By: Brian Mickelsen
Equifax, the credit reporting agency giant, has suffered a massive data breach in its systems that may affect close to 143 million consumers throughout the United States. Nearly every media outlet is covering the story. Equifax acknowledged the theft, stating “Criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files.” The exposed data includes names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, addresses, and some driver’s license numbers – the very kind of personal financial information Equifax is supposed to keep completely secure for its customers. The information of 209,000 U.S. credit card numbers was obtained, as well as 182,000 credit report dispute documents that included “personal identifying information.” Despite the fact that Equifax believes the colossal hack occurred between May and July, it waited months to disclose the data breach to the public.
If you are concerned that your information may have been compromised in the Equifax data breach, or you have experienced identity theft or other action you think may be related to Equifax’s data breach, please contact us immediately. Pratt Clay, LLC is a national trial firm dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers and will carefully review your case for no charge.
Equifax has created a website (equifaxsecurity2017.com) where consumers can check to see if they have been affected by the data breach. However, buried in the fine print are terms that may bar those who enroll in the Equifax checker program from participating in any class-action lawsuit that may arise from the data breach.
If you choose to access the site listed above, you may select the “potential impact” link which will take you to another link titled “check potential impact.” Once you are clicked on that link, you will be required to provide your last name and the last six digits of your social security number. If you click “continue”, a box will soon appear letting you know whether Equifax believes you have been affected by the data breach. If you have, you can choose to “enroll” which will give you an enrollment date. Importantly, it is unclear whether providing your last name and the last six digits of your social security number will bar you from participation in a class action. Contact a digital privacy and data protection attorney at Pratt Clay, LLC immediately for guidance.