Millions impacted by Equifax data breach

Posted at 6:35 PM, Sep 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-13 21:35:42-04

People are scrambling, trying to figure out what to do after the Equifax data breach.  Equifax says hackers gained access to company info potentially compromising sensitive information for millions of Americans. 23ABC's Adam Bowles finds out for us what you can do to protect yourself.

Because people are so worried and angry over the breach, Equifax says they will now waive fees for those wanting to put a freeze on their Equifax credit files. This is just one way you can protect your information.

Candice Alfaro is one of many worried sick and wanting help after the major Equifax data breach.
"How am I supposed to know my money is safe, how am I supposed to know my money is secure," Candice Alfaro says.

She came to Moneywise, a financial services firm in Bakersfield - because she's not feeling secure anymore. Credit reporting agency - Equifax -  announced last week hackers gained access to the personal information of 143 million Americans, including social security numbers and driver's license numbers.

"That's what scary is you have no idea what they can do. They have everything they need to do almost anything and it could be something as easy as buying a house and defaulting in all the payments and then 'what if I want to buy a house?' now Im screwed for something I have no control over," Alfaro says.

That's why we came to Sherod Waite, a financial advisor, that knows the ins and outs on all things finance.

"They can steal your personal information, your credit card number, your birthdays, your social security numbers, pretty much any information that is needed to open up a line of credit," Waite says.
Listen, because he has the details on what you can do to protect yourself.

"You can sign up for a credit monitoring service. A credit monitoring service will simply alert you if somebody is trying to look at your credit or trying to open up some sort of line of credit in your behalf. They will alert you to that. You need to monitor and your self and go look at your bank accounts , look at your credit card accounts,  and see if there is anything suspicious happening and if there is you need to deal with it," Waite says.

Alfaro doesn't know if she's one of 143 million Americans impacted by the Equifax data breach, but now with this information she's feeling a bit better.

You can check Equifax's website to see if your data was potentially exposed. The company also says it's offering free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection.