Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
Money | By Oscar Reynolds

ANDY'S CONSUMER TIP OF THE DAY: more Equifax breach insight

ANDY'S CONSUMER TIP OF THE DAY: more Equifax breach insight

You can get one free copy from each of the three national services once every 12 months, so by staggering your requests, you can get a free report once every four months. The hackers accessed people's names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver's license numbers. Equifax is offering a free credit-monitoring service, called TrustedID Premier, for a year, but the service's terms of use appear to require consumers to sign away their legal rights (some reports say people can opt out of that requirement).

"You need to take more action", one consumer wrote on Twitter to Equifax.

"Equifax claims to be helping Mainers, but it has slipped a "rip-off clause" into the fine print of its website that might shield the company from responsibility for allowing thieves to get sensitive information from 143 million consumers", Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center, said in the news release. "Your credit worthiness is associated with records Equifax obviously keeps and it is an Atlanta-based company so it's not quite a great thing for the city of Atlanta". You can sign up at the same site listed above, and the deadline to do so is November 21. Here are the links to freeze your credit at Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Customers provide LifeLock with their Social Security number, birthdate and other data, and the company scans for credit applications, mortgage loan applications, address changes and other signs of identity theft.

In that case, you can contact the credit bureaus again and ask them to lift or "thaw" the freeze. This will stop hackers from creating new accounts under your name.

Outsized trading in Equifax put options is also manifesting itself in myriad other ways. Fees to freeze your account vary by state, but commonly range from $5 to $10. (ANTM - Free Report) and Sony Corporation (SNE - Free Report) have also been victims of cyber attack, when fraudsters stole large number of consumer data. But for Australian businesses, it's a powerful reminder that it's time to get your breach notification house in order.

No doubt, there will be congressional hearings regarding Equifax's actions.

The chairmen of at least two U.S. House committees say they want to hold hearings.

Adding to the frustration was the news that three Equifax senior executives, including its chief financial officer, sold $1.8 million worth of company stock just days after the company discovered the breach but weeks before it was made public.

Several state attorneys general have also said they would investigate, including those from New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

Before Equifax announced the breach, some lawmakers last week were considering whether to lower penalties for credit-reporting bureaus whose inaccurate information hurts consumers, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The total shares sold between the three valued at almost $1.8 million back in early August.

Like this: