Wednesday is the last day to get free Equifax freeze to protect credit

- Wednesday is the deadline to get a free credit freeze from Equifax, and a public interest group is urging Californians to take action.

Equifax, one of the three largest credit bureaus in the U.S., announced in September that it was hacked and the personal information of millions of Americans was stolen. Consumers have until Wednesday to get a free credit freeze, CALPIRG said.

"Getting credit freezes at all three national credit bureaus is the best action consumers can take after the Equifax breach, whether they were affected by it or not," said Emily Rusch, executive director of CALPIRG, in a statement.

A credit freeze is a tool that allows people to freeze access to their credit history and scores, denying thieves the ability to open fake accounts in their names, CALPIRG said.

CALPIRG said Jan. 31 is the last day to sign up for two things with Equifax: The Free Trusted ID Premier and the free credit freeze. The former provides one year of free services such as credit monitoring, which notifies consumers if their identity is stolen.

The latter is the free credit freeze. To get the free credit freeze from Equifax, visit www.freeze.equifax.com.

In addition to getting a freeze with Equifax, CALPIRG recommends that people freeze their reports with the two other major credit bureaus as well. While there is a $10 to freeze credit at each agency, the public interest group said it is worth it to prevent fraud.

To place a freeze with Experian, visit https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html. To place a freeze with TransUnion, visit http://www.transunion.com/securityfreeze.

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