It's been a little over a year since we found out about the massive Equifax data breach. Nearly 150 million people in the U.S. were impacted and will be dealing with after effects for the rest of their lives.
That's because Social Security numbers were exposed and as you know, we can never replace those. We're all now prime candidates for identity theft.
It turns out that Equifax collects more than just your credit report. It's also keeping records on our work history and salaries. Can we really trust it with this information?
What does Equifax really know about you?
Did you know that Equifax is more than a consumer credit reporting agency? Well, it is. It has a subsidiary called Equifax Workforce Solutions that gathers employment information, including payroll data.
It gets the data through a service called The Work Number, which sells information to creditors, potential landlords and employers. Obviously, they want to know things like your work history and how much money you make.
Do you want to find out what information they have on you? Well, you can.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act entitles you to a free annual copy of the report.
Here's how to get it:
- Call 866-604-6570.
- Tap or click here to download a request form and mail it in to the address you'll find on the form.
- Tap or click here to log in to The Work Number site and request the report online. You'll see a red Log In button near the upper right corner of the page. Just follow the steps it gives to log in.
How to freeze your report
You're not able to opt out of the system. However, you can put an alert on your report or freeze access to it, kind of like your credit report.
It doesn't cost anything to freeze or unfreeze your Equifax Workforce Report. But it is up to you to remember to lift the freeze if you're looking for a new job, or anything credit related that might need access to the report.
Here's how to place a freeze on your report:
- Call 800-996-7566.
- Send request by mail to:
- TALX Corporation
- ATTN: Employment Data Report Dept 19-10
- 11432 Lackland Road
- St. Louis, Missouri 63146
Bonus: Equifax data breach
If you need a reminder of just how terrible the Equifax data breach was, listen to our free Komando on Demand podcast detailing it. Tap or click below to listen now.
Equifax still trying to make up for historical data breach
Most likely, you or someone you know was negatively impacted by the massive Equifax data breach that was reported last year. That's because 143 million, nearly half of all Americans, had sensitive data stolen in the breach. The consumer credit reporting agency has been trying, unsuccessfully, to make things right with victims. It introduced a free service to consumers this week and that is also causing problems. Tap or click here to learn more.