Frustrated consumers report credit freeze problems

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The Atlanta-based credit reporting agency recently announced that as many as 143 million people were exposed when hackers exploited a website application to access protected files earlier this year.

Anyone in the US who has a bank account or who ever had a vehicle loan or mortgage is likely affected by the Equifax hack, and sensitive information such as name, address, Social Security number and driver's license number may have been exposed to hackers.

The Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection is urging Mainers to take steps to protect their credit and private information after the security breach at Equifax.

The company provided a new website for consumers to check if their personally identifiable information (PII) was exposed in the breach, but the website was rife with problems. "They will make a decision based on your Canadian credit information", Morley said. Regardless of whether your information was stolen, you can get a year of free credit monitoring from Equifax.

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The Federal Trade Commission, the division of the government set up to protect consumers, is investigating the massive data breach at Equifax.

"You're going to enter the last six digits of your Social (Security number) and your last name and it will pop up whether or not your information has been compromised".

But once you secure the loan, experts said follow their blanket advice for everyone - freeze your credit indefinitely. "We intend to hold Equifax accountable for what happened, and ensure that something of this magnitude never happens again", Miller said.

"No one other than the list you have authorized is allowed to look at your credit report or open a new account in your name", says Cronin.

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Identity theft should become a major concern if you or someone you know has used Equifax services.

If the message saying your information has been compromised comes up, what do you do? Keep in mind that a credit freeze won't prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts. If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have credit.

"The second thing you really need to do is to start monitoring your credit more". Within two weeks, you will receive a letter with a unique PIN to unlock and relock your credit, he said.

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