Precautions Due to Equifax Breach
You may have heard that Equifax, which is one of the three major credit bureaus, recently had a data breach that affected up to 143 million Americans. While such a large data breach of sensitive information does cause reason for concern, both WJ Interests and Charles Schwab already have many security measures in place to protect you, but there are several additional steps you can take to further protect your accounts at Schwab:
1. Call Schwab Alliance at 800-515-2157 and request to add a verbal password (with or without voice recognition) to your accounts, which would be required when calling Schwab to verify your identity.
2. Call Schwab Alliance at 800-515-2157 and request a “security token” which is a key fob that generates a random number that must be added on the end of your normal password when logging into Schwab online.
Specific to the Equifax data breach and your credit report in general, you should consider the following steps:
1. Find out if your information was potentially exposed by visiting: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/potential-impact/
2. Enroll in the “TrustedID Premiere” credit file monitoring program offered by Equifax, free of charge to all Americans for one year.
3. Keep in mind that you may check all three of your credit reports annually for free at: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/.
4. If you want to further protect against someone else potentially opening new accounts in your name, you could place a “credit freeze” on your file by contacting the three credit bureaus, which would completely freeze your credit. Otherwise, you could request a “fraud alert” which would still allow new credit to be opened, but only upon verifying your identity. Visit the following site for additional information: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs#difference
Please let us know if you have any questions or if we can further assist you.