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FAs on Equifax Hack: Clients Need to Be Proactive

September 13, 2017

The recent Equifax data breach has affected the private information of 143 million Americans, but financial advisors say there are ways to fight back, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal writes on its website GoUpstate.com.

Criminals have various means of using the data leaked in the hack of the credit-reporting agency’s data, Barry Wynn, president of Colonial Trust, tells the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. The breach, which Equifax reported last week – about six weeks after it was first spotted – is believed to have provided hackers with people’s addresses, Social Security numbers, birth dates, credit card numbers and even driver’s license numbers, according to the news website.

But according to Wynn, that type of vulnerability is just a by-product of our digital age. Equifax itself is being transparent and aggressively trying to present consumers with solutions, he tells the publication. For starters, the company has set up a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, where consumers can figure out if their data was potentially breached as well as enroll in credit monitoring and identity theft protection, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal writes.

There are other ways to prevent being a victim, according to the news website. The information stolen by the hackers could be sold to others, who may then use it to make expensive purchases, Noel Swain, a certified financial planner and president of ProVest Wealth Advisers, tells the Spartanburg Herald-Journal.

But consumers can set up credit card purchase alerts that would let them spot suspicious purchases and report them to their banks, he says. It’s vital consumers report unauthorized spending as early as possible, however, or it may damage their credit report, Swain tells the news website.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Spartanburg Herald-Journal article cited in this story, click here.