Security & Fraud

Equifax Offers Free Credit Monitoring — Via Rival Experian

Equifax has extended its free credit monitoring to all Americans affected by last year’s massive data breach, but this time, it’s using a service offered by rival Experian.

Brian Krebs of KrebsOnSecurity reported that an email from Equifax is being sent to people who signed up for the company’s one year of free credit monitoring through its TrustedID Premier service.

“We recently sent you an email advising you that, until further notice, we would be extending the free TrustedID® Premier subscription you enrolled in following the September 7, 2017, cybersecurity incident,” the email read. “We are now pleased to let you know that Equifax has chosen Experian®, one of the three nationwide credit bureaus, to provide you with an additional year of free credit monitoring service. This extension is at no cost to you, and you will not be asked to provide a credit card number or other payment information. You have until January 31, 2019, to enroll in this extension of free credit monitoring through IDnotify™, a part of Experian.”

Unless a user opts out, Equifax will automatically share the name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and self-provided phone number and email address with Experian for anyone who signed up for its TrustedID Premier service after the breach.

“Experian currently has and is using this information (except phone number and email address) in the fulfillment of the Experian file monitoring, which is part of your current service with TrustedID Premier,” Equifax wrote in its email. “Experian will only use the information Equifax is sharing to confirm your identity and securely enroll you in the Experian product, and will not use it for marketing or solicitation.”

But Krebs points out that monitoring credit actually does little to protect a consumer against fraud. Instead, he recommends freezing your credit file with Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, which is now free for all Americans.

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