Posted in Data Security on May 23, 2018
In 2017, Equifax consumers suffered a massive data breach, which affected more than 147 million consumers (about half the country). Among other things, the hackers stole driver’s license information from the major credit reporting company’s database. Equifax, Inc., began sending written letters to affected consumers by U.S. mail on March 1, 2018. Learn your rights, legal options, and what you should do if you received this letter from Equifax, with help from the attorneys at Murphy, Falcon & Murphy.
Equifax, Inc., is a credit bureau that allows consumers to check their credit scores and download credit reports. It sells this information to companies around the world. It is one of the country’s three major credit reporting agencies and has the financial information of about 800 million consumers and 88 million businesses. From May to July 2017, Equifax suffered a massive data breach, which exposed the sensitive personal information of more than 147 million Equifax customers to hackers.
The hackers were able to access consumers’ names, driver’s license information, birthdays, Social Security numbers, home addresses, and more; also stealing consumer’s credit card information and dispute documents that also had personal information. Equifax is offering free credit monitoring to those people affected by the breach, but is this enough to ensure the safety of their information in the future? If you’re on the list of people with stolen information, it’s important to know what effects this could have on you and the legal actions you’re entitled to take. Find out what options are available to you.
In February 2018, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) investigated the breach and found the company failed to prevent the breach through lack of proper security systems. The five-month-long probe discovered Equifax didn’t keep its computer systems updated as it should have. It also found that the credit reporting agency intentionally kept the full extent of damages quiet. Richard Smith, CEO, has since resigned his position at the company, taking responsibility for the data breach.
Warren’s probe suggests that Equifax consumers also suffered stolen passport information, although Equifax continues to deny this claim. Another report from the chairperson of the House Energy and Commerce Committee states that Equifax has continually only given partial information in answer to requests for documents. Investigators are now requesting a briefing with the third-party company that initially evaluated the breach, Mandiant.
After Equifax let millions know that hackers stole their information, consumers should make sure to secure their information. Change your login and password information and monitor all financial accounts. Take advantage of Equifax’s free credit monitoring offer. You may want to set up a credit freeze – a measure that prevents anyone (even you) from obtaining new credit. Then, contact a lawyer.
You may have grounds to file or join a civil claim against Equifax if the data breach negatively impacted you, your credit, or your life. Being part of the breach means you’re automatically involved in the current class action lawsuit against the company unless you specifically opt out. Contact our attorneys, however, if your losses were significant. In this case, you may be able to file your own individual claim against the credit company. Joining a class action or starting your own personal injury lawsuit could result in reimbursement for your financial losses, legal fees, emotional damages, and more. An experienced trial lawyer will know exactly how to handle your case.
Murphy, Falcon & Murphy has years of experience serving clients in Baltimore, Maryland. We can help you explore your rights as a wronged consumer. Call (410) 983-6266 today for more information about the Equifax, Inc., data breach and the possibility of a civil claim.