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Equifax Faces Multi-Billion Dollar Lawsuit after Hack
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Summary: A class action lawsuit was filed against Equifax after hackers accessed millions of accounts. 

Equifax keeps track of your credit score, but its credibility has been shot recently. After a hack which left almost 150 million Americans’ personal information vulnerable, the credit score company faces what one law firm calls “the largest class-action lawsuit in U.S. history.”

  
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On Thursday, the law firms OlsenDaines and Geragos & Geragos filed a complaint on behalf of plaintiffs Mary McHill and Brook Reinhard against Equifax. McHill and Reinhard had their financial information stored with the agency, which was hacked by an unauthorized third party.  The lawsuit accused Equifax of lacking adequate cyber security to combat attacks and that it could have spent more on technological safeguards but chose not to.

“In an attempt to increase profits, Equifax negligently failed to maintain adequate technological safeguards to protect Ms. McHill and Mr. Reinhard’s information from unauthorized access by hackers,” the complaint stated. “Equifax knew and should have known that failure to maintain adequate technological safeguards would eventually result in a massive data breach. Equifax could have and should have substantially increased the amount of money it spent to protect against cyber-attacks but chose not to.”

According to Fox News, the class action lawsuit is seeking as much as $70 billion in damages. Bloomberg reported that the lawsuit was filed in Oregon and affected almost 143 million people across the United States.

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The lawsuit was filed after Equifax announced hackers accessed customer accounts between May and July. This information includes social security numbers, addresses, and driver’s license numbers. The company said that it learned of the breach on July 29, and days later, three Equifax executives sold hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stock.

A spokesman for Equifax said that the executives were not aware of the hack when they unloaded their shares.



In Equifax’s Thursday announcement, it said that credit card numbers for about 209,000 people were revealed and 182,000 customers involved in credit report disputes had personal identifying information exposed.

Equifax is one of three credit agencies that receive financial and background data on American consumers. The credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, receive information from companies ranging from the DMV to banks.

According to CNN Money, Equifax will not contact everyone affected but it will send direct mail to individuals whose credit card numbers were accessed. The company suggested that consumers sign up for a credit report monitoring service www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and once enrolled, users will receive a notice whether or not their information was hacked. The service will not be available until Monday and is only free for one year.

Equifax also told CNN Money that people can monitor their credit by checking out the free credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com.

The Federal Trade Commission also offers information about protecting yourself from identity theft at www.ftc.gov/idtheft.

What do you think of the Equifax hack? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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