FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. - The Federal Trade Commission is now looking into how hackers gained access to the personal information of 143 million Americans from a credit agency’s database. The Equifax data breach has many consumers worried.
The best defense is for consumers to freeze their credit, but many people are having difficulty trying to do that.
One victim of identity theft can't get the freeze in place. Gene King had his identity hacked.
“Social security, cell phone numbers, they got my address of a new house i just moved into. They verified to me they had everything on me,” said King.
Gene is also among the 143 million Americans affected by the security breach at Equifax. He doesn't know for sure that's where the crooks got his personal information.
“So, about two weeks after Equifax was hacked, I have an account opened up, and somebody's shopping on my dime supposedly. I don't have to pay thank goodness, but this is going to be a headache,” said King.
But whoever stole King's info opened up an account with online retailer Amazon and made more than $700 in purchases before he could stop it. And like so many Americans, he's tried to freeze his credit, but the online Equifax site is overwhelmed and the other two sites are bogged down.
Experts said to keep trying until you get through and take advantage of free credit monitoring services and place alerts on your credit cards and bank cards to send texts or e-mails whenever they're used.