Equifax Debacle 101

Sep 13, 2017 | By: Michael Blanchard

Equifax Issues - What to do now

By now you’ve likely heard that Equifax, one of the three top credit reporting agencies in the U.S. was victim to a data breach affecting over 143 million Americans. We’ve heard from a few clients that you are understandably concerned. What advice do we have?

Here are a couple of great articles that you may have already read. We do not want to differ from the Federal Trade Commission or the Oregon Department of Justice recommendations in this matter. Oregon’s advice on checking with Equifax actually differs from the FTC, so consider all information.

The Equifax Data Breach: What To Do - Federal Trade Commission

Equifax Data Breach: What You Need to Know  - Oregon Department of Justice

We do recommend changing your account passwords regularly and keeping your security questions fresh. You should also change your password on the email account that is associated with any banking or financial accounts.

If you know your information has been affected, the "credit freeze" and "fraud alert" options may be something you would want to pursue, especially if you are not planning to open any new lines of credit or apply for any loans in the next year or so. If you were in the middle of any expansion project - building or buying - you would want to inform your loan officer and keep moving forward.

On the tax side, we can help you file an ID theft affidavit. This would cause the IRS to issue you a PIN you could use to file your return going forward. Unfortunately, there is only so much that can be done of course. If you have reason to believe any information has been compromised, we would recommend this method. Otherwise, it may not be worth the trouble.

On the JGC Wealth Management side, TD Ameritrade and our office have many safeguards in place. We feel confident that they would not transfer funds without checking in with us, and it would raise red flags if the request has not come through our office - directly from you. There is an option you can turn on with TDA that forces them to check with you directly for any small change, but that could become cumbersome. It is up to you if you would like to do that.

Please let us know if you have any further questions, or would like to talk through options further. The sad reality is that ID theft is becoming more of an issue we respond to as quickly as we can than something we can prevent, but it's good to do as much as possible.

Give JGC Wealth Management a call today if you need help or have questions regarding filing an ID theft affidavit or anything else. 503-304-9248


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