The Learning Centre:
The Equifax Breach – what you should know.
At Educators Financial Group, we consider it our responsibility to keep our clients informed about financial issues that could affect them.
On September 7, Equifax Inc., one of the affiliates we use to help us process credit applications, announced that hackers had gained unauthorized access to its files in a massive cyber attack. Approximately 143 million clients were affected, the vast majority of which are in the U.S. The hackers accessed Equifax’s systems through a consumer website application intended for use by U.S. consumers.
On September 12, the company confirmed that the breach affected approximately 100,000 Canadian clients. It is not clear whether the Canadians affected are only those with dealings in the U.S. The information potentially accessed includes names, addresses, social insurance numbers (SIN) and, in limited cases, credit card numbers.
In the U.S., Equifax has established a website on which its American customers can find out if they are affected. In Canada, Equifax will send a letter to their impacted clients. (Please note that we have no information as to whether Educators Financial Group clients are affected.)
What happens next?
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) is investigating. It recommends you monitor your credit cards and bank accounts for unauthorized transactions, report any signs of theft or crime to local police, report scams or frauds to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, and tell your bank and credit card companies if you believe you’ve been a target of identity fraud.
Equifax Canada said any customers affected will be able to enroll in complimentary credit monitoring and identity theft protection service for one year.
How to get more information
This article contains the most recent information as we know it at time of writing, and has been provided as a service for our clients. We will provide updated information as it becomes available.
For more information, you may contact: Privacy Commissioner
For details, contact: Equifax