Credit 101: Bureaus, Reports & ID Theft

Credit Is More Than Your Card 

When your information is exposed in a data breach, it can cause panic and concern. Who can I trust? What should I do? And who has access to my information?  

The good news is that some of the most effective preventative measures are already within your reach. Your credit information – paired with the right credit protection tools – can help defend against fraud and identity theft after a data breach event.  

Industry experts (including those of us at EZShield, too) often suggest that consumers check their credit reports, consider placing credit freezes or fraud alerts, and contact the three major credit bureaus.  

Each of us understands the concept of credit from our own perspectives. Credit typically means “buy now, pay off later.” Credit scores indicate our lending risk and credit reports are often reviewed to rent an apartment, apply for a loan or open new credit card accounts.

So, let’s look at how credit works, how your credit reports can help you spot identity crime, and additional tools you can use to further protect your credit information.   Continue reading

Equifax Data Breach Exposes 143 Million

UPDATE 9/21/2017 

CNN Tech reports that a fake Equifax website went viral via Twitter yesterday. 

The worst part? Equifax fell for it. 

Equifax created a website for consumers affected by the company’s recent breach event called “equifaxsecurity2017.com” to offer a way for consumers to determine their impact, as well as general information about the breach. Additionally, the company has been using Twitter and other social media outlets to respond to breach-related questions and concerns. Continue reading

Synthetic IDs: Great For Fraudsters, Bad For Victims

Identity theft… without your full identity 

It’s called synthetic identity theft. Whether by a phishing scam, data breach, hack or physical theft, your information becomes compromised and falls into the wrong hands. Criminals use this stolen information to mix and match names, birthdays, Social Security numbers and addresses with other fabricated information to create synthetic IDs. Once the synthetic identity is made, criminals can make fraudulent charges to your bank account, open new lines of credit, order prescriptions and even commit crimes under your name. 

In 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) called synthetic identity theft “the fastest growing type of identity fraud in the United States.” Unlike “true name” identity theft, fraudsters only need to use certain pieces of your information — paired with the criminal’s own or fabricated information — to create a new, “synthetic” identity.

Continue reading

American JobLink Alliance Breach Affects 4.8 Million

April Breach:Scam CalloutWhat happened? 

American JobLink Alliance (AJLA), a web-based system that connects jobseekers to employers across the United States, recently reported a data breach affecting an estimated 4.8 million individuals.

The breach, caused by a hack, left jobseekers’ names, Social Security numbers and birthdates exposed. Hackers gained access into the company’s system by creating an account with the company, then exploited a vulnerability in the online application’s code.

The breach’s nationwide impact affected victims in ten different states.

Continue reading