On Sept. 7, 2017, Equifax Inc., one of three major credit bureaus in the U.S., announced that hackers had gained unauthorized access to its files, potentially compromising sensitive, personal information for an estimated 145.5 million consumers – nearly half the country.
If your information – including Social Security number, date of birth, address, credit card numbers, and driver’s license number – was impacted by the cybersecurity breach, the effects may be long lasting and increase your chances of falling prey to identity theft.
Motley Rice is investigating the breach and has filed a class action suit on behalf of all affected consumers alleging that Equifax failed to prevent the theft and protect your information by failing to secure a known vulnerability on its website. Read the complaint. Learn more about the filing.
To determine whether you may have been affected, visit Equifax online.
Contact an attorney
If you believe your personal information was impacted by the Equifax breach and are interested in joining a class action, contact attorney Jodi Westbrook Flowers at 1-800-768-4026 or by email.
Flowers has experience representing people whose personal information has been breached and holds a leadership position as co-liaison counsel on the In re: 21st Century Oncology Customer Data Breach Litigation.
Data breach background
Though Equifax announced the cybersecurity breach in September 2017, an investigation conducted by the company found that it actually occurred from mid-May through July 2017. Equifax learned of the breach on July 29 and waited six weeks before alerting the public. In addition to 143 million Americans, an unknown number of U.K. and Canadian consumers were also affected.
When the breach was first announced, Equifax offered to provide free identity theft protection and credit monitoring services to all U.S. consumers, but included an arbitration clause requiring consumers to waive their right to seek recourse through a jury trial or class action. Equifax later backed away from the clause under pressure from various public interest groups.
Equifax stated that it is working with an independent cybersecurity firm and law enforcement to investigate the breach, which the company claims has now been contained. The person or groups responsible for the hack have not yet been identified.
Protect yourself from identity theft
Those who may have been affected by the breach are encouraged to initiate a credit freeze and report any unauthorized activity to their financial institutions.
Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website for additional steps you can take to protect yourself against identity theft.
USA Today (Oct. 2, 2017): Equifax data breach hit 2.5 million more Americans than first believed
CNN (Sept. 26, 2017): Equifax CEO Richard Smith is out after stunning data breach
NBC News (Sept. 12, 2017): The One Move to Make After Equifax Breach
Forbes (Sept. 9, 2017): Consumer Backlash Spurs Equifax To Drop ‘Ripoff Clause’ In Offer To Security Hack Victims
The New York Times (Sept. 8, 2017): Equifax’s Instructions Are Confusing. Here’s What to Do Now.