Equifax, one of the nation’s big three credit bureaus, said on Thursday that 143 million Americans were potentially affected by a cybersecurity incident.
The hackers gained unauthorized access to certain personal information, including names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers.
Credit card numbers for some 209,000 consumers were also accessed, in addition to dispute documents with identifying personal information for another 182,000 consumers who had taken issue with a perceived error on their credit reports.
The company said an internal investigation found no evidence that credit reports were accessed in the breach. These reports contain detailed information about a consumer’s financial life, such as their track record in paying their credit card on time or whether they’ve declared bankruptcy. They are used to calculate the credit scores that banks and other lenders use when deciding whether to approve someone for a loan or credit card.
Consumers can go to www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to determine if their information has been compromised. For those whose credit card numbers or dispute-related documents were accessed, they can expect a notice in the mail. Equifax is also offering free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection for one year.
“This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do,” said CEO Richard Smith in a statement. “I apologize to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes.”