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September 11, 2017 | Posted in:

Is Your Identity at Risk Due to the Equifax Data Breach?

Equifax Security Breach

Last week, Equifax credit reporting agency announced that hackers successfully stole key personal information from its servers. The data breach reportedly impacts up to 143 million Americans and occurred from the middle of May to late July. Hackers were able to obtain names, social security numbers, addresses, credit card numbers, driver license numbers, and birth dates. Hackers can capitalize on this information by opening up credit cards and bank accounts in your name, file fraudulent tax returns on your behalf, sell your information to criminals, and obtain credit under your identity.
 
Millions of Americans are at a high risk for identity theft as a result of this hack and you should do what you can to protect yourself.
 

What should you do?

There are a few different things that can be done to safeguard your credit. First, check your credit reports. The federal government allows for a free credit report each year from each of the major credit reporting agencies. You can check to determine if there have already been any fraudulent activity under your name.
 
Secondly, you should place a fraud alert with all the credit reporting agencies. This notifies the agencies that your identity may have been stolen, which causes creditors to take extra steps to verify your identity. As an extra level of security, you can also place a freeze on your credit. This will prevent anyone from opening a new account under your name without speaking with you first.
 
We also suggest alerting the IRS that you’re identity has been stolen.
 

How can your CPA help?

If you haven’t already checked to see if you’ve been impacted by the hack, we can help you with that. If you’ve already discovered you are a victim of the attack, we can help you take the steps necessary to limit any additional exposure resulting from this hack. This includes reporting to the IRS, reporting to the credit agencies, and placing security freezes on your credit. Give us a call at 856-667-4100.

 
 

 

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Identity Theft Defense from CPA and Advisor
 
Author:

Associate Partner
 
Ren III provides tax, accounting, and advisory services to a broad range of clients, with a specialty for manufacturers, title insurance companies, and professional service providers.
View Ren III's Bio →     Follow @R3CPA on Twitter →

JB Financial Associates is now Alloy Silverstein.
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