Information Regarding Equifax Data Breach | Oct. 2, 2017
Keeping your information confidential is of paramount importance to Ascend, and we want to assure you that this was not a breach of Ascend data.
Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus, recently confirmed that up to 143 million consumers’ information was compromised beginning in mid-May and continuing through July of this year. Compromised data reported by Equifax included Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers and physical addresses, as well as some credit card personal identifying information. While the intrusion was discovered on July 29, the full impact of the event is still to be determined.
Ascend will continue to follow the Equifax situation for new developments.
How do I obtain information from Equifax?
- Equifax has provided a website for consumers to obtain updated information and to determine if they have possibly been impacted by this breach. That website is www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and contains significant amount of information. You may also call the Equifax call center at 866-447-7559. The call center is available every day (including weekends) from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. CT.
- Equifax will provide a year of free credit monitoring to consumers. To learn more details, about this, go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com as well.
What things should I do to help protect myself against fraud if my personal information has been exposed in a breach?
- Continue to check your credit report for suspicious or unrecognized activity. Consumers can obtain a free annual report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) at www.annualcreditreport.com.
- Monitor all bank accounts, credit cards and any online accounts closely for unauthorized activity.
- Change your passwords following the latest security recommendations.
- Never use your financial account user name and password for other online activity.
- Do not provide personal identifying information via a public computer or while using public Wi-Fi.
- Contact at least one of the credit bureaus to request a fraud alert. Companies will then be required to verify your identity before opening an account with your information. Go to www.consumer.ftc.gov for more information. Please note: A fraud alert only lasts for 90 days.
- Pay attention to financial related calls that are unexpected or unusual.
- File your tax returns early. File as soon as you have all of your necessary tax information.
- Consider whether you may want to do a credit freeze on your credit reports. This will make it difficult for someone to open credit accounts under your name. For more information about a credit freeze and the implications of such a freeze, please visit the Federal Trade Commission website at www.consumer.ftc.gov. Note – The credit reporting agencies can charge a fee for credit freezes.
Microsoft has released the following statement regarding the new "ScareWare" scam:
“Microsoft will never proactively reach out to you to provide unsolicited PC or technical support. Any communication we have with you must be initiated by you.”
In some cases, the “caution” message takes up the full screen, making it difficult to find a way to close the window. Usually the only way to close this window is to turn off your computer.
Never call the phone number they provide. Look up a phone number independently.
How to protect yourself:
• Do not allow remote access to your computer.
• Hang up the phone when you identify that the call is uninvited.
• Never divulge passwords or pin numbers.
• Microsoft or someone on their behalf will never call you.
Watch Out for These Emails
Emails are being sent to random Internet users who may not be Digital Insight customers using the spoofed address email@example.com. These emails are not legitimate communications from Digital Insight. Attached to the message is a .zip file containing a malicious executable file disguised as a PDF, and it infects the user’s computer with malware.
How to protect yourself:
- Do not click on attachments in suspicious emails.
- Perform regular backups of data.
- Do not view or share personal information over a public wi-fi network.
- Install anti-virus software on both your personal computer and mobile device, and keep the software updated.
Additional Third Party Software
Due to increased security, certain third party toolbars/software may prevent user access into E-BRANCH This can also include some types of pop-up blockers. In order to log in to E-BRANCH, this software may need to be disabled or uninstalled. Please refer to the third party vendor instructions for information on how to perform these steps.
Due to increased security, certain spyware/adware may also prevent access into E-BRANCH. These programs report your Internet surfing habits back to a third party site for data collection purposes. In order to log into E-BRANCH, users must remove this type of software from their computer.
If you have any questions, please contact an E-BRANCH Representative at 800-342-3086 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t Get Hooked by Phishing
Please be aware that “phishing” scams are sometimes emailed to Ascend members and non-members. Phishing is a means to trick a user into visiting a fraudulent Web site, usually through a bogus link in an email.
Phishers send fraudulent emails containing authentic-looking logos and graphics and ask for financial information.
If you get a message asking you to verify personal information, it did not come from your credit union. We will never send you a letter or email asking for your account numbers, user names, passwords, or Social Security number. If you get a message like that – do not respond.
If you’ve compromised any personal information through a phishing scam, contact your credit union immediately to change your account number. Then you should contact the following credit bureaus to report identity theft so that a fraud alert can be placed in your file:
- Equifax – To report fraud, call 888-766-0008 or visit equifax.com.
- Experian – To report fraud, call 888-397-3742 or visit experian.com.
- Trans Union Corporation – To report fraud, call 800-680-7289 or visit tuc.com.
Visit BALANCE to learn more about how to protect yourself from identity theft.