The Equifax Security Breach
What you should know
As you may be aware, Equifax recently announced a large data breach of their systems that is expected to impact over 143 million consumers. While this is not a breach associated with Bear State Bank, we strive to protect our customers through information and education.
Bear State Bank places the highest priority in the security of your accounts and information. We provide various security controls to address these and other evolving threats. Many security controls are layered, including strong encryption and monitoring of suspicious activity to help ensure our customer’s information is protected.
The Equifax Data Breach
Several steps you can take to protect your information:
- 1. With the magnitude of the breach and Equifax updating their customer impact numbers, we suggest you presume you are impacted – Learn more about the Equifax breach at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) site. Equifax is providing a dedicated support team that can be contacted using their dedicated call center at 1-866-447-7559. The call center is open 7 days a week from 7:00 am – 1:00 am Eastern Time.
2. Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—for free—by visiting annual credit report. Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft. Visit Identity Theft to find out what to do.
3. Consider placing a credit freeze on your files. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. Keep in mind that a credit freeze won’t prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts.
4. Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely for charges you don’t recognize. If you decide against a credit freeze, consider placing a fraud alert on your files. A fraud alert ‘should’ warn creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they ‘should’ verify that anyone seeking credit in your name is really you. Understand that a credit freeze provides stronger controls in protecting your information.
5. File your taxes early—as soon as you have the tax information you need, before a scammer can. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Respond right away to letters from the IRS.