PLANO, TEXAS - Stephen Luce, of Plano, says the last several days have been non-stop.
He's been on and off the phone with multiple credit card customer support lines since last Thursday. He's likely one of the many victims of identity theft.
"My address has been updated, phone number has been updated, email has been updated," he said. "I haven't done any of these."
Luce said since Thursday there's been a series of things happening without his consent. He says it appears someone is trying to gain administrative control over his accounts. He's gone back and forth with two of his credit card companies and his cable, phone and internet provider.
"If they can gain administrative control of my account that includes my internet, my phone and other things, then at that point in time they can masquerade as me." he said.
Luce is convinced that he's one of the many victims of the Equifax breach. Of course, only an investigation can ultimately prove that. The latest major breach happened with Equifax, which is one of the largest consumer credit reporting agencies. The latest staggering tally is that 143 million U.S. citizens may be victims.
"That is basically every adult American with a credit history," said Michael Bachmann, a professor at Texas Christian University.
He said the Equifax data breach is on a different scale. That breach was discovered on July 29 but wasn't made public until September 7.
"This is scary," Bachmann said. "This is unprecedented. I think everybody should take a close look at their financial routines and add a few components."
Experts have listed the following tips:
1. Sign up for credit monitoring
2. Two factor authentication
3. Consider freezing credit
4. Suppress fraudulent info
5. Ignore unsolicited requests
Luce says he entered his information into Equifax's main page and it stated that he may be a victim. Not soon after he received multiple inquiries from his credit card companies telling him that updates were made unbeknownst to him. Luce just so happens to have worked cyber security for years.
"The difference in my situation is I got visibility before any money being compromised," he said.
Luce says getting a hold of Equifax customer support is nearly impossible and the help they gave didn't give him any confidence.
Bachmann showed WFAA 8 online sites where likely all the breached information will end up. Bachmann says packaging your information is big business. From the hacker to the broker down to the low-level criminal who buys it and takes your identity. It's complicated and down-right scary.
Bachmann insists that people who have been identified as potential victims should go through Equifax's website for further help. He also recommended the Federal Trade Commission website at identitytheft.gov.
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