September 11, 2017
Our brokers are asking Orion’s AEs if their clients should be concerned with the recent Equifax breach effecting approximately 143 million consumers in the United States. Yes, they should. If you run the numbers, it appears that if you have any credit account or ever had a credit report run by Equifax, there is at least of 50-50 chance a person’s account may be impacted.
To find out if you are one of those potentially impacted, Equifax has established a website (https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/) where you can check your status. If you impacted you will automatically be signed up for their "TrustedID Premier" program. The program monitors all three credit bureaus and changes to credit files, searches what they consider suspicious websites for your social security number, provides $1 million insurance for credit fraud, and provides a free credit report.
If one of our broker’s clients chooses to enroll and are a potential impact victim, then they are automatically enrolled in the program. Note that if a person does not want to waive rights to any class action do not go through this process.
Orion’s brokers remind clients that every credit agency must provide a person with one free credit report per year by law. This credit report does not impact a person’s credit score. All three bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) provide the reports through one site that is authorized by the federal government.
There are many companies that offer free credit reports that are not part of the federal government. Brokers remind clients to be careful with these since these companies do not necessarily provide your credit information without strings attached.
It would behoove everyone to check to see if they are potentially impacted by the data breach and take measures to monitor your credit to protect yourself from potential data and identity theft. It is challenging to clean up after an identity theft issue, especially if there are new accounts that have been opened. A lot of time and resources must be utilized to unwind the damage inflicted to a victim of identity theft. And you can be assured that Orion takes our role in our broker’s client’s financial security very, very seriously.