PBI Data Breach - Frequently Asked Questions
The CalPERS credit monitoring and identity theft protection enrollment period ended September 30, 2023.
If you have questions about your Experian account, you may reach Experian at (877) 890-9332. They are available Monday-Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. PT, Saturday-Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT.
For common questions and answers about Experian’s services, alert notifications, your account, protecting yourself, and credit reports and scores, visit Experian's common questions webpage.
Questions About Identity Theft, Fraud Alerts & Credit Freezes
What happens if I place a fraud alert on my credit file?
Fraud alerts can be placed on your credit reports for free, and there are two different types:
An initial (one-year) fraud alert can be placed if you believe you are, or may become, a victim of fraud or identity theft. The fraud alert lasts for one year. If you want to keep it active on your credit reports, you'll need to renew it after that time. When you or someone else attempts to open an account in your name or attempts to make changes on an existing account, such as increasing the credit limit, the lender or creditor must take reasonable steps to confirm you are who you say you are, such as through contacting you by phone at a number you provide, before completing the request.
Placing an initial fraud alert also allows you to request a free copy of your credit reports every 12 months from the three nationwide credit bureaus, in addition to the one free copy from each credit bureau you're entitled to under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
An extended fraud alert can be placed if you are a victim of fraud or identity theft. It requires a copy of a valid police or law enforcement agency report or a Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Report. An extended fraud alert is similar to an initial fraud alert but lasts for seven years. With an extended fraud alert, a lender or creditor is required to verify your identity in person or by phone at a number you provide before opening new accounts or making changes to existing accounts.
You may contact any of the three nationwide credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to request a fraud alert. Once you place an alert with one of the bureaus, that bureau will send your request to the other two.
What happens if I place a security freeze on my credit file?
A security freeze will prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing information in your credit report without your express authorization. The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent.
However, you should be aware that using a security freeze to take control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of credit.
Pursuant to federal law, you cannot be charged to place or lift a security freeze on your credit report. Contact the three major credit bureaus directly to place a security freeze or fraud alert on your credit file.
Consumer Fraud Division
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
Credit Fraud Center
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016-2000
To request a security freeze or fraud alert, you'll need to provide the following information:
- Your full name (including middle initial, as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.)
- Social Security Number
- Date of birth
- If you’ve moved in the past five (5) years, the addresses where you’ve lived over those prior five years
- Proof of current address, such as a current utility bill or telephone bill
- A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card (state driver license or ID card, military identification, etc.)
You may also contact the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for further information on fraud alerts, security freezes, and how to protect yourself from identity theft. The FTC can be contacted at 400 7th St. SW, Washington, D.C. 20024; telephone (877) 382-4357; or Identity Theft. You may obtain information from the FTC and the credit reporting agencies listed about placing a fraud alert and/or credit freeze on your credit report.
I believe I am the victim of identity fraud or theft. What should I do next?
You should remain vigilant against threats of identity theft or fraud. You can do this by regularly reviewing and monitoring your account statements and credit history for any signs of unauthorized transactions or activity. If you ever suspect that you are the victim of identity theft or fraud, you can:
- Contact the credit reporting agencies to place a “fraud alert” or “security freeze” on your credit reports.
- File a police report, and ask for a copy for your records.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at Identity Theft.
- Keep detailed records.
- Keep detailed notes of anyone you talk to regarding this incident, what he/she told you, and the date of the conversation.
- Keep originals of all correspondence and forms relating to the suspicious or fraudulent activity, identity theft, or fraud.
- Retain originals of supporting documentation, such as police reports and letters to and from creditors. When requested to produce supporting documentation, send copies.
- Keep old files, even if you believe the problem is resolved.
- You may also contact affiliated financial institutions to protect or close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
Additionally, it is always a good idea to be alert for “phishing” emails or phone calls by someone who acts like they know you or are a company that you may do business with, and who requests sensitive information, such as passwords, Social Security numbers, or financial account information.
Questions About Experian & Credit Reports
How do I reach Experian?
You may reach Experian at (877) 890-9332. They’re available Monday-Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. PT, Saturday through Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT. You can log in to your Experian IdentityWorks account here.
How do I go about getting my free credit report?
U.S. residents are entitled under U.S. law to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus. To order your free credit reports, visit Annual Credit Report or call toll-free (877) 322-8228.
I forgot my Experian username or password. What do I need to do?
- Password: The fastest and easiest way to reset your password is right from your computer or mobile device. Select the Forgot Password link. Enter the username you use to log in to your account (this could be your email address) and select Reset. You’ll then need to complete a two-factor authentication step. Choose whether you want to receive your one-time code through email or text. After you enter your code, you’ll be able to enter a new password. You’ll now be able to log in to your account with your new password.
- Username: If you’ve forgotten your username, try logging in with your email address. If that doesn't work, get in touch with Experian at (877) 890-9332 to verify your username.
What do I do if I receive confirmation from Experian that my information was found on the Internet?
If you received an alert, that is evidence the monitoring service is working. The Experian member portal offers information about what you can do to protect yourself.
Experian advises people to take different steps, depending on what kind of information was exposed.
- My email address is compromised; what should I do next?
- Consider changing the password to your email and to any other accounts that use your email address as a username. Use a strong password and avoid reusing passwords across multiple sites.
- Review your credit reports from all three bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) for new activity.
- As a precaution, keep an eye on your bank and credit card accounts for unfamiliar transactions.
- My phone number was compromised; what should I do next?
- Watch for suspicious calls and contact your phone provider if these noticeably increase.
- Add your name to the national Do Not Call list by calling (888) 382-1222 or visiting Do Not Call.
- Review your credit reports from all three bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, and TransUnion) for new activity.
- As a precaution, keep an eye on your bank and credit card accounts for unfamiliar transactions.
I received a breached company name in my Experian Internet Surveillance notification.
This is the potential company or website where the internet compromise originated. When sharing stolen data on the dark web, hackers will sometimes provide the name of the company or website where the information was breached. In this situation, you may see a reference to Clorox.
If you don't recognize the breached company as one with which you have a relationship, note that it may be a third-party organization that interfaces with a company you’ve done business with. A hypothetical example could be if your information was exposed during the breach of a payment processor that partners with a commercial airline that you've purchased tickets from.
A new inquiry alert, a new account, or a new trade alert was detected; what should I do next?
If you recognize or authorized this activity, no action is required. If not, here is some more information that may help.
If you're certain that you didn't authorize this activity, there are steps you can take:
- Contact the creditor — this may clear up what's happening.
- Review your credit report for new activity.
- Dispute the account information on your credit report.
I don't recognize the company in my credit alert.
Did you recently apply for a credit application or open a new account? Here are some companies you may see in your alert that may not be familiar on first glance:
- JPMCB (aka JP Morgan Chase Bank)
- CBNA (aka Citibank)
- CapOne (aka CapitalOne)
- FNBO (First National Bank of Omaha)
- TBH (aka The Home Depot)
- Synchrony Bank — a credit and loan provider that typically works with major retailers.
- Credco — this is a third-party reporting agency. Often, mortgage companies, financial institutions and dealerships will contact this type of reporting agency to obtain a three-bureau credit score.
- Ally — a credit and loan provider that typically works with major retailers in several industries, such as auto financing, equity sponsors and corporate finance.
I applied for credit but haven't received an alert.
Most lenders report account activity within 30 days, but some can take as long as 90 days. Also, some smaller creditors may only report to one or two of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. If your creditor doesn't report to all three, then you won’t receive an alert from all three for the same activity.
Why did I receive more than one alert for the same loan application?
Here are some common reasons that you’ll receive multiple alerts for the same loan application:
- If the loan was approved and the lender opened an account in your name, you’ll receive an alert for the initial credit report inquiry to process your application; you’ll also receive an alert for the account being opened.
- If the lender reported your account to all three of the major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — you may receive an alert from each bureau.