How to avoid identity theft and fraud following Equifax settlement

Preventing identity theft and fraud

Equifax will pay a settlement of up to $700 million after a data breach exposes millions of people.

The social security numbers, addresses, driver license and credit card numbers of nearly 150 million people were exposed. Now Equifax is looking to give those affected by the breach free credit-monitoring for up to 10 years, and 7 years of free identity restoration services.

Free credit monitoring involves giving the customer notice anytime your credit has been accessed, helping to prevent fraud.

Identity restoration helps restore stolen information for victims of identity theft. Financial experts say, both are extremely important.

“Unfortunately If you haven’t received a breach notice, you most likely will,” says Cheryl Dutton, VP of Marketing for Altra Federal Credit Union. “There’s two mistakes that people make, they either ignore them or they panic and start canceling everything. The best tip that we can give you is to just become aware of your financial life.”

If you do experience identity theft, contact your financial institution right away.

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