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Tips for Equifax breach victims

A massive data breach at the credit bureau Equifax has left an estimated 143 million Americans at risk of ID theft. The size of the breach means many Cuyahoga County residents will be affected, according to the Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs.

Equifax says the breach happened from mid-May through July. It appears hackers accessed information including Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license information. A smaller number of consumers – about 209,000 people – may have had hackers access credit card numbers and dispute documents they sent to the bureau to have inaccurate information removed.

"It could be awhile before any of us have enough information to determine how much risk the breach poses for each of us," said Sheryl Harris, Cuyahoga County’s Director of Consumer Affairs. "There are some steps you can take now, but you may need to take additional steps later, as you find out more information about which of your records may have been compromised."

Equifax is offering consumers – whether they are affected by the breach or not – free credit monitoring but the Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs recommends consumers wait to get more information about the breach and about this monitoring program before deciding whether to participate.

For now, you should:

The Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs will continue monitoring the situation.

 

 

The Department of Consumer Affairs’ mission is to make sure people who live or shop in Cuyahoga County get what they pay for.