2017 Equifax Data Breach
Equifax, one of the "big-three" U.S. credit bureaus, announced a data breach that may have affected 143 million Americans, jeopardizing Social Security Numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver's license numbers. In North Dakota alone, 248,000 people may have been affected. For the latest information, please visit the Federal Trade Commission's website.
We're Here For You.
At Gate City Bank, we take the security of your personal information very seriously. Here is how Gate City Bank protects your personal information:
- Fraud Detection Center. We monitor your debit card for potential fraud 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can recognize fraudulent transactions by detecting purchases outside of your normal spending pattern. If our Fraud Detection Center identifies fraudulent activity, we will contact you at the phone number we have on file.
- Zero Liability. Fraudulent transactions on your debit card are likely to be denied, however, if they are approved you are not liable for any dollar amount of any unauthorized transaction, and Gate City Bank will reimburse you.
We also offer several tools to help you monitor your accounts which will help in preventing fraud. We recommend that you utilize these tools, listed below.
- Debit Card Controls - monitor activity on your Gate City Bank debit card, receive transaction alerts and turn your debit card on or off to help protect against fraud.
- Text Banking Alerts - sign up to receive text alerts about your accounts quickly through a text message on your mobile phone. You can customize your settings to be alerted about account balances, recent transactions and low balance alerts.
- Online Banking - enroll in online banking to set up account alerts, review recent transactions and more - all from your computer or mobile phone.
- Mobile App - download our mobile app to access account information on the go from your smartphone.
Contact us immediately if fraudulent transactions are discovered.
- Look into a credit monitoring service. If you want to stay on top of your credit, you can enroll in a free credit monitoring service to receive weekly updates. Source: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0235-identity-theft-protection-services
- Monitor your credit reports. You can order a free copy of your credit report from all three of the credit reporting agencies. You are entitled to one free report from each of the credit bureaus once per year. Source: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0155-free-credit-reports
- Monitor your bank accounts. We encourage you to monitor your financial accounts regularly for fraudulent transactions. Use online and mobile banking to keep a close eye on your accounts. If you suspect any fraudulent transactions, please contact us immediately by visiting your local office, sending us an email or giving us a call. Gate City Bank also offers a variety of tools to help monitor your accounts, including debit card controls and text banking alerts.
- Be safe. Watch out for scams and be wary of emails and phone calls that ask for your personal or financial information. In addition, update your online passwords regularly and never share your log-in information with anyone.
- Add a credit freeze or fraud alert on your credit reports. A credit freeze locks down your credit. A fraud alert allows creditors to get a copy of your credit report as long as they take steps to verify your identity. For full details, please visit: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs
Frequently Asked Questions
I’ve been hearing about the Equifax breach in the news. What happened?
Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus, experienced a massive data breach. The breach may have affected 148 million Americans, and in North Dakota alone, 248,000 people may have been affected, about 1 in 3 residents. The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people.
Should I place a credit freeze on my credit reports?
Before deciding to place a credit freeze on your accounts, consider your personal situation. If you might be applying for credit soon or think you might need quick credit in an emergency, it might be better to simply place a fraud alert on your files with the three major credit bureaus. For full information, please visit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs.
Should I place a fraud alert on my credit reports?
Fraud alerts may be effective at stopping someone from opening new credit accounts in your name, but they may not prevent the misuse of your existing accounts. You still need to monitor all bank, credit card and insurance statements for fraudulent transactions. 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. For full information, please visit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs.
How do I contact the three major credit bureaus to place a credit freeze or fraud alert on my credit reports?
- Equifax: Call 800-349-9960 or visit its website.
- Experian: Call 888-397-3742 or visit its website.
- TransUnion: Call 888-909-8872 or visit its website.
How do I lift a freeze?
In a few states, credit freezes expire after seven years. In the vast majority of states, a freeze remains in place until you ask the credit reporting company to temporarily lift it or remove it altogether. A credit reporting company must lift a freeze no later than three business days after getting your request. The cost to lift a freeze varies by state. If you opt for a temporary lift because you are applying for credit or a job, and you can find out which credit reporting company the business will contact for your file, you can save some money by lifting the freeze only at that particular company. For full information, please visit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs.
Where can I get more information about the Equifax breach?
You can learn more directly from Equifax at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/. You can also learn more by visiting the Federal Trade Commission’s web page on the breach 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, visit https://www.identitytheft.gov/Info-Lost-or-Stolen.
Contact us by visiting your local office, sending us an email or giving us a call.