by admin | December 30, 2017 2:40 pm
You may have heard that the credit reporting company known as Equifax was hacked in May of this year. Personal information, credit card numbers and tons of vital data regarding credit consumers was broken into by yet unknown electronic invaders sometime in May. Equifax claims they did not discover the breach until July 29. We use the word ‘claims’ because there are some interesting extenuating circumstances involving the timeline that actually creates more questions than it answers; such as why Equifax did not go public with the information until September.
How Does the Breach Effect Las Vegas Residents?
The worst part of all this is there is a strong chance this will affect you even if you’re used to applying for no credit check payday loans in Las Vegas. We’ll explain why later one (bear with us. We’re not holding off giving you vital information until the end of the article to make sure you read it. We believe it is important you have the entire picture before you decide what to do with the information we are about to present to you).
Equifax is one of three major credit reporting corporations that store data about you and your credit history. The other two corporations are Experian and Transunion, and to date, there have been no known breaches of their secured data.
If you’ve ever had a credit card, a loan for any reason, or even filled out an application for a rental on an apartment, these three corporations will have your information stored in their database. This information includes your social security number for identification purposes, your most current address, your current phone number, birthdate, and of course, your credit history.
Pay Attention to Your Las Vegas Credit History
If you’ve never really paid much attention to your credit history or even considered what your current credit rating is, then we advise you to look at the above information and let it sink in for a moment. In fact, we’re going to repeat it because it is important you realize the information thee three corporations have about you. They know your name, your social security number, your address and phone number, and your credit history.
Why? Because these are the corporations everyone goes to for your credit rating should you apply for a credit card, credit at a store, a loan at a standard bank, and yes, that application for an apartment you may have filled out in recent months. These entities rate your credit with a score, and it is that score which is used to either grant or deny you a credit card, how much you credit limit will be, if you need Vegas quick loans with no credit check on the same day, what your interest rate will be, and many, many other factors involving finance and your credit.
It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your credit score, and you can get a free credit report once a year from places like freecreditreport.com.
When the breach occurred at Equifax (the one they claim they didn’t know about until July 29), the personal information – including some credit card numbers – of almost 150 million people was compromised. That’s 150 million potential cases of identity theft thanks to Equifax’s not-so-great firewall security measure they had in place at the time.
Was Equifax Being Shady?
You may be wondering why we’ve used the word ‘claim’ twice now regarding Equifax’s story and why it might differ from reality. As it turns out, three Equifax executives sold stock they had in the company before the public announcement of the security breach. After the announcement, Equifax stock fell by more than a third (which is a severe loss in terms of stock prices) in a single day. Many are wondering why these executives sold their stock before the announcement was made. Of course, the answer seems obvious, but then it just leads to more questions and at least one certainty: Equifax’s priority was to mitigate the damage caused by public perception of the breach, instead of acting in the best interest of their clients (clients like you and me, who never asked for Equifax to store our information).
Here, at least, is a certainty. If the executives knew about the breach, and sold their stock before the breach was made public news, then they are guilty of insider trading. But consider this: how much damage was done between May and September with the information that was stolen? How many identities were hijacked using this information that could have been prevented if Equifax had gone public with the knowledge when – as they claim – it was discovered on July 29? And why did they not go public in July? Was it to give the executives a chance to dump their stock?
The CEO of Equifax issued a public apology and resigned, taking with him a reported 20-million-dollar golden parachute (clauses in his contract that guaranteed him a minimum severance upon his leaving the company). Equifax is now under investigation by the SEC for possibly insider trading. And the information that was stolen is still out there.
There are things you can do to at least be aware of what may or may not have happened to your information. First, get your free credit report and check it over thoroughly. If there is anything on it you do not recognize, find out how you can dispute it and get your score cleared.
Second, go to: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/ to find out if your information was compromised. While you’re there, look at what Equifax is offering by way of securing your information and decide whether you want to sign up for their programs (such as credit monitoring, which they will offer free for a year, and then there is a monthly charge thereafter).
Third, start searching for news about Equifax. Lawsuits have already been filed, and you might be entitled to part of a potential class action lawsuit. We don’t necessarily encourage lawsuits, but in this case, it may be the only way to learn about what happened, how it truly affected you and why it is so important that these credit reporting agencies take the job of securing our information seriously.
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