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Freezing your credit is the best option after Equifax data breach

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(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

About 143 million Americans may be impacted by the hack on Equifax.

Thieves stole names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver's license numbers.

Hackers also got more than 200,000 credit card numbers and other documents containing personally identifying information.

This kind of data is extremely valuable to cyberthieves.

If a cybercriminal maxed out a credit card in your name it will be tough passing a credit check.

Good luck getting a new cell phone, a student loan, a car or a mortgage.

If someone gets a driver's license in your name and runs a red light or gets a speeding ticket, you're on the hook.

So what can you do?

Freeze your credit. It can be a pain. Because you'll have to unfreeze it every time someone needs to run a credit check on you. But it should prevent most forms of identity theft. Regular credit monitoring is important.

And online resources including the identity theft resource center provide excellent tools to discover how to defend yourself against identity theft.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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