As you may be aware, a huge security breach at the credit-monitoring company, Equifax, has exposed the sensitive information of up to 143 million Americans. While Equifax says that it will send notices to the people whose information was compromised, we wanted to reach out to you to make sure you take steps to protect yourself now.
Rest assured that Lincoln Investment has put into place extra precautions, and they will not give out any information, or act on any instruction regarding your investments, unless those instructions include other personal identifiable information. In addition, here are some tips courtesy of the Federal Trade Commission to protect against identity theft:
- Visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com to learn more about the security breach and to check the potential impact on your information. Whether or not your information was compromised, consumers can get a year of free credit monitoring and other services. The site will provide you with a date to log in and enroll.
- For extra protection, consider enrolling in the credit-monitoring service used by Lincoln Investment, www.myidcare.com. There is a fee for this service ($9.95 to $19.95 per month), but it may be worth it for peace of mind, especially if you have been compromised.
- Check your credit report with the other two national credit-monitoring agencies (Experian and TransUnion) at no charge by visitingwww.annualcreditreport.com. Another free service, www.creditkarma.com, will provide you with a credit report and credit score. If you discover a problem, visit www.identitytheft.gov to take the next step.
- Consider placing a credit freeze on your files. A freeze makes it harder for someone to open an account in your name; however, it will not prevent a thief from making changes to your existing accounts.
- Consider placing a fraud alert on your files. The alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim and that they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name is actually you. Learn more about freezes and fraud alerts at www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs.
- Monitor your credit card statements closely for charges you do not recognize, and check your bank account/investment statements for anything suspicious.
- Be aware of tax fraud, which occurs when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund. File your taxes as early as possible, before a scammer can.
Your financial security is important to us. If there is anything we can do, or if you have any questions, please contact us.