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Released: 20-Sep-2017 | Last Updated: 20-Sep-2017 02:54 PM
Equifax sustained a breach of their system exposing 143 million individuals personal information. It has been reported that the information obtained
by the hackers included Social Security numbers, birthdates, and addresses. If you believe your identity has been hacked call us today and talk
with one of our lawyer.
The breach appears to have occurred months ago, but Equifax only learned about it July 29 and still waited more than a month to publicly disclose the incident. In the meantime, the company was creating a website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, which allows consumers to check and see if their personal information could have been impacted by the breach, according to the Washington Post. Regardless of whether a consumer was one of the 143 million people affected or not, they can opt to enroll in a free credit monitoring service through TrustedID Premier.
The process sounds simple, but it isn’t, and consumer groups warn that red flag issues should make consumers proceed with caution.
First, after a consumer verifies whether their information was potentially impacted, they have the option to click “Enroll.” An auto generated message gives them a date in the future to return to the site and complete the enrollment. So, while their data was compromised months ago, and they have waited to even learn of the breach, they still must wait days to activate the monitoring.
Parsing through the fine print, consumers will note they agree to mandatory arbitration if they opt to use the service. The terms of service appeared to have changed Friday, CBS News noted, and it may be possible to opt-out of arbitration. Even so, the responsibility to opt out will be on customers.
Arbitration clauses, or “rip-off clauses” as consumer rights activist call them, forced on consumers involved in financial transactions may soon be a thing of the past thanks to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB announced rules in July that will block companies “that extend credit or collect debt” from “contractually obligating customers to binding arbitration agreements,” CBS News reported.
Richard Cordray, who heads the CFPB, discussed the new rule in a New York Times commentary saying, “Not only do group lawsuits help consumers recover money they otherwise would forfeit, but they also protect many more consumers by halting and deterring harmful behavior.”
Finally, a cyber-security blog, Krebs on Security, noted that the new website had been reported as a possible phishing attack – potentially subjecting consumers to even further damage. Krebs on Security has previously recommended consumers consider alternative measures to protect themselves from cyber crime, including:
New York Times
Krebs on Security