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Steps You Should Take Now

We’ve received many questions both on-air and at our offices about the massive cyberattack on Equifax, one of three major consumer credit reporting agencies. We’d like to give you our insights on the breach as a service to you.

Hackers gained access to Equifax data that potentially compromised sensitive information for 143 million American consumers. Given that the population of the United States is 323 million people (including children), you or someone you know may be at risk.

Your data at Annex Wealth Management was not breached and continues to be rigorously protected, and we’re proud of how hard we’ve worked to keep your information safe.

We highly recommend you take the following steps:

1. Enroll in Equifax’s program

Equifax has set up its own program to help people find out if they were one of the millions affected in the hack.

For those of you who have heard or are concerned that filling out the Equifax form keeps you from being involved in a class-action suit, Equifax has posted this on its website: “No Waiver Of Rights For This Cyber Security Incident: In response to consumer inquiries, we have made it clear that the arbitration clause and class action waiver included in the Equifax and TrustedID Premier terms of use does not apply to this cybersecurity incident.”

Equifax’s program isn’t instantaneous — it requires a multi-step process that takes place over the course of at least one week. Here’s an overview of the process:
How To Enroll:

  • Head to this enrollment page and click “Begin enrollment.”
  • Enter your last name and last six digits of your social security number and head to the next page. You’ll get one of two results:
    • Equifax will provide you with an enrollment date for credit monitoring.
    • Equifax will let you know you were not impacted.

If you receive an enrollment date, write it down. Equifax does not ask for your email address, so it won’t remind you of your enrollment date.

On (or after) your enrollment date, head to this page to continue the enrollment process. You have to complete the enrollment process by November 21.Check your credit report for free at annualcreditreport.com and verify its accuracy; dispute incorrect information.

2. Set an initial 90-day fraud alert on your file.

This is free and will require lenders to contact you first if someone tries to apply for credit using your information.

3. Freeze your credit with all three bureaus.

This locks your file and does not allow any lender to extend credit under your tax ID number.

4. Repeat the process for your loved ones.

The breach could affect every tax identification number in your family.

5. Be extra watchful during tax time.

Fraudsters have been known to use victim’s tax information to file fraudulent tax returns and steal taxpayer refunds.

6. Keep. Good. Records.