Equifax’s Massive Data Breach – Are You Affected & Should You Accept Their “Offering”?

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Equifax's Cybersecurity Breach & Free Credit Monitoring

Equifax’s Cybersecurity Breach & Free Credit Monitoring

Equifax announced on September 7, 2017 that they had an incident where consumer’s information was hacked.  A potential of 143 million US consumers could be impacted, which is a staggering number.

Information Accessed During the Breach

The information accessed during the hack is as follows:

  • Names
  • Social security numbers
  • Birth dates
  • Addresses
  • Some driver’s license numbers
  • Credit card numbers for 209,000 US consumers
  • Certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers

Details on the Breach

The breach was discovered on July 29th but had been going on since mid May. The company has found no evidence of unauthorized activity on Equifax’s core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.

You can read Equifax’s full press release here.

Next Steps

Equifax has set up a website (https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/) where you can go to see if your data has been breached.  From various data points so far, you should receive one of two messages.

If your data has not been breached you will get a message saying the following after filling out your info:

Based on the information provided, we believe that your personal information was not impacted by this incident.

If you your information has been compromised you will get receive the following message:

Based on the information provided, we believe that your personal information may have been impacted by this incident.

You will then be given a date to come back and enroll for your “free” TrustedID Premiere service.  Enrollment ends on November 21, 2017.

Equifax's Cybersecurity Breach & Free Credit Monitoring
Equifax’s free offering gives free access to 3 bureau monitoring and your credit report.

TrustedID Fears and Issues

There is some fear that if you sign up for TrustedID that you will waive your right to participate in a class action lawsuit.  You can find their terms here.

There are already talks of a massive class action lawsuit and we will let you know about that if/when it develops.  Although, with a potential 143 million plaintiffs I doubt your payout would be very high.  However, it is something you need to consider when making a decision whether or not to use the service.

There are also a lot of ways to monitor your credit for free if you don’t want to opt-in to Equifax’s offering in order to make sure you don’t give away your rights.

Conclusion

This is terrible news for US consumers.  I believe Equifax is doing the bare minimum by offering TrustedID Premiere for free.  And making people come back on a designated date without any kind of reminder seems inexcusable.  To make matters worse it looks like some Equifax executives dumped stock immediately after learning of the breach.

If you are an adult, with any type of credit, there is a good chance your information is at risk. It is imperative that you monitor your credit very closely going forward, whether you decide to use TrustedID or another monitoring service.


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15 COMMENTS

  1. My info has been impacted.

    The insider selling leaves them open to securities lawsuits and it makes them look bad.

    • Same for myself and my wife. Yes, the stock dump makes them look bad and trying to get out of lawsuits by offering free monitoring only if you waive your right to sue is downright dirty. Not a good look at all for them. And they have pretty much said they will not help restore any ruined credit from this – only provide monitoring.

  2. The site to check if you’re affected said my info may not have been compromised. I did have to try twice because the first time had no message.

    I would rather have a class action to restore any ruined credit, which might not involve all 143 million compromised consumers, but the problem with this is no one can know if this resulted from the equifax breach or some other breach.

    Finally, credit monitoring is useless.

  3. Face it, American companies are based on greeed and low values of ethics. The courts will not protect the consumer involved in this, and Equifax has already stated that it will not take responsibility for it’s problems. Class action lawsuits are virtually useless in these matters, all they do is afford the offending party an opportunity to absolve themselves of their responsibilities for pennies on the dollar to the individuals affected. Here we have a clear situation where consumers need to rely on an organization for their financial health, and the organization just administered bad medicine, and has a callous disregard for their actions. And then they thumbed their nose at their consumers.

    • Fair points. I wouldn’t be surprised if this leads to Equifax being bought out down the line after the stock plummets, their senior execs get investigated, and they pay out for a lawsuit.

      What they should have done is suck it up, admitted they were wrong, and said they would make it right whatever it takes. But we unfortunately don’t live in that world.

  4. If companies force us to settle our scores outside of court, they had best be ready for the way we might choose to settle those scores–in person, at their headquarters in Atlanta, or wherever their employees or contractors live.

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