Step-by-step: How to find out if the Equifax breach affects you and freeze your credit

This July 21, 2012, photo shows Equifax Inc., offices in Atlanta. Credit monitoring company Equifax says a breach exposed social security numbers and other data from about 143 million Americans. The Atlanta-based company said Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, that "criminals" exploited a U.S. website application to access files between mid-May and July of this year. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Millions of Americans are scrambling to deal with the massive Equifax data breach, but going online to see if you have been impacted can be a bit confusing.

Consumer reporter Steve Sbraccia has received emails from viewers as well as questions from colleagues in the newsroom who are befuddled by the Equifax website as they try to figure out how to check to see whether their data was stolen and figure out how to freeze their credit.

The Equifax website at www.equifaxsecurity2017.com is not clear about where you need to go to check if you are one of those affected by the data breach. Follow these steps to find out.

There are two links on the website that allow you to start the process, but neither is clearly labeled.

Here’s the first way:

At the very top of the front page you’ll see a light blue box with text that says: “To enroll in complimentary identity theft protection and credit file monitoring, click here.”


If you click that link, it takes you to a screen where you enter your name and the last six numbers of your social security number.

After entering your information and assuring the system you are not a robot, that screen that’ll tell you if you’re among the affected.

If you’re a victim it’ll ask if you want to enroll in trusted ID Premier, which includes a credit freeze.

Here’s the other way to get there.

Below the front page headline that says “Cybersecurity Incident & Important Consumer Information” you will see several subheads. The third one from the left says “potential impact”.

Click it. The written information on the page will change. Scroll down till you see a red box that’s says “CHECK POTENTIAL IMPACT”.

This button also leads you to the screen that allows you to input your information, then prompts you to enroll if you’re affected.

If you’re a victim the site will ask if you want to enroll in trusted ID Premier, which includes a credit freeze.

Equifax says on its website that Consumers who sign up for TrustedID Premier will not be automatically enrolled or charged after the conclusion of the complimentary year of TrustedID Premier.

Some viewers have complained that they’ve had a hard time getting through to four credit bureaus to freeze their credit.

CBS North Carolina checked out the following numbers:

  • Equifax — 1-800-349-9960
  • Experian — 1 888 397 3742
  • TransUnion — 1-888-909-8872
  • Innovis — 1-800-540-2505

When CBS North Carolina tried calling, we got the following results:

  • Equifax — Busy signals over the course of a half hour of efforts to get through.
  • Experian — Busy Signals eventually gave way to a recording that said the company was experiencing higher than normal call volumes and long wait times.
  • TransUnion — Voice prompts that say high call volumes are slowing things down.
  • Innovis — Voice prompts that got us into the system.

The bottom line, if you’re making calls, be prepared for busy signals at peak call times.

Remember, there are 143 million people affected and who knows how many millions more who just want to freeze their credit.

Email CBS North Carolina’s Steve Sbraccia if you have a consumer issue.

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