Some details have been worked out regarding 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, the city of Akron’s website and databases were hacked by a Turkish group targeting government sites. As many as 35,000 names, addresses, Social Security numbers and other information were made public for about two days in a criminal hacking incident.
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 have the freezes and later lift or “thaw” the freezes for free.
To execute a credit freeze, it must be ordered at all three of the national bureaus for individuals and couples, where applicable.
“I am happy to report that all three agencies, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax, will all be providing free credit freezes to Akron consumers that were affected by the cyber-attack on the city of Akron’s website,” Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic said in a statement. “Additionally, those who already paid for the credit freezes will be eligible for refunds.”
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
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://transunion.com/securityfreeze.
TransUnion is working to refund fees Akron consumers already have paid and said details will be provided as soon as they are available.
Experian also has agreed to provide free credit freezes or refunds to those consumers who already have paid. It is working to finalize the process for each action. Updated information will be provided as soon as available, the company said.
Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/blinfisher and see all her stories at www.ohio.com/betty