News Worms
News Worms


Latest Equifax Bungle: Predictable Credit Freeze PINs

Latest Equifax Bungle: Predictable Credit Freeze PINs

Then, request a copy of your credit report. In fact, 143 million individuals may have seen their names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver's license numbers stolen.

That same website offers users a year of free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection with TrustedID Premier, an Equifax product.

And you may need to be vigilant much longer than the free year of credit monitoring Equifax is offering.

Mark Mattioli, Chief of Montana's Office of Consumer Protection, said the reason why Equifax suffered its data breach are not as important as what Montanans must now do to ensure that their own personal information is protected.

While their services are essential to the USA economy, the credit-reporting bureaus don't have the same regulatory oversight as the financial industry.

You can view your credit reports for free at AnnualCreditReport.com.

Fortunately, there are defensive steps you can take. The U.S. government can still see someone's credit during a freeze, but creditors can't, reports Bankrate.com. Thanks to the "website application vulnerability" which hackers exploited, personal data about British, Canadian and American consumers are in the hands of God knows who. "Equifax got caught trying to profit from a massive security breach and the outrage from consumers and advocates made them reverse their position". Except perhaps the credit card info which they may put to nefarious use.

"Maine is one of the few states in which consumers can "freeze" their credit report information to prevent unauthorized persons from opening credit accounts in their name", said David Leach, the bureau's principal examiner. Each charges $5 to $10 to freeze an account, and they will provide a PIN number that will allow you to lift the freeze. (ANTM - Free Report) and Sony Corporation (SNE - Free Report) have also been victims of cyber attack, when fraudsters stole large number of consumer data. A freeze won't affect your credit score or report. Consumers will have to take the time to place a freeze at each bureau separately. People are actually searching more for "LifeLock" than for "identity theft", he noted.

The chairmen of at least two U.S. House committees say they want to hold hearings.

However, sensitivity of the information exposed in Equifax's data breach case makes it one of the worst in recent times as well as bigger than those at the aforementioned companies. Several state attorneys general have also said they would investigate, which could result in fines at the state level.

Before Equifax announced the breach, some lawmakers last week were considering whether to lower penalties for credit-reporting bureaus whose inaccurate information hurts consumers, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company has since told Business Insider by email that the executives had no knowledge that an intrusion had occurred at the time they sold their shares.

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