October 13, 2017 09:11 PM
After the massive Equifax data breach, many of you signed up for the company's free credit monitoring, and several of you have told me the service has alerted you to new activity on your account. But here's the rub: Often when you call the monitoring service to find out what's going on, you get nowhere.
That's what happened to one Irondequoit man, so he dialed Deanna.
Jeff Schron is a data analyst who has worked hard, raised two kids, and retired early. "We both have excellent credit," Schron said, referring to his wife of 30 years.
And both want to keep their great credit. So when he learned he was one of 145 million Americans impacted by the Equifax breach, he signed up for Trusted ID Premier, the free credit monitoring service offered by Equifax.
In late September he got a series of text messages telling him new activity on his account had been detected. The text messages said he could call an 888 number for information. So he called immediately.
“I couldn't get through. It was a busy signal," Schron said, shaking his head. "So I tried calling first thing in the morning, and I was able to get through."
Bingo! But then they put him on hold. “I was on hold for about three and a half hours," said Schon incredulously.
His cell phone tells the story. It indicates that on September 28, the Equifax monitoring service had him on hold for three hours and 26 minutes.
“I can't get through to them. I don't know what I'm supposed to do, and that's when I reached out to you."
And so I got to work. First, I verified that the email Jeff received was not a phishing email. Equifax leaders told me scammers are sending emails that look like they're from Equifax. Company leaders say an email from Equiifax will only come from the following addresses: @equfax.com, @trustedid.com, and @e.equifax.com.
The email Schron received does appear to have come from TrustedID. So he and I then logged onto his TrustedID account. We found a new account. CBNA, Citibank of North America was the listed lender. It looks like fraud, and Schron is frustrated.
"It's not a good thing. We're just kind of at a loss for words," he said.
But after a bit of digging, we discovered some good news. Citibank of North America is the credit card issuer for Schron’s new store credit card. It's not fraud. So in this case, credit monitoring did alert Schron of new activity on his account.
But he should have been able talk to someone about it on the phone.
I contacted Equifax. A spokesperson told me, "We are working diligently to ensure an improved consumer experience, including working to add capacity to handle the volume for both the online and call center requests."
Here’s Deanna's Do List.
1. Get Credit Monitoring.
While it's clear that Equifax continues to have problems responding to the breach, I still recommend that you sign up for credit monitoring. It's free and can help you keep an eye on your credit.
2. If you get an email that appears to be from Equifax verify the email address before you click on any links in the body of the email.
3. Check your TrustedID account frequently for any activity.
4. If you find activity, be your own advocate. Call the lender to dispute the account IMMEDIATELY
Created: October 13, 2017 09:11 PM
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