Equifax Is Not Your Friend: Should Everyone Freeze Their Account?

Monday, September 18, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com,
ZeroHedge.com
Sep 18, 2017

The Equifax security breach scandal keeps growing and growing. Their handling of the data breach that affected as many as 143 million accounts has been horrendous.

Executives dumped their shares before reporting the stolen data. Following the breach, their website did not function properly, people got signed up for programs they did not want or need, and customer service has been dismal all around.

Equifax is Not Your Friend
InTheseTimes reports The Equifax Hacking Scandal Is a Reminder That Credit-Reporting Agencies Are Not Our Friends.

Last week, Equifax—one of the country’s three major credit-reporting agencies alongside Experian and Transunion—revealed that its security apparatus had been breached. “Hackers” obtained private financial information the company held on over 140 million Americans. This is the third major security breach Equifax has suffered in the past two years, and it is by far the worst. Cybersecurity experts call it a 10 out of 10 on the catastrophe scale—with the negative consequences potentially lasting for decades.

Equifax became aware of the hacks on July 29 and the company’s top brass took immediate action. But rather than moving to alert the public that their information could be compromised, on August 1 and 2, three leading executives—including the company’s chief financial officer (CFO) John Gamble—sold nearly $2 million worth of shares in the company. Traders also noticed a sudden—and suspicious—selling of Equifax stock options.

Gamble has been with the company since 2014 and has only once sold shares prior to last month’s sale.

Equifax hired a customer-service agency to assist with the volume of calls they’d be receiving. Yet the company didn’t inform the agency of whom was likely affected by the breach, so when people started calling in, the outsourced contact centers were unable to provide useful information.

The company also offered a one-year free trial with TrustedID—an identity protection company acquired by Equifax in 2013. With TrustedID’s credit-monitoring services, those who signed up would be able to definitively tell if their financial data was exposed through the breach.

However, the service appeared to come with a catch. Equifax’s Terms of Use spelled out that by signing up, customers would waive the right to participate in a class-action lawsuit. After a social-media backlash, Equifax clarified that the “arbitration clause and class action waiver included in the Equifax and TrustedID premier terms of use does not apply to this cybersecurity incident.”

The scope of information obtained by the Equifax hackers likely won’t be known for many years. As of last week, the company’s security has changed from asking for the last four digits of customers’ social security number to asking for the last six, so it’s safe to assume that if you were included in the breach, the last four digits of your social security number are likely out there.

If there’s anything positive to be taken away from Equifax’s security blunder, it’s that it reminds us that in a shadowy surveillance economy, we aren’t the employee or the consumer, but the product. What’s to be done about this is up for debate—but not one we’re allowed to have any say in.

Many Reasons to Freeze Your Account
MarketWatch says there are many reasons why you should freeze your credit report today. Why? Because You risk financial chaos by doing nothing.

If you’re hoping to just ride out the Equifax breach scandal and do nothing about it, you might not have a problem next week or next month. Or even next year.

Since the credit reporting company Equifax EFX, -3.81% announced last Thursday it had been affected by a data breach earlier in the summer that potentially affected 143 million U.S. adults, consumers have had many questions about how to protect themselves. Some have not even been able to freeze their credit reports as security experts have suggested because Equifax and the other two credit bureaus TransUnion and Experian overloaded with calls and credit-freezing requests they were unable to handle.

If you don’t take any steps? This is what could happen:

Financial identity theft

The Rest…HERE

One Response to “Equifax Is Not Your Friend: Should Everyone Freeze Their Account?”

  1. Miriam

    And foreigners want a part of this fascist control of Americans?
    Why bother to cross the borders or immigrate to the fruited plain? Everything is ruined now.

    This will affect the real estate industry, the health insurance industry, all industries…and everyone will blame Trump.

    #3367606

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