Yikes – As the news broke at over 143 millions people information got hacked at Equifax, I immediately knew that I was affected by this hack.
As I’ve been applying for a bunch of credit cards as the side hustle for travel hack. From time to time, I’ve noticed some of the companies use Equifax. After the initial shocked that Equifax knew about this for 2 months and not disclosing, I’ve watching the news each day to see what are my options.
I was quite angry at the fact that they are a credit checking company and their security is so weak. I was even more angry when they only gave 1 free year of credit alert, and after that I’d have to pay, as if they haven’t already offered 1 year of free service.
Luckily, somebody has already done the leg work – suing them. After some bad publicity, they’ve decided to waive the fee. I don’t know how long the credit locking is free, but I’ve proceed to h take action.
*** Consumers who are affected by this hack only have until November 21st, 2017 to sign up according to Equifax.
First, I went to the website below to check that my info was among the affected. I was. Sadly!
That was 9/7/17
Go to http://www.equifax.com to prevent fake Equifax website **NPR was reporting there were several clickbait websites that pretend to be Equifax. *Yike!**
Second, I waited for the assigned date to go sign up.
***This took 6 days
Your enrollment date for TrustedID Premier is: 09/13/2017
Please be sure to mark your calendar as you will not receive additional reminders. On or after your enrollment date, please return to faq.trustedidpremier.com and click the link to continue through the enrollment process.
For more information visit the FAQ page.
Thirdly, after they sent me the link, I went on to the website and locked my account.
***This took 2 days
is time to take the final steps in enrolling in your free product, TrustedID Premier, by verifying your identity. To do this, you’ll need to answer some questions about yourself. Successfully completing this step will conclude your enrollment process and activate your product.
To verify your identity and activate your product, please click the link below:
This link will remain active throughout the enrollment period, which expires on Monday, November 20, 2017.
If you did not request this email or if you have any questions, please contact us
Your Equifax Customer Care Team
How this credit lock will affect my life:
From this point forward, my travel hacking life is affected forever!!! Each time that I need to apply for a credit card, I’d have to physically go on to the website and unlocked for I don’t know how long, so I can apply, then log back in to block it again. This is a HUGE inconvenience. And probably deter me from applying to any future credit card bonuses. This would take a huge blow on my many free travels.
I was seriously considering suing them in small claim court after the guy who create the parking ticket App that allows people to fill out the court paper quickly. But in my State, I can only get up to $5000. It’s hardly cover anything. But I’d like to sue them for free credit card monitor for life, as I can’t never change my driver license, my birth date, or SSN easily. This is MADNESSS!
I’m not looking to move or change cable company anytime soon. But each time when I sign up for a new water, gas, or electricity services, I’d have to physically unlock my credit report in order for this go to through.
So having to deal with this kind of stress, that’s why I was a bit sluggish on posting.
Here are the three things I will do from this point forward to combat the hackers:
1. Name change
Having a doctoral degree was (still is) a big deal (at least to me). So, after I got married to Mr.W, I still kept my name. But with this hack, I’ll change my name, hoping that it would be a little bit harder for the hackers to match up.
2. Check My Credit Report
I will have to check my credit report more often. Citicard offers free credit report with their card, I’ll look for that and update this post later.
On the package that Equifax has signed me up, I can order a free credit report.
3. File taxes EARLY
This is a big deal. In the past, I’ve always gotten a tax refund. Last year, with the increased income from Mr.W ( married penalty), I knew I had to pay extra taxes, so I didn’t file till April. But this year, the IRS is warning that there would be an increased in fraud. Majority of them will not go through, but it’d take the IRS months to clear you relegit. Therefore, as soon as I’m able to file, I’ll file it.
143 millions people, only 14 % signed up. Yikes!
Update on Equifax – Credit monitoring protection:
I was freaking out after listening to NPR saying that there are website that pretended to be Equifax as Equifax created a brand new domain for people to check to see if they are affected. So I panicked, and went to equifax.com trying to log on to see if the Credit Monitoring Service was actually ON or not. I panicked again because Equifax says they couldn’t recognized my sign on.
The bottom line: TrustedID.com is the service that Equifax provided, but it’s not under the same domain as Equifax. So, don’t freak out just yet.
And here is a screen shot of my Credit Report Should be Locked.
Equifax issue the statement that it would only give 1 year complimentary of credit lock/monitoring. This is why you’d need to sue, small claim court (since it’s a small claim court, we don’t need a lawyer, and we can’t go broke if we lose because the losing party doesn’t have to pay the court fee to the winning party, the limit for my State is $5000, but it can go up to $15,000). Put $15K in a REITs yielding 4-15%, that would well cover the cost of credit monitoring. If 140M to sue separately, I don’t think the company will have the time to go to all the cases… hiihih… it’s probably would go into the class action lawsuit before then.
or class action, Massachusett is doing it as a State, other States need to step up.
Equifax posted the following update on its website September 11:
We are committed to keeping consumers updated on the steps we are taking to provide them with the support they need and address any issues they are facing in response to this incident. We recognize that some consumers continue to face challenges and in response we have made the following updates:
1) Adjusted our PIN Generation for Security Freezes
We understand and appreciate that consumers have questions about how a PIN is currently generated for a consumer initiating an Equifax security freeze solution. All consumers placing a security freeze will be provided a randomly generated PIN.
2) Call Center Support
When we recognized that Hurricane Irma could impact some of our call center wait times, we arranged to ramp up agents quickly to replace agents impacted by the storm and updated our website to make consumers aware of the situation.
3) Clarification Regarding Automatic Sign-Up to TrustedID Premier
We are not requesting consumers’ credit card information when they sign up for the free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection we are offering to all U.S. consumers. Consumers who sign up for TrustedID Premier will not be automatically enrolled or charged after the conclusion of the complimentary year of TrustedID Premier.
4) Obvious Link from Equifax.com
To make it easier for consumers to find the website dedicated to providing information about this incident, we have reconfigured our website, http://www.equifax.com, to feature the link more prominently.
5) Adjusted the TrustedID Premier and Clarified Equifax.com
We are listening to issues consumers have experienced and their suggestions. These are helping to further inform our actions, and we are now sharing regular updates on this website. Thank you for your continued patience and feedback as we continue to improve this process.
Are you a travel hacker? What was your experience was like signing up for Equifax? Please comment below so we can all learn from each other.
Full disclosure: I am not in anyway associate with Equifax or TrustedID or any other credit card company. I don’t hold any Equifax Stock. I have no special interest in any financial institution or services. I wrote this article for my record and to describe my experience after I found out my information was hacked through Equifax.