Equifax’s massive security breach impacted as many as 143 million people.

It’s a move we were told could help protect us after the Equifax data breach — except many of us are having trouble making it.

The credit-reporting company said last week hackers stole personal data from an estimated 143 million Americans, and experts advised consumers to place a security “freeze” on their credit reports to protect them from cyber thieves. But users on Twitter complained they ran into problems initiating freezes with the national credit reporting companies when they tried to do so by phone and online. I encountered the same.

Step by step: How to freeze your credit

Equifax breach: Who’s to blame

What happens when all of America tries to freeze their credit

It’s not pretty. Equifax and Experian did not respond to requests for comment, but TransUnion said the number of consumers asking for freezes is dominating their resources.


The news from credit reporting company Equifax that 143 million Americans had their information exposed is very serious. Experts say once your personal data is out there, it’s basically out there forever. (Sept. 8)

“We have taken several steps to increase capacity and communication to support concerned consumers, such as adding agents, keeping our call center open through the weekend and authorizing overtime,” TransUnion spokesman David Blumberg said. 

And then there was me

Bottom line: I was able to successfully freeze my credit at three of the four credit reporting agencies. 

Equifax: No dice. I called 1-800-349-9960, went through the process of providing my personal information, but in the end received a message that said my freeze could not be completed. When I tried to initiate the freeze online, I was told “System Currently Unavailable – Error 500.”