If you got a letter in the mail recently from TransUnion, you may have done a double take. After all, it’s not every day that you get direct correspondence from one of the nation’s three preeminent credit bureaus, responsible for collecting credit and debt information for more than 200 million people in the U.S. alone.

You may have even thought it was junk mail or a scam, so threw it right in the trash.

But the letter from TransUnion is real and well worth reading – for your own protection.

That’s because that letter contains the details of TransUnion’s recent data breach, which compromised a host of sensitive financial and personal data for millions of American consumers.

TransUnion first self-reported the data breach earlier in 2022 to the Massachusetts Attorney General. According to the credit giant (along with Equifax and Experian, they don’t know exactly how many consumers’ data was lost or affected by the data breach. But we do know that the names, full Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and financial account numbers were accessed by the perpetrators.

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Per sources, here are the contents of the TransUnion letter verbatim:

Notice of Data Breach

Dear _______,

Cliff House Maine, operated under the management entity of MKRDY Ogunquit LLC, in Cape Neddick Maine is writing to inform you of an incident that may have exposed your sensitive personal information. We take the privacy of personal information seriously. For these reasons, we want to provide you with information related to the incident, as well as our plan for notifying individuals.

What happened?

Cliff House Maine detected and stopped a network security incident on March 25, 2022. An unauthorized third- party infiltrated our network. We immediately engaged specialized third-party forensic and technical resources to respond to the incident. Cliff House Maine has secured and remediated its network and the data that we maintain.

What information was involved?

Although we have no evidence that your information was specifically misused, the results of the forensic investigation have revealed it is possible your full name, address, and social security number may have been exposed to an unauthorized party from stored data in January 2015 through March 2019.

What are we doing?

Once our environment was secure, we initiated a comprehensive investigation into the extent of the unauthorized activity. As of the writing, we have not received any reports of related identity theft since the date of the incident.

We have made immediate enhancements to our systems, security and practices. Additionally, we have engaged appropriate experts to assist us in conducting a full review of our security practices and systems to ensure that enhanced security protocols are in place going forward. We are committed to helping those people who may have been impacted by this unfortunate situation. We have also reported the matter to the F.B.I.

To help relieve concerns and restore confidence following this incident, we are offering identity theft protection services through Cyberscout, a company specializing in fraud assistance and remediation services. Services include identity protection and resolution services, $1,000,000 identity theft insurance policy, and access to Single Bureau Credit Monitoring* services at no charge. These services provide you with alerts for twelve months from the date of enrollment when changes occur to your credit file. This notification is sent to you the same day that the change or update takes place with the bureau. In addition, we are providing you with proactive fraud assistance to help with any questions that you might have or in the event you become a victim of identity theft.

Representatives are available for 90 days from the date of this letter, to assist you with questions regarding this incident, between the hours of 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern time, Monday through Friday. Please call the help line 1-800-405-6108 and supply the fraud specialist with your unique code listed below. To extend these services, enrollment in the monitoring services described below is required.

How do I enroll for the free services?

To enroll in Credit Monitoring* services at no charge, please log on to https://www.myidmanager.com and follow the instructions provided. When prompted please provide the following unique code to receive services: _____. In order for you to receive the monitoring services described above, you must enroll within 90 days from the date of this letter.

What can I do on my own to address this situation?

If you choose not to use these services, we strongly urge you to do the following:

If you choose to place a fraud alert on your own, you will need to contact one of the three major credit agencies directly at:

Experian (1-888-397-3742) P.O. Box 4500 Allen, TX 75013 www.experian.com

Equifax (1-800-525-6285) P.O. Box 740241 Atlanta, GA 30374 www.equifax.com

TransUnion (1-800-680-7289) P.O. Box 2000 Chester, PA 19016 www.transunion.com

Also, should you wish to obtain a credit report and monitor it on your own:

  • IMMEDIATELY obtain free copies of your credit report and monitor them upon receipt for any suspicious activity. You can obtain your free copies by going to the following website: www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling them toll-free at 1-877-322-8228. (Hearing impaired consumers can access their TDD service at 1-877-730-4204.
  • Upon receipt of your credit report, we recommend that you review it carefully for any suspicious activity.
  • Be sure to promptly report any suspicious activity to Cliff House Maine

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According to TransUnion, a letter was sent to each consumer who may have been affected by the massive data breach, allowing them to take steps to prevent being a victim of identity theft and financial fraud.

Of course, data breaches are all-too common these days, and identity theft and financial fraud have risen to unprecedented levels.

Still, it’s unprecedented for an actual credit reporting agency to be hacked on such a large scale.

You may have received a similar letter from TransUnion, or perhaps you missed it. But either way, it’s important that you monitor your credit, checking it regularly, and take proactive measures to stay safe from identity thieves and hackers.

If you have any questions about the TransUnion data breach, want to see if you’ve been affected, or just would like to take simple steps to protect you and your family’s finances, please reach out to Blue Water Credit.

With this data breach and many others, our professional recommendation is that the best way to protect yourself is simply signing for ID theft protection. By using this Blue Water Credit discount with IDIQ, it will only cost you $19.99 per month but save you thousands or tens of thousands, as well as considerable time and hassle trying to clean up your credit.

Just click here for more information or to sign up for credit and ID theft protection.