All details now have been released outlining how victims of the city of Akron’s hacked website can get fees waived or reimbursed for security freezes at the three national credit bureaus.
On May 16, a Turkish group targeting government sites hacked the city of Akron’s website and databases. As many as 35,000 names, addresses, Social Security numbers and other information were made public for about two days.
The city filed a police report naming itself as the victim and sent letters to other potential individual victims.
Typically, credit freezes cost $5 per bureau per person, according to state law. However, victims of identity theft can initiate the freezes and later lift or “thaw” those freezes for free.
Such an action will “freeze” the consumer and others from gaining new credit in the consumers’ name without prior permission or a “thaw.” It does not affect a consumers’ current credit or accounts.
To execute a credit freeze, it must be ordered at all three of the national bureaus for individuals and couples, where applicable.
For more information about credit freezes, read the May 26 Taking Action column (“Credit freezes for city of Akron hack victims are recommended; it is a proactive move in general”), which can be found at www.ohio.com/betty.
Other previous stories about the hacking incident also can be found at www.ohio.com/news.
Here’s all of the information regarding freezing credit. Copies of the police report are online at www.akronohio.gov:
To get a free security freeze from TransUnion, Akron consumers should call 888-909-8872 or go to http://trans union.com/securityfreeze.
Akron residents who paid a fee to place a security freeze on their TransUnion credit file following the city’s website compromise May 16 can receive a refund of that fee by calling 800-916-8800 and selecting “Option 3” to speak with a live agent. To receive a prompt refund, callers will need to provide the same credit card information used when they placed the freeze; so they should have that card on hand before calling.
Victims can speak to a customer service representative for a credit freeze or to be reimbursed for a freeze they already obtained by calling 800-232-8081.
You will need complete identification, including Social Security number and date of birth and addresses for the past two years and the credit card or check used if you already purchased a freeze.
To mail a request, send the above information to: Experian, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX, 75013.
To get a free security freeze from Equifax, those consumers affected should send the city of Akron police report or the letter they received from the city identifying them as a victim to:
Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348
Or by fax to: 888-826-0573.
For residents who already have placed a security freeze (for a fee) on their credit file as a precaution, Equifax will honor refund requests. Those should include the payment method information and amount paid, along with either a copy of the police report or the city’s letter identifying the person making the request as a victim. Requests should be sent to:
P.O. Box 105395
Atlanta, GA 30348
There is no phone number for Equifax to talk to a live representative.