CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Thought your information wasn't stolen in the Equifax breach? You may want to check again.
A FOX19 NOW viewer says he used the Equifax online tool to see if his file was among those stolen by hackers. He got a "no" when he checked several days ago, but then checked again -- and it now says he is one of the victims.
Hopefully by now you've visited Equifax.com to see if your information was among the data stolen by hackers from the credit bureau earlier this year. At least 143 million Americans were hit by this one, with hackers getting names, Social Security numbers, birth dates and more.
But if you checked and got a "no" response from Equifax, you may not be in the clear. CNET tested the Equifax tool by typing in phony names, and random digits, and got some "Yes" responses, and some "No" responses. This is why fraud experts say the safest bet is to assume your data was stolen.
Our advice? Freeze your credit to prevent anyone from opening accounts in your name.
Here's what Britt Scearce of the Emery Federal Credit Union had to say:
Experts also say thieves may sit on that stolen data until next tax season and use it to file phony tax returns, and collect the refunds.
The Simply Money point: You'll need to file your taxes early next year in order to beat them to the punch.