You may have heard back in September 2017 a major security breech was disclosed by the credit reporting bureau known as Equifax. Initially, they reported that hackers broke in and stole names, credit information and social security numbers of 145.5 Million people. Now, after some time and further review, Equifax has admitted that hack may be worse than they initially reported. In a TechRepublic article that cites the Wall Street Journal and documents subpoenaed by the office of Sen. Elizabeth Warren and the Senate Banking committee, Equifax’s breech is now thought to include Tax ID numbers for companies, Tax information, and other very damaging data as revealed by a five-month investigation by Senate Banking Committee member Elizabeth Warren. It’s not known of the number of those affected has increased above the 145+ million people due to these new findings.
While we don’t normally report things such as this in the trailer world, this is important to you both as a taxpayer and potentially as a business-owner. Both your personal and business identity can be affected by these lapses in security and there are things you can do to watch out for the stolen use of your identity because of this hack. The IRS is already matching your tax return to a PIN on your forms that you select. You can also reach out to your bank to monitor your account for unusual activity. Plus, various reputable sites and services can monitor your activity to see if any loans, credit cards or liens are taken out without your knowledge. You can also have credit “frozen” if you don’t have any loan or credit applications you know about starting soon. Resources such as those from Dave Ramsey and Nerd Wallet can help with ideas, or you can always consult your financial or tax services provider for ideas. This is something we want you to be aware of before the worst strikes through no fault of your own.
For its part, Equifax hasn’t done very much to ease customer concerns. According to the article, Equifax’s spokesperson says affected customers have been contacted. They have also put in place a credit monitoring system which the article didn’t think highly of, and twitter links to customer support for Equifax actually took visitors to a phishing site. The bottom line appears to be not to count on Equifax to help affected customers. We sincerely hope this doesn’t touch your life or your business so be as prepared as you can be.
Read the article: Turns out the Equifax hack was even worse than we thought