People haven't had much success online trying to find out if their Social Security number was included in a massive Equifax breach (affecting possibly half the U.S.) reported earlier today, so I called Equifax's emergency response line to see what I could find out.
The company put up a website earlier to allow consumers to see if hackers had stolen their data. However, rather than telling folks if their information was included in the breach, that site seemed to sign people up for TrustID, an Equifax service offering a suite of security products to protect them from digital theft.
Conveniently (for Equifax), those who sign up for TrustID might waive their right to any class action lawsuit against the company, as stated at the bottom of TrustID's terms of service.
Here's how my call to Equifax's response line went down:
After pressing "1" for English and then being told "calls will be monitored or recorded for quality assurance purposes" I was informed Equifax was experiencing a high call volume at the moment (no surprise) and was told to stay on the line.
After a little over five minutes of being subjected to peppy corporate music, I was then informed representatives were available till 1 am EST and to try again later. Then it hung up on me.
Undaunted, I tried the same thing over again, went through the same actions, waited on the line for about six minutes and was hung up on once again. I tried this an hour later and the same thing happened again.
Right now, there doesn't seem to be a good solution in place online or off. Instead, likely this same experience awaits if you want to find out what the hell Equifax allowed to happen to your personal data.
I've reached out to Equifax to find out what the company is doing to help those who may need to take quick action to protect themselves.
In the meantime, you can call 866-447-7559 to try for yourself if you'd like to avoid automatically signing up for TrustID.