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  1. Because of the incompetent security measures, resulting in the breach of Equifax that ended up compromising 145+ million consumers personal data & other personal data hacks last year, security experts are urging all U.S. taxpayers to file your tax returns as soon as possible! Especially if you know you were one of those affected by the Equifax breach (or one of the other recent hacks) the sooner you file your taxes the less likely that a hacker will attempt to use your stolen data to file a bogus return and end up with your tax refund in his/her pocket! Even if you're using credit monitoring or have a credit freeze that still will not stop this type of taxpayer identity theft the experts are saying. You can get a 6 digit authentication code to be used with your return as an extra security measure by contacting the I.R.S. and requesting this code be added to your return. Regards, Ritchie...
  2. One of the three major U.S. credit reporting agencys, Equifax, has been hacked! Equifax admitted to the breach today but they knew about it "at the very least" back in July 29th. Why it took so long for Equifax to admit to the breach? Your guess is as good as mine. My opinion is they should have alerted consumers much sooner of the possibility that their personal information may have been compromised. I find that untenable considering the scope of the breach. Some questions need to be answered there. It is estimated that 143 million American's personal information may have been compromised! That's not a type o, "143 million people, that's almost half of the U.S. population!" This also includes some people in the U.K. & Canada. The data that may have been compromised includes names, addresses, dates of birth, social security numbers and even some driver's license information. Also an estimated 209,000 consumers may have had their credit card info stolen. "Yikes!" Equifax claims that data from businesses was not affected as far as their "current research" has determined. The FBI is investigating this breach. Equifax has also hired a private cyber-security firm to do their own investigation. Equifax is doing some "damage control" by offering free one year credit monitoring & identity theft protection for anyone whose information may have been stolen. Here is a link to Equifax if you wish to find out if you were affected and to enroll in the program if you were unfortunate enough to be one of the victims of this hack. There is a deadline to enroll, you have until November 21st to sign up for the service. https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/enroll/ Edit: There was a down side to singing up for Equifax's monitoring service. You had to agree to waive your arbitration rights which means you can not file or participate in a class-action law suit against the company but as of Friday they rescinded that requirement amid a backlash of protests. Regards, Ritchie...
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