With more information coming out about the Equifax data breach, consumers are increasingly looking for answers on whether their information is protected.
Atlanta-based Equifax recently announced that as many as 143 million people were exposed when hackers exploited a website application to access files earlier this year. Equifax, one of the three main credit-reporting agencies in the U.S. lending industry, waited six weeks to tell the public, leading to outrage and calls for class-action lawsuits.
What exactly does a credit freeze protect me from?
Money expert Clark Howard says freezing your credit is the No. 1 way to protect yourself from identity fraud. One question people are asking is whether a credit freeze protects them against fraud.
The short answer is no, because your information — your name, Social Security number, etc. — may still out there. A credit freeze protects the consumer from “new account” openings, meaning new attempts to open a line of credit in your name. As invaluable a credit freeze is, it’s still incumbent on the consumer to monitor their credit regularly.
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If you have specific questions about the Equifax breach and how it may impact you, contact Clark’s Consumer Action Center — a FREE help line open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. EST with volunteers available to answer YOUR concerns! Call Team Clark @ 404-892-8227.