Think You Weren’t Affected?
Equifax is one of the three largest consumer credit reporting agencies in the United States. They receive personal data from credit card companies, banks, lenders that helps them determine credit scores every day. That means even if you think you are not an Equifax customer, you probably are.
What is This Lawsuit About?
Equifax announced a massive data breach compromising personal information of 143 million Americans including names, social security numbers, birthdates, addresses, drivers’ license numbers and in some cases, credit card numbers. Hackers are said to have gained access to the company’s system between mid-May through July 2017.
Lawsuits have already been filed against Equifax, accusing the company of “failing to properly secure and safeguard consumers’ personally identifiable information”. The company is also being accused of failing to notify the public in a timely manner as they have admitted discovering the compromise on July 29, 2017 but not announcing the breach until September 7th, 2017.
Some analysts are predicting the breach to be “one of the largest data breaches in U.S. history”, potentially having “decades of impact”, as more personal information was accessed in this attack than others. Potentially criminals will not only attempt to open new credit accounts, access bank accounts and file false tax returns for refunds, but may also access medical histories and employee accounts as well.
“On a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of risk to consumers, this is a 10,” said fraud analyst Avivah Litan, at Gartner.
Equifax Executive Profiteering
Three executives including John Gamble, chief financial officer; Joseph Loghran, president of U.S. information security and Rodolfo Ploder, president of workforce solutions, sold shares of $1.8 million just days after the company was aware of the breach, but claim to have had no knowledge of the attack.
An Equifax representative said that the executives sold “a small percentage” but “had no knowledge that an intrusion had occurred at the time they sold their shares.”
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Sanders Phillips Grossman is working with the law firm Milberg LLP in evaluating the rights of consumers whose data may have been stolen within this Equifax data breach.
“Equifax is tasked with actually protecting this information in the form of identity theft protection and here we are with almost half of the country’s population being affected,” said Robert Siciliano, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com.