Recently, Equifax, one of the three national consumer credit reporting agencies, announced a major data breach. This breach affects approximately 143 million Americans. This is what we know according to Equifax: the data breach occurred May – July 2017, and the information stolen includes consumers’ personally identifiable information, including names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers. Approximately 209,000 credit card numbers and dispute documents with personally identifiable information for approximately 182,000 consumers were also stolen. There is no evidence of unauthorized access to consumers’ credit reporting databases.
To be clear, Howard Bank was not compromised and your information was not stolen from our bank. However, Howard Bank takes the security of our customer information very seriously, and we are providing you with the information we know about this massive breach and the steps you can take to protect your personally identifiable information if you so desire. Following this unprecedented breach, we are also asking our customers to be extra vigilant and report any suspicious activity in your Howard Bank accounts to Howard Bank by calling 410-750-0020 or visiting www.howardbank.com/security
Equifax has established a website that informs consumers if they may be affected by the breach, provides additional information on the breach, and offers complimentary identity theft protection and credit file monitoring. This information is available at www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. To protect your identity and personal information, Howard Bank strongly encourages our customers to take the actions noted below.
Experian ® TransUnion® Equifax®
P.O. Box 9554 P.O. Box 2000 P.O. Box 740241
Allen, TX 75013 Chester, PA 19016 Atlanta, GA 30374
888-397-3742 800-680-7289 800-349-5191
If you believe you are the victim of identity theft, contact your local law enforcement office and/or your state attorney general. Finally, you may also want to consider reviewing information about recovering from identity theft, which is available from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at https://www.identitytheft.gov/ or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338). The FTC also offers general information to protect your online presence at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/privacy-identity-online-security.
Equifax has established a dedicated toll-free number to answer questions you may have about the Equifax data breach and its effect on your personally identifiable information. You may call them at 866-447-7559.
If you have any other questions, please contact a Howard Bank Representative at 410-750-0020 or email us using the form below.