Equifax Data Breach

Friday, September 8, 2017

Equifax Data Breach: What to Do

According to the FTC, if you have a credit report, there’s a good chance that you’re one of the 143 million American consumers whose sensitive personal information was exposed in a data breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies.

As posted on equifaxsecurity2017.com, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017.  The information accessed includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. In addition, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers, were accessed. As part of its investigation of this application vulnerability, Equifax also identified unauthorized access to limited personal information for certain UK and Canadian residents. Equifax will work with UK and Canadian regulators to determine appropriate next steps.

We are working with Equifax to learn how this may have affected Banner Bank clients. Here is what we have learned:
Q:  Equifax said 209,000 credit card numbers were accessed. Does that include Banner Bank accounts?
A:  Equifax stated they are in the process of sorting the credit card numbers by Bank, and they committed to communicating with all effected issuers.  As of this time they don’t know which banks or credit unions are impacted.  
Q:  Were actual credit reports accessed or altered?
A:  Equifax said their core credit reporting databases were not accessed in any way.  This was a cyber-security incident involving a website application.
Q:  How can I find out if my personal information was involved in the Equifax data breach?
A:  You can find that out directly from Equifax by visiting equifaxsecurity2017.com. There, you can enter your last name and the last 6 digits of your social security number to learn if your information was included in the breach. Everyone, regardless of whether they are part of this breach, is eligible to enroll in a free 1 year credit report monitoring product.
Q:  I went through the Equifax process and was given a future date when I could enroll in the Equifax Credit Bureau monitoring tool.  Why the delay?
A:  This breach involves a tremendous number of people—which is currently stressing the process currently in place. Equifax is ramping up their technology platform to deal with the expected enrollment. 
Q:  What can I do to safeguard my account relationship at Banner Bank?
A:  This breach did not occur within Banner nor were we involved in any way, but we appreciate your concern about all your financial information. We remain diligent in our efforts to safeguard your information. One additional action item we encourage is to place an Inquiry Password on your accounts that is only known to you.  This Inquiry Password would be required anytime we have phone contact with you as an added step to verify your identity before any actions are taken on your behalf.  Visit any Banner Bank branch or call us at 800-272-9933 to place an Inquiry Password on your accounts.


Banner Bank clients can enroll in Mastercard® Identity Theft Alerts. As a Banner Bank client, you’ll enjoy this free service that continually monitors your online identity and card information so that you get alerted to potential fraud or theft. Learn more and sign up.

One final reminder:  Be wary of scammers sending bogus URL links. Be on the watch out for social engineering emails that scammers may send in the future.

For additional information, visit Identitytheft.gov/databreach to learn more about protecting yourself after a data breach.