equifax security freeze error and no PIN?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
panhead
Posts: 150
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:53 am

equifax security freeze error and no PIN?

Post by panhead » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:31 am

So, I tried to put a security freeze on at Equifax. I filled out the form, clicked next and the browser spun for a while and then I got an error saying it was unable to process my request at this time. I went back later to try again, and the only option available at this point was to "unfreeze" my account, so it looked like the freeze worked. I tried calling the automated line to freeze my account, and it indeed said there was a freeze on my account.

Now, since I received an error when doing this, I never got to the window with the .pdf where I would get my PIN number. Has this happened to anyone else? In my state it appears there would be a $5 fee to retrieve it (although I never got it) and I have to mail away for it. The $5 isn't the end of the world, but this is just stupid.

Please let me know if anyone has had this problem and if they found a resolution.

Thanks, Pan

User avatar
Pajamas
Posts: 2563
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: equifax security freeze error and no PIN?

Post by Pajamas » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:49 pm

What did they say when you contacted them about this problem?

http://www.equifax.com/cs/Satellite?pagename=contact_us

Polydorus
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:18 pm

Re: equifax security freeze error and no PIN?

Post by Polydorus » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:54 pm

I use Linux Mint and I had a lot of problems with Equifax's web site. No problems with Experian or TransUnion. I gave it one last try before trying the U.S. Mail and it worked. I did get a PIN number but how do I know it will work? I not going to worry about it until I need to Unfreeze. Maybe I can just get by with the other two agencies. :)

panhead
Posts: 150
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:53 am

Re: equifax security freeze error and no PIN?

Post by panhead » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:10 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:49 pm
What did they say when you contacted them about this problem?

http://www.equifax.com/cs/Satellite?pagename=contact_us
I contacted them by emailing them, not by calling and waiting for a customer rep. I just had this problem so they haven't responded yet. If I don't hear anything back in the next few days I will try calling. I don't know, but I would imagine it would be a long wait to talk to a rep.

panhead
Posts: 150
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:53 am

Re: equifax security freeze error and no PIN?

Post by panhead » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:11 pm

Polydorus wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:54 pm
I use Linux Mint and I had a lot of problems with Equifax's web site. No problems with Experian or TransUnion. I gave it one last try before trying the U.S. Mail and it worked. I did get a PIN number but how do I know it will work? I not going to worry about it until I need to Unfreeze. Maybe I can just get by with the other two agencies. :)
Yeah, I was thinking along these lines too, but I would like to have the pin available in case I needed to unfreeze quickly. I currently don't foresee any need for credit, or I wouldn't have frozen these accounts in the first place.

User avatar
iceport
Posts: 3271
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 4:29 pm

Re: equifax security freeze error and no PIN?

Post by iceport » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:23 pm

panhead wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:31 am
So, I tried to put a security freeze on at Equifax. I filled out the form, clicked next and the browser spun for a while and then I got an error saying it was unable to process my request at this time. I went back later to try again, and the only option available at this point was to "unfreeze" my account, so it looked like the freeze worked. I tried calling the automated line to freeze my account, and it indeed said there was a freeze on my account.

Now, since I received an error when doing this, I never got to the window with the .pdf where I would get my PIN number. Has this happened to anyone else? In my state it appears there would be a $5 fee to retrieve it (although I never got it) and I have to mail away for it. The $5 isn't the end of the world, but this is just stupid.

Please let me know if anyone has had this problem and if they found a resolution.

Thanks, Pan
Yes! Thanks for your post. I tried to place a security freeze at Equifax in 2015, and your account of the process sounds exactly like my experience (as far as I can recall).

I had written a note to my file that I still needed to acquire a PIN, but forgot to follow up on it until this latest data breach. Now I can't even get their web page to load — a problem I really want to fix. I still haven't called the company directly yet.

Glad to hear the freeze was actually successful.
"Discipline matters more than allocation.” ─William Bernstein

Glasgow
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:24 am

Re: equifax security freeze error and no PIN?

Post by Glasgow » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:53 pm

I experienced the same problem as OP did. What I had to do was sending them a written notice with all my info they state on their website. Few weeks later, they responded and asked me to unlock my credit. :confused I was wondering at first but then I figured perhaps they asked for $10 unfreezing fee. I sent out 2nd time with $10 check attached this time. Few weeks later, I received the PIN.

donfairplay
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:16 pm

Re: equifax security freeze error and no PIN?

Post by donfairplay » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:02 am

Equifax's website was hacked, again, yesterday. Could be that.

It made ars technica too.
https://arstechnica.com/information-tec ... sh-update/

panhead
Posts: 150
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:53 am

Re: equifax security freeze error and no PIN?

Post by panhead » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:32 am

donfairplay wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:02 am
Equifax's website was hacked, again, yesterday. Could be that.

It made ars technica too.
https://arstechnica.com/information-tec ... sh-update/
Wow. Just. Wow.

panhead
Posts: 150
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:53 am

Re: equifax security freeze error and no PIN?

Post by panhead » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:36 am

I received two emails from Equifax, one saying they received my email and another that asks me to contact their freeze department:
We appreciate the opportunity to resolve this matter on your behalf.

For further assistance, it would be best if you contacted a representative in our Security Freeze Department. The phone number to our Security Freeze Department is: 1-888-298-0045. The team is available Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm in your time zone.

Thank you for contacting Equifax,

Miriah M
Equifax Personal Information Solutions
1-866-640-CARE (1-866-640-2273)
Monday through Sunday 8am - 3am (EST)
I will contact them later today and update as appropriate.

-Pan-

cas
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:41 am

Re: equifax security freeze error and no PIN?

Post by cas » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:37 am

panhead wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:31 am
So, I tried to put a security freeze on at Equifax. I filled out the form, clicked next and the browser spun for a while and then I got an error saying it was unable to process my request at this time. I went back later to try again, and the only option available at this point was to "unfreeze" my account, so it looked like the freeze worked. I tried calling the automated line to freeze my account, and it indeed said there was a freeze on my account.

Please let me know if anyone has had this problem and if they found a resolution.
Multiple people reported having this "freeze, but no PIN" problem on this thread: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=227693 ("Equifax Credit Freeze 100% online")

(There are several issues discussed in the thread ... keep reading for various reports and attempts at solutions for the "no PIN" problem, especially towards the end of the thread).

The people on that thread seem to have attempted to place the freeze in the early days after the hack was reported (early September) when the website was particularly overwhelmed. (OP of this thread doesn't mention when he tried to place the freeze, so I can't tell if his report is an indication that the problem is continuing or if it also dates to the early days after the hack was reported.)

One person (neilpilot) reports a customer service rep...
explained that it was a common occurrence to have a freeze occur and, due to web site traffic, be then disconnected without confirmation or a PIN. He told be to expect to receive my PIN in the mail in 5-10 business days. I was given a CS confirmation #.
There are several updates (from various people who tried various methods for retrieving their PIN) about NOT receiving the promised PIN in the mail within the timeframe it was promised, but no updates about success in receiving the PIN. On the other hand, these people don't seem to be responding on this thread, so maybe they did receive the PIN, got on with their lives, and aren't paying attention to new Equifax threads here.

panhead
Posts: 150
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:53 am

Re: equifax security freeze error and no PIN?

Post by panhead » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:44 am

cas wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:37 am
panhead wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:31 am
So, I tried to put a security freeze on at Equifax. I filled out the form, clicked next and the browser spun for a while and then I got an error saying it was unable to process my request at this time. I went back later to try again, and the only option available at this point was to "unfreeze" my account, so it looked like the freeze worked. I tried calling the automated line to freeze my account, and it indeed said there was a freeze on my account.

Please let me know if anyone has had this problem and if they found a resolution.
Multiple people reported having this "freeze, but no PIN" problem on this thread: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=227693 ("Equifax Credit Freeze 100% online")

(There are several issues discussed in the thread ... keep reading for various reports and attempts at solutions for the "no PIN" problem, especially towards the end of the thread).

The people on that thread seem to have attempted to place the freeze in the early days after the hack was reported (early September) when the website was particularly overwhelmed. (OP of this thread doesn't mention when he tried to place the freeze, so I can't tell if his report is an indication that the problem is continuing or if it also dates to the early days after the hack was reported.)

One person (neilpilot) reports a customer service rep...
explained that it was a common occurrence to have a freeze occur and, due to web site traffic, be then disconnected without confirmation or a PIN. He told be to expect to receive my PIN in the mail in 5-10 business days. I was given a CS confirmation #.
There are several updates (from various people who tried various methods for retrieving their PIN) about NOT receiving the promised PIN in the mail within the timeframe it was promised, but no updates about success in receiving the PIN. On the other hand, these people don't seem to be responding on this thread, so maybe they did receive the PIN, got on with their lives, and aren't paying attention to new Equifax threads here.
cas, thank you very much for bringing this thread to my attention. I did a quick search but it didn't turn up that particular thread. I attempted the freeze yesterday (11 October 2017) so this may be an ongoing problem, tho likely intermittent.

-Pan-

panhead
Posts: 150
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:53 am

Re: equifax security freeze error and no PIN?

Post by panhead » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:47 am

Mods, it may make sense to merge this thread with:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=227693

thanks,

-Pan-

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 33943
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: equifax security freeze error and no PIN?

Post by nisiprius » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:23 am

[Rant on]
Even though I froze my accounts with the Big Three a couple of years ago, and even though my wife and I waited a few days before taking additional action, we both experienced many errors, crashes, mysterious messages, and so forth.

There were more problems with Equifax than the others but it is a royal mess. The credit reporting agencies should be ashamed of themselves for encouraging insecure behavior (Equifax redirecting to a non-Equifax URL and then asking for SIX digits of SSN, for example) and for badly implemented websites that don't give clean, accurate error messages under heavy load.

Equifax gave themselves two months before disclosing the error. If they had done so in order to gear up for high traffic--and had quietly notified the other credit reporting agencies so that they could be ready, too--I could forgive them, but I see no evidence that they did anything of the sort.

It is especially alarming because nobody's web sites handled the overload gracefully. Every single one left us with endlessly spinning widgets, freezes, blank screens. And every single one of them waited until we had put in ten or fifteen minutes of diligent work, entering sensitive data and answering questions--only to freeze, report "server dephragmization timeout CUBEB_FUNGUSx16AD22", or at best suggesting that you should have telephoned them in the first place.

All this bad behavior is vaguely characteristic of man-in-the-middle and phishing attacks. I don't think anything bad was happening, but sites that handle sensitive data should be punctilious about good error handling.

One of the worst--I think it was with TransUnion when I was trying to request a credit report--was a set of four "KBA" (knowledge-based authentication) questions that were off the wall. All four of them were "none of the above." What was very disturbing was that one question asked some about my student loan payments--I answered "none of the above"--but the next question asked for the approximate dollar amount of my student loan payments! Clearly, they had retrieved KBA questions appropriate for somebody else.

No, that wasn't the worst. When I tried to get my Equifax credit report through annualcreditreport.com, after time spent entering data and confirming screen after screen, at the very end it said it could not handle my request at this time and suggested that I contact the two other agencies instead!!!! "Leave us alone, go bother our competitors."
[Rant off]
OK, I feel better now.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

panhead
Posts: 150
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:53 am

Re: equifax security freeze error and no PIN?

Post by panhead » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:34 am

Preach it brother/sister!

nisiprius wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:23 am
[Rant on]
Even though I froze my accounts with the Big Three a couple of years ago, and even though my wife and I waited a few days before taking additional action, we both experienced many errors, crashes, mysterious messages, and so forth.

There were more problems with Equifax than the others but it is a royal mess. The credit reporting agencies should be ashamed of themselves for encouraging insecure behavior (Equifax redirecting to a non-Equifax URL and then asking for SIX digits of SSN, for example) and for badly implemented websites that don't give clean, accurate error messages under heavy load.

Equifax gave themselves two months before disclosing the error. If they had done so in order to gear up for high traffic--and had quietly notified the other credit reporting agencies so that they could be ready, too--I could forgive them, but I see no evidence that they did anything of the sort.

It is especially alarming because nobody's web sites handled the overload gracefully. Every single one left us with endlessly spinning widgets, freezes, blank screens. And every single one of them waited until we had put in ten or fifteen minutes of diligent work, entering sensitive data and answering questions--only to freeze, report "server dephragmization timeout CUBEB_FUNGUSx16AD22", or at best suggesting that you should have telephoned them in the first place.

All this bad behavior is vaguely characteristic of man-in-the-middle and phishing attacks. I don't think anything bad was happening, but sites that handle sensitive data should be punctilious about good error handling.

One of the worst--I think it was with TransUnion when I was trying to request a credit report--was a set of four "KBA" (knowledge-based authentication) questions that were off the wall. All four of them were "none of the above." What was very disturbing was that one question asked some about my student loan payments--I answered "none of the above"--but the next question asked for the approximate dollar amount of my student loan payments! Clearly, they had retrieved KBA questions appropriate for somebody else.

No, that wasn't the worst. When I tried to get my Equifax credit report through annualcreditreport.com, after time spent entering data and confirming screen after screen, at the very end it said it could not handle my request at this time and suggested that I contact the two other agencies instead!!!! "Leave us alone, go bother our competitors."
[Rant off]
OK, I feel better now.

pangea33
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:57 am

Re: equifax security freeze error and no PIN?

Post by pangea33 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:03 am

I had a similar problem, although mine was user error. I closed the window before realizing I had to click a link for the pin, rather than receiving it in email. Two thoughts to keep in mind.
  • Now that your account is frozen, they can't make money off you. It's in their best interest to make a PIN reissue convenient
  • They're required by law to reissue a lost pin ONCE for free
I sent a letter to this address on September 19. The PIN arrived by mail yesterday. Cost me nothing. They do require a copy of your identification to validate the request.

Code: Select all

Equifax Security Freeze
PO Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348

Subject: Reissue of PIN to release freeze

	...*words describing my request*...

	Please reissue another PIN to my home address above. A copy of my driver’s license is enclosed in order to verify the mailing address.

	Thank you for your efforts and have a great day.


Respectfully,


Post Reply