What can you do if you are affected by the Equifax breach?

The Equifax Inc. offices in Atlanta on Sept. 11 2017

The Equifax Inc. offices in Atlanta on Sept. 11 2017

An attack on Equifax exposed information like social security numbers of almost 143 million Americans.

Equifax announced to the public on Thursday that a "cybersecurity incident" had exposed the personal information of approximately 143 million Americans.

While the Attorney General's office is taking steps of their own to find those responsible and protect from further incidents, consumers can and should educate themselves and take their own action, first and foremost by checking whether they were affected. You have to place a freeze with each credit reporting agency - placing a freeze with one agency will not freeze your credit report with other agencies. It warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and will make it more hard for someone to open credit in your name. Experts say as angry as you may be, few companies could handle the amount of demand the credit bureaus are getting right now.

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"If you think about all the things that your sign up for that requires your social security number and all the things that could be done in your name and it ruins your credit".

If the message saying your information has been compromised comes up, what do you do? Run your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com as soon as possible so you have a current look at your credit file. If you want to start putting a freeze on your credit over & over as data breaches will happen again & again.

Mainers can call Equifax at 800-349-9960 to freeze your credit report, Leach said. Then you can contact the bureau directly and request the temporary thaw, allowing your credit to be run for approval.

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We are urging those affected by this event and others to take protecting your identity very seriously.

-Check the Equifax website under "Potential Impact" to see if you've been compromised.

Equifax is offering one year of fraud monitoring to everybody. That's because Equifax is a credit reporting agency, and it holds the personal information of everyone in the country who has ever had credit.

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You'll need to provide your last name and the last six digits of your social security number. That's an indication that an individual may be the victim of identity theft. Be alert if your monthly bill or statement does not arrive on time.

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