As your financial service provider, The Cattle National Bank & Trust Company takes very seriously the privacy of your financial information. As you may be aware, Equifax, one of the three largest credit reporting companies in the world, experienced a data breach affecting the records of 143 million Americans. This breach included names, birth dates, addresses, Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses and credit card numbers. Equifax, working with forensic experts, were able to determine that the data breach occurred because hackers were able to exploit a software vulnerability that was not patched in a timely manner.
This breach was NOT a breach of The Cattle National Bank and Trust Company’s computer systems nor was any information from our systems compromised. Regardless we want to provide you with guidance that may be helpful to you to determine if your financial information has been breached and assist you in monitoring your information in an effort to avoid potential identity theft.
WHAT YOU SHOULD CONSIDER DOING NOW
- Determine if Your Financial Information Has Been Compromised
Equifax has established a special website where you can find out if they believe your information was compromised. The address is https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/
and scroll down to the middle of the page and click on “Potential Impact” and follow the instructions.
- Enroll in Services Provided by Equifax
Equifax is offering one year of free credit monitoring and other services, whether or not your information was exposed. You can sign up for these services at the web address above and scroll down to the middle of the page and click on “Enroll” and follow the instructions. As a part of this enrollment process you should carefully review the disclosures and provisions you are asked to agree to when enrolling for these services.
- Monitor Your Credit Reports
Each of the three credit reporting agencies, including Equifax, provide you with one free credit report annually. You can obtain these reports at www.annualcreditreport.com. Once you obtain these reports review them carefully to determine if there is any inaccurate or fraudulent information contained on the report. If you determine that there is inaccurate information contact the credit reporting agency immediately.
- Consider Placing a Credit Freeze
Before putting a credit freeze on your accounts consider your own personal situation and determine if you will be obtaining credit in the near future, apply to rent an apartment or may need credit in an emergency. Creating a credit freeze stops an account from being opened in your name, must be established with each credit reporting agency, may cost you money to establish and requires you to contact the same reporting agencies to lift the freeze. As an alternative, you may want to consider placing a fraud alert on your files with the three major credit reporting agencies. A fraud alert puts a red flag on your credit report which requires businesses to take additional steps, such as contacting you by phone, before opening a new account in your name.
- Monitor Your Bank/Credit Card Accounts
It’s always a good idea to monitor your financial accounts regularly for fraudulent transactions. Utilize tools such as online and mobile banking to accomplish this and to keep a close eye on your accounts. Review your monthly statement thoroughly for the same reasons. If you have not established these services for the purpose of monitoring your accounts at our bank you can go to www.cattlebank.com to enroll or visit your local branch for assistance. In addition, effective October 23, 2017 our bank will begin offering you the ability to monitor your debit card usage via your mobile phone by downloading the mymobilemoney application in your phone providers app store.
- Beware of Scams Related to This Breach
Criminals use situations like this to attempt to gain access to your personal financial information. Do not trust e-mails or phone calls that appear to come from Equifax related to this breach.
To contact the three major credit reporting agencies for more information or to place a credit freeze or fraud alert on your files their information is listed below.
- Equifax: Call 1-800-349-9960 or visit their website at www.equifax.com
- Experian: Call 1-888-397-3742 or visit their website at www.experian.com
- TransUnion: Call 1-888-909-8872 or visit their website at www.transunion.com
To learn more about this specific breach you can visit the special website that Equifax has set up specific to this compromise at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/. You can also learn more about the breach by visiting the Federal Trade Commission’s web page at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do. To learn more about how to protect yourself after a breach or identity theft visit https://www.identitytheft.gov/Info-Lost-or-Stolen.
The Cattle National Bank & Trust Company values your relationship and the trust you have placed in us as your financial service provider. If you have any questions or concerns about this matter or any other financial service please contact us at 402-643-3636 or email@example.com.