Equifax, one of the nation’s top three credit reporting agencies, confirmed its systems were recently affected by a cyber security incident, impacting upwards of 143 million people. This incident has potentially exposed sensitive data for those affected, including names, dates of birth, addresses, credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc. The credit reporting agency has issued a formal warning that consumers may be at risk, whether they are Equifax customers or not.
Brickell Bank was not compromised and your information was not stolen from our bank. However, Brickell Bank takes the security of our customer information very seriously, and we are providing you with the information we know about this massive breach and the steps you can take to protect your personally identifiable information if you so desire. Following this unprecedented breach, we are also asking our customers to be extra vigilant and report any suspicious activity in your Brickell Bank accounts to Brickell Bank by contacting your Bank account officer.
To determine if your personal information was impacted by this incident, Equifax has offered the following steps:
- Click on Equifax’s safe site: Check Potential Impact to provide your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number.
- Based on that information, you will receive a message indicating whether your personal information may have been impacted by this incident.
- Regardless of whether your information was impacted, Equifax will provide you with the option of enrolling in “TrustedID Premier,” and you will be given an enrollment date. Click on the link that is then provided on or after the enrollment date, but before the enrollment period, which ends Tuesday, November 21, 2017.
- Follow the “How do I enroll?” instructions to continue the activation process.
Equifax has also set up a dedicated website for individuals to voice concerns or ask questions. As an added precaution, Equifax has indicated that they will be mailing notices to those who are potentially impacted.
We suggest you take the following actions to protect yourself, if you feel you might be affected by this breach or others:
- Monitor your statement and transactions. Let your credit card company or your Brickell Bank account officer immediately if you notice an unexpected or erroneous charge on your statement, or while reviewing your transactions online.
- Catch an incident early by ordering a free credit report from any of the three major credit bureaus. If an identity thief is opening credit accounts in your name, these accounts are likely to show up on your report. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877.322.8228 for more information. Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft. Visit IdentityTheft.gov to find out what to do.
- All suspicious activity should be reported to the Federal Trade Commission through www.consumer.gov/idtheft, or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT.
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), publishes an excellent pamphlet entitled, “Take Charge: Fighting Back against Identity Theft”. You can access it at our branch offices or at the FTC website.
- Consider placing a credit freeze on your files. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. Keep in mind that a credit freeze won’t prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts.
- If you decide against a credit freeze, consider placing a fraud alert on your files. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name really is you. Contact one of the three major credit bureaus and discuss whether you need to place a fraud alert on your file, which will help prevent thieves from opening a new account in your name. Here is the contact information for each bureau’s fraud division:
Equifax, P.O. Box 740250, Atlanta, GA 30374, 800-525-6285
Experian, P.O. Box 1017, Allen, TX 75013, 888-397-3742
TransUnion, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634, 800-680-7289
To learn more about how we protect your privacy and security, please visit http://brickellbankmiami.com/privacy-and-security.