Last updated: September 28, 2017
On September 7, we were informed of a data breach at the credit reporting agency Equifax, involving over 143 million consumer records, at the same time as the general public. We have spent the past several weeks working to better understand the breach and its causes. While much is still unknown, we find it important to share the following information with you at this time. More information will follow as we continue to learn more about the situation.
How do I know whether or not I was affected?
While Equifax provided an online tool to determine whether or not you may have been affected by this breach, it has been identified in several media outlets as unreliable at the very least. Experts have recommended that all consumers who have ever had or applied for credit should operate under the assumption that they have been impacted by this breach. Because of the amount of data that was stolen, and the “infinite” persistence of many of the data points over a person’s lifetime (such as social security numbers), you may not be impacted by the breach for several years. It is important to assume that you may be impacted at some point – perhaps even ten or twenty years from now.
What can I do?
This is an area in which more information from Equifax will help. Our answer may continue to evolve as more information is released by Equifax. For now, some experts are recommending that you contact the three largest credit reporting agencies in the U.S. and request that they place a “freeze” on your credit file. This allows you to exercise maximum control over your credit, choosing when to un-freeze it so that you can apply for credit in the future. While your credit is frozen, no one may successfully apply for credit in your name. The contact information to initiate a freeze with each of the credit reporting agencies is listed below:
|Equifax – 1-800-349-9960||TransUnion – 1-888-909-8872|
|Experian – 1-888-397-3742|
Will this impact my relationship with New Generations?
When you call or visit us, we may ask you for more information than we normally would. This is being done to help us ensure we are dealing with you, our member, and not someone who has stolen your identity and is trying to gain access to your accounts. We understand this may be slightly inconvenient, but we ask for your understanding as it ultimately helps us to better protect your accounts.
What else can I do?
Other helpful resources include: