In a world where more and more consumers are incredibly mindful about their credit history and credit score, a leading credit reporting agency, Equifax, has announced that over 100m individuals are the victims of a cyber breach which has lead to a leak of their personal information. To determine if you are a victim, Equifax has set up a checking tool which can tell you whether your information has been compromised. Find it at https://trustedidpremier.com/eligibility/eligibility.html.
What this means for consumers.
Obviously, it’s disheartening. This is a credit reporting agency that insurance companies, credit card companies, and background checks look to for verifiable information regarding a individual. There is a large amount of trust that is put into this company by the public and they report information which can impact many things, and the impact of a data breach like this can then span decades.
For starters, a common piece of information that credit reporting agencies use is your social security number. Generally, identity theft is an insufficient ground to get a replacement social security number – in fact, the burden will be on you to prove someone else is using your number. Even if you are able to change the numbers, it does not automatically fix your credit report either – something that is generally done at the discretion, after a formal inquiry, if the credit reporting agency.
In addition to the social security number issue, other information can now potentially be in the public sphere – your address, date of birth, maiden name, former addresses, etc. this information is generally used by lenders to verify that you are you (especially if you have a common name).
What can you do?
As of now, there have been over 30 lawsuits filed against Equifax for this data breach. Our office focuses not only on bringing suit, but trying to help you recover from the damage caused by this data breach. If you have been affected by this breach, please feel free to give me a call at the office: 813.252.0239. Our services can include securing your credit, suing Equifax on your behalf, or potentially a class action.