Equifax Breach and What That Means For You (and me)
Who/What is Equifax?
Equifax is one of the three major credit reporting agencies. It houses all your financial records. These records are used when you request a loan, try to open a credit card or bank account, when you apply for apartment rentals or leases, even employers are looking at your credit history before hiring.
What Information Do They Have?
As soon as you open an account anywhere, you’ve been added to Equifax. Pay utilities? You’re in Equifax. Get a credit card? You’re in Equifax. Bounce a check? It’s recorded in Equifax. Pay your credit card one day late? It’s recorded in Equifax. Anything that has to do with your credit history is recorded in Equifax.
What Other Information Do they Have?
Besides having a record of every account you’ve ever opened (including our medical bills) and the history of how you’ve paid those accounts, credit reporting agencies have on file your Social Security Number, your birth date, former and current names and alias, former and current addresses, closed accounts, and more. ALL THE INFORMATION NEEDED TO CREATE OR STEAL AN IDENTITY IS STORED IN THEIR FILES.
What The Breach Means
If you’re an adult you’re probably in Equifax. And since they have admitted that 44% of all people in the United States had their identities stolen, you’re probably at risk of having your identity compromised. I was watching the news last night (NBC National News) and the reporter said that every American will now need credit and identity protection FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. Why? Because these thieves can sit on your data for 10, 20 years and then decide to use it. With this massive of a breach, they can afford to bide their time. Wait for our guard to be down and then steal your identity and wipe you out.
What I’m Doing
It just so happens that my Network Marketing and Business Services Company released ID Theft Protections and Recovery Services for consumers in August as part of the 20th Anniversary release. They have been working on a deal with the top company for a long time. It is the best protection you can buy. It has a comparison chart to show why it is a better service. This is the protection I’m getting. It’s not what I wanted to do with my money, but it’s what I NEED to do. Let’s look at the comparisons:
If you have to go without cable or your morning stop at a coffee shop to do this, I’d recommend doing this. People who have had their identities stolen talk about it taking years and years and thousands of dollars to restore their credit. And it’s VERY stressful! Once they wreck your credit and wipe out your bank accounts, you’re stuck trying to pick up the pieces. You can’t take out loans, buy a car, buy a house, rent an apartment, get credit of any type until your record is cleaned up. And if you have to do that, it will cost you more money than most of us have at our disposal (especially if they wiped out your bank accounts) and years to do that. A friend had their bank accounts wiped out about 10 years ago, along with their identity stolen. They said they didn’t have the money to even hire a lawyer to work on the process. They had to turn to friends and family to loan them money so they could start the lengthy process. I don’t want this to be you!
What Can I Expect?
Once you sign up and give them the pertinent information, Youngevity Protection Services will start working for you right away. You will receive a welcome packet that details what is covered and all the information you need if you have a question or loss. Based on the package you chose (I would get the plus plan due to the breach), Youngevity Protection Services will start monitoring your accounts and will contact you of any suspicious behavior. I talked with a lady last night and she said the very first report she received showed that she had 5 breaches since 2013. She didn’t know anything about those. And unlike some other services, their “cutting-edge Internet Surveillance Monitoring detects stolen personally identifiable information and compromised confidential data. It is the only identity monitoring solution designed for proactive cyber detection on an international level, breaking language barriers and detecting identity theft across the globe.”
Not Just Identity Theft…
In case your wallet is stolen or lost, Youngevity Protection Services will help you cancel and report all the stolen data that was in your wallet or purse – including passports, driver’s licenses, social security cards, credit cards, bank cards, medical cards, and the like.
Identity Theft and Credit Card Fraud are Not the Same
Personally, I know of more than 5 fraudulant charges on my credit card – and that’s just what I know about! It seems that I can’t keep the same credit card number for more than a year anymore due to credit card fraud – and I’m careful! The last one was at a gas station on my way out of town for vacation. Within hours they had charged up my card at a hotel in another state for room service, then actually duplicated my card strip and used it at a gas station for nearly $100! I had to cancel my card WHILE ON VACATION. What a mess! Twice it was stolen at Restaurant Depot (in November, two consecutive years). Once I was Christmas shopping and the card just stopped working (this was after one of the Restaurant Depot thefts – and they hadn’t even notified me of the breach yet). The credit card company identified the theft and shut it down without even notifying me. Thankfully I had another card with me and used that. But there I was on black Friday and my main credit card was shut down. Then I had to go through each purchase and verify which ones were mine and which ones weren’t. Another time I got an email that overnight someone charged up a bunch of electronics at WalMart on my card. I’ve had other instances where I had gaming and porn charges from other countries suddenly appear on my card and I had to shut down my card.
Thankfully fraudulent credit card charges are pretty easy to have reversed. It’s just the hassle and not having a card until a new one arrives. But Identity theft is another story! Once your identity is stolen they can open accounts in your name, take out loans, buy automobiles, wipe out your bank accounts, even redirect your Tax returns and social security payments. If they commit crimes while using your identity, those are on your record, too. This is serious! And proving it wasn’t you is not as easy as credit card fraud, either.
My aim here is not to scare you. And although I am an agent for Youngevity and I do earn a commission (just like your LifeLock agent will), my aim is for you to be secure and have the very best protection for the least amount of money. This is a serious breach and it will haunt people for the rest of their lives. I guess we’re all just going to have to accept that Identity Theft Protection and Restoration Services are a necessity for every American from this day forward.
On the services page, you may find other services that you may want or need. Some are free and some are paid services.
The TeleCare RX discount program is free. If you don’t have prescription service or even if you do, take the card and see if you can get a better price than what you’re already paying. One guy said last week that it was more expensive per month with the discount card than his insurance, but using the discount card he could get 3 months of his prescription at a much better price than one month using his insurance company. He used the discount card.
Travel and Entertainment Discounts: Once you are a customer this free service will help you save money on travel and entertainment. In-country airfare is pretty competitive, but once you fly internationally the real savings kick in. I’m hearing people say that they can get a better price at hotels than even the block prices for conventions. If you pay for entertainment, check out the savings there, too. I can order discounted theatre tickets for my local theatre and save $3 a ticket. They are “blank” tickets, meaning they can be used at any of the chain’s theatres for any show. No black-out dates. Use it just like you’d use cash. They make GREAT stocking stuffers and gifts for those theatre loving people in your life! You can also check for discounts at concerts and other entertainment. This is one Youngevity service that is for customers only.
Also free is CartRipple – an online and/or app service that offers discounts for many online and box stores. For box stores, just order through the app or on your computer and pick up at the store. Your rebate check will be automatically sent to you. No fees.
TeleDoc is a virtual doctor service and part of our Telecare program. Does your child have an earache and just need antibiotics? Did one of the kids come home from school with lice and need that special prescription stuff? What about sore throats, the flu, and other routine illnesses? Why take a day off of work or go to a hospital emergency room when you have a doctor on call for your entire family 24/7? My insurance company is now offering this service for more than double this price. They priced it the same as one co-pay to their walk-in clinics. Since I’m single, I didn’t check if that price was per person of the entire family. TeleCare is the entire family for one price, unlimited calls. (There is also a TeleDoc version for companies to offer to their employees).
To see all the services, check out the Youngevity Services Page.
If you are a small to medium business needing a loan, check out David Allen Capital Loans. None of the usual hassles. Submit your docs and have an answer in a few days and money in your hands within the week (usually).
Any size business in need of telecommunications services (phone, Internet, cell, etc.) we have you covered. A service that analyzes your needs and tells you if we can offer something better – in service and/or price. If we can’t offer anything better, but see holes in what you do have, we will tell you that. It’s all about getting you the best service for the best price.
We even have access to merchant processing without all the hidden fees. Our business clients love it.
Youngevity is a 20-year-old publicly traded international company. Youngevity’s goal is “Betterment” – better food, health, quality of life, and finances for both the user and the agents and distributor who share the information.
You can learn more about this philosophy here: