/phone call, please contact us immediately and DO NOT provide any information to the sender.
Please review the following information to better understand how this breach may affect you and ways you can monitor and protect yourself from fraud.
Was Northern Credit Union breached?
No, Northern Credit Union is secure and we have not been breached, however, we recommend you set up alerts for easy account maintenance.
Do I need to be worried about my Northern Credit Union accounts?
Your Northern Credit Union debit and credit card are protected by Visa Zero-Liability protection and Visa Fraud protection 24/7. You should always be cautious and review your accounts on a regular basis. With that being said, it is a great opportunity to take advantage of our eAlerts. The best way for us to communicate with you regarding your account is by having your current email and mobile phone number on file. To update your information, please call 315.782.0155 or change it in Online Banking.
What information was compromised?
According to Equifax the following was compromised, “The information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers and credit card numbers.
What is Equifax doing to help consumers and fix the issue?
Equifax has established a dedicated website, http://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, and call center where you can speak to someone regarding any questions you may have about the breach by dialing at 866.447.7559.
On http://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. You will receive an immediate response as to whether you were impacted or not and will be given the opportunity then to enroll in TrustedID.
Equifax is providing one year of free monitoring protection through TrustedID for all consumers, even those not affected by the breach. After checking your potential impact, you will be given an enrollment date to return and sign up for the free service.
What can I do to monitor my accounts?
The best way to monitor your account activity is by checking your Northern Credit Union account regularly via Online, Text or Mobile Banking, as well as your accounts at any other financial institutions. In addition, you can pull a copy of your credit report from each major bureau once per year at www.annualcreditreport.com.
As part of our normal process, we require multiple forms of identification to ensure your financial information is protected. For debit card transactions, we also have fraud prevention measures in place to identify suspicious activity. We encourage you to regularly review your account activity and report any suspicious transactions to us.
Here are some other steps to take to help protect yourself after a data breach from the Federal Trade Commission:
- Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — for free — by visiting annualcreditreport.com.
- 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.
- 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.
We understand the importance of your personal information and want to make sure you know Northern Credit Union is committed to keeping that information safe and secure. If you have additional questions for us, please call 315.782.0155 or contact us online.