IN THE NEWS

A Message from Chief Executive Officer John Dowd and Chief Information Security Officer Jerry Nolasco

09.19.2017

Equifax, a major provider of various consumer credit services such as credit reports and fraud monitoring, recently announced that the personal information of 143 million US consumers may have been accessed as a result of a confirmed major data breach of Equifax systems.

Data exposed reportedly included names, birth dates, social security numbers, physical addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers. Credit card numbers for US consumers were also reportedly accessed.

This event is related to a data breach of Equifax systems. Fiduciary Trust’s systems have not been impacted nor does Fiduciary employ Equifax’s services.

Franklin Templeton employs a comprehensive ‘defense-in-depth’ approach to cyber security, using multiple layers of data-protection software and hardware to essentially build bigger walls and wider moats around our data. Our defenses include corporate policies and procedures that incorporate protocols for handling, transmitting and storing sensitive data with the goal to prevent any harm or inconvenience to our clients by avoiding the unauthorized release of their information. The firm is closely monitoring this situation in collaboration with peers, vendors and industry organizations, and is prepared to put additional measures in place as further details become available.

Equifax has provided details regarding the incident, action steps they are taking, and what consumers can do to protect themselves at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. They also provide consumers the ability to determine if they have been personally impacted on the Equifax website.

Equifax is not calling consumers regarding the data breach and is not asking for credit card information, Social Security numbers, or any other personal information over the phone. Breach victims should not provide information to anybody who calls them claiming to be from Equifax. Furthermore, breach victims should not provide any information in response to an email (or a link within), as these could be scam emails. These email phishing scams are designed to capture personal information like user names, passwords and credit card information and contain links designed to get recipients to click on them and may appear to come from Equifax. Do not click on any links (including links to free credit monitoring) sent to you in an email, or via social media, as any personal information you send through these links can be transmitted to scammers taking advantage of the breach.

Below are some recommendations on how to protect your information 

1. Check your free credit reports
Under federal law you can request a free copy of your credit report once a year from each of the three credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. It will tell you if anyone has requested a check on your credit. This happens, for example, if someone tries to open a new credit card or apply for a loan in your name. 

2. Put a fraud alert on your credit
You can put a fraud alert on your credit reports for free by contacting one of the credit agencies, which is required to notify the other two. If someone tries to apply for credit in your name, you will be contacted. A fraud alert lasts for 90 days and can be renewed.

3. Keep an eye on bank accounts and credit card statements
Review all your bank, retirement, and brokerage accounts, as well as your credit card statements to look for any suspicious activity.

4. Sign up for a credit monitoring or identity theft protection service
Monitoring services usually alert you when a company checks your credit history, a new loan or credit card is opened in your name, a creditor says a payment is late, or if public records show you've filed for bankruptcy. These services won't prevent fraud from happening. But some do offer identity recovery services to help you regain control of your finances after identity theft occurs. More information is available at IdentityTheft.gov.

5. Put a freeze on your credit
A freeze blocks anyone from accessing your credit reports without your permission. But it can be an inconvenience too. If you want to take out a loan or open a new credit card, you'll have to contact the reporting agency to temporarily lift the freeze. Fees to freeze your account vary by state, but commonly range from $5 to $10.

If you are a victim of identity theft, you should contact the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint and create an Identity Theft Affidavit. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/pdf-0094-identity-theft-affidavit.pdf If you suspect that someone is using your Social Security number, you can call the Social Security Administration’s fraud hotline at (800) 269-0271 or go to www.ssa.gov/oig.

You can also check your earnings record by calling (800) 772-1213. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your Fiduciary Trust contact.



The information provided is intended solely to provide general information. The information and opinions stated are as of September 19, 2017, and may change without notice. The information and opinions do not represent a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any market, industry, sector or security. Statements of fact have been obtained from sources deemed reliable, but no representation is made as to their completeness or accuracy. The opinions expressed are not intended as individual investment, tax or estate planning advice or as a recommendation of any particular security, strategy, or investment product.  Please consult your personal advisor to determine whether this information may be appropriate for you. This information is provided solely for insight into our general management philosophy and process. Historical performance does not guarantee future results and results may differ over future time periods.

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