BCT, like many Financial Institutions, is deeply concerned about the potential compromise of sensitive personal information in the recent Equifax data breach. All financial institutions rely on the services of the credit bureaus to assist with their lending programs. Your credit is important to both you and BCT. We urge our customers to visit the Equifax web site at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/ to learn more about the breach and what you can do to protect your information. Equifax is offering free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection for one year to those who may have been affected by the breach.
The Federal Trade Commission has offered some additional guidance for steps to help protect your credit consumers after a data breach:
• Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — for free — by visiting http://www.annualcreditreport.com/. Accounts or activity that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft. Visit https://identitytheft.gov/ to find out what to do.
• Consider placing credit freeze at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs on your files. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. Keep in mind that a credit freeze won’t prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts.
• Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely for charges you don’t recognize.
• If you decide against a credit freeze,consider placing a fraud alert at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs#difference on your files. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name really is you.
• File your taxes early — as soon as you have the tax information you need, before a scammer can. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. Respond right away to letters from the IRS.
Visit http://www.identitytheft.gov/Info-Lost-or-Stolen to learn more about protecting yourself after a data breach. If you feel that your identity may have been compromised, we suggest you visit the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.identitytheft.gov/#what-to-do-right-away/ and report the activity.You can also visit each of the three major credit bureaus to learn more about your credit and how to protect yourself from Identity Theft at these links: Equifax (http://www.equifax.com); Experian (http://www.experian.com) and TransUnion (http://www.transunion.com).