Equifax Data Breach (Updated)
Published on 09-08-2017
Updated: September 14, 2017
By now, you may have heard news about a data breach at Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting bureaus. Equifax announced that 143 million consumer records were compromised between May and July.
We are continuing to learn more about the breach and have assembled a team to look into all the ways this could potentially affect Coastal and our members. We are still formulating a plan to adapt our procedures to prevent the compromised data from being used against our members, and against the credit union. IN the meantime, we’ve provided some actions you can take to protect yourself.
We will continue to update this page if more information becomes available.
What we know:
- At this time, we have no reason to believe that information specific to member accounts that Coastal reports to the bureaus has been compromised.
- A small number (17) of Coastal credit cards were compromised in the breach. They had been used to purchase services from Equifax, and were not data that Coastal shared. Those cards are being blocked and reissued.
- Breached records include: Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and some driver’s license numbers. Additionally, some credit card data was stolen.
- Coastal has no way to confirm whose information has been breached. Equifax has not provided us with confirmation that any of our individual members are or are not affected.
- Equifax has provided a lookup tool on their website, but the language is a bit vague at times, and not providing a definitive yes or no answer. They also indicated that they’d be mailing affected consumers.
- Our biggest risk is centered around fraudsters trying to open new accounts and loans using stolen information, rather than trying to access our existing members’ accounts.
- There’s still a threat of unauthorized account access using stolen information to get around our authentication process.
What Coastal is doing to protect our members:
- We’re exploring changes to our digital banking multifactor authentication and the types of information it uses to verify members’ identities. We currently employ a behavior-based two factor authentication system that presents out-of-wallet challenge questions or the ability to be sent a validation code, when a member exhibits new or unusual account login activity.
- We’re also exploring changes to the information we request when verifying member identities for account opening and new loans, as well as for teller, online & telephone authentication. This added security may affect members in terms of taking a longer time for us to provide service.
- What we can control, is who we use for ID Theft Protection / Credit Monitoring services that we offer to members. Additionally, we can control which bureaus, and which information, we use to determine creditworthiness during loan underwriting, as well as to authenticate identification during various business processes. We are evaluating our options at this time.
What members can do to protect themselves:
- Equifax has set up a dedicated website which has all available information https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/.
- To see if you are potentially impacted, you can click on the Potential Impact Tab
- You may choose to enroll in complimentary identity theft protection and credit file monitoring services and see how to find out if your personal information may have been impacted, by clicking on the Enroll Tab.
- To learn more about the complimentary offering, you can click on TrustedID Premier Tab. TrustedID Premier provides you with copies of your Equifax credit report; the ability to lock your Equifax credit report; 3-Bureau credit monitoring of your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit reports; Internet scanning for your Social Security number; and identity theft insurance.
- Monitor your accounts with all financial institutions where you have accounts or loans.
- Closely monitor your credit reports with the three major bureaus. While the potential exists that someone could use stolen data to attempt to gain access to an individual’s existing accounts, there’s an even greater risk that they’d use that information to attempt to open new accounts and secure loans elsewhere, in your name.
- Visit Annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228 to request your free credit report
- You can request a credit report from each credit bureau annually. To maximize this benefit, space your requests out throughout the year.
- You may also want to consider whether or not contacting the 3 major bureaus and requesting a credit freeze is right for you. Be mindful, though, that you will have to remember to unfreeze your credit in order to apply for new loans in the future.
- If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud or identity theft, call us at 919-420-8211 immediately to speak to an Identity Theft Specialist who will help you take care of things even when you don't know where to start.
- You can also learn more about protecting yourself at https://www.coastal24.com/idtheft/idtheft.html