Last week, Cyber thieves were able to break into and steal personal data files from Equifax, one of the big three credit reporting agencies.  More than 143 Million Americans (including thousands of people in Wyoming) have been potentially impacted by this personal and financial data breech.  The information stolen by would be identity thieves could be used to access your current lines of credit, or to open new lines of credit under your name.

Equifax issued a statement via their website:

"The information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver's license numbers."  This is in addition to Credit Card numbers and other personal information as well as some credit dispute documents with personal identifying information. - equifaxsecurity2017.com

How can you tell if your data was stolen?  Visit Equifax's website - http://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com

  • Click on the "Potential Impact" tab and enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number.  Make sure you do this from a secure computer on an encrypted network connection.  The site will tell you if you've been affected by this breach.
  • US Consumers are being offered a free year of credit monitoring and other services from Equifax.
  • For consumers with additional questions, Equifax has tripled their call center team to keep consumers informed with regards to the data breech - 866-447-7559 (7am - 1am EST, seven days a week)

What can you do if your information was stolen?

The best option could be to request a Credit Security Freeze with all three major credit bureaus.  This will prevent new lines of credit (credit cards, loans, phone plans, etc...) from being opened without your authorization and a security pin number.

There is a small fee from each of the credit agencies to request a credit security freeze, here are the three links:

Equifax recommends that people remain vigilant for incidents of fraud and identity theft by reviewing all statements and keeping an eye on your credit reports.  Anyone can request a FREE copy of their credit report from each of the 3 credit reporting agencies at AnnualCreditReport.com or calling 1-877-322-8228.

If you believe you are the victim of identity theft, you should contact the proper law enforcement authorities, including local law enforcement.  In addition, you should consider contacting the Wyoming State Attorney General and/or the Federal Trade Commission or both.