Attorney General offers updated information in light of Equifax - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Attorney General offers updated information in light of Equifax breach

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Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine offered updated information for consumers following the recent announcement by Equifax of a major data breach affecting over 5 million Ohioans.  

Equifax, one of the nation's three major credit reporting bureaus, has stated that their system was compromised between May and July of this year and includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver's license numbers.

"The news of the Equifax breach was, and remains, absolutely shocking," Attorney General DeWine said. "It's important for consumers to understand the new information that has come to light in recent days so that they can make informed decisions moving forward, and I will continue to press Equifax to do the right things to help affected consumers."

Attorney General DeWine offered the following updates that can be found on Equifax's website:

Arbitration Clauses: Equifax has stated enrollment in "TrustedID Premier"– their product offered in response to the breach – will not subject an enrollee to mandatory arbitration.  

According to Equifax, the arbitration clauses originally included in the Terms of Use on this site have now been removed, and the Terms of Use on Equifax's site do not apply to the TrustedID Premier product being offered to consumers as a result of the breach.

Waiver of Rights: Equifax has also stated that the Terms of Use do not create a waiver of class action rights.  

Specifically, Equifax states, "To be as clear as possible, we will not apply any arbitration clause or class action waiver against consumers for claims related to the free products offered in response to the cybersecurity incident or for claims related to the cybersecurity incident itself."

Charge for Security Freeze:  Equifax has agreed to waive fees for placing and removing security freezes through November 21, 2017.  

Additionally, consumers who paid for a security freeze starting at 5 pm on September 7, 2017 will receive a refund.  

Note that you are still required to pay for security freezes through TransUnion and Experian should you choose to place a freeze there.

To do this, you must contact TransUnion and Experian directly. 

To learn more about the breach, including whether you were affected, and to find updated information, click here or call 866-447-7559.

In response to the breach, Attorney General DeWine, along with 42 other attorneys general, issued a letter urging Equifax to reconsider some of its current practices in response to the breach.  

Among other things, the letter asks Equifax to reconsider and cease marketing fee-based products,to extend the TrustedID Premier enrollment deadline and to extend the hours to 24-hours-a-day and  to properly staff the call center.  

Other tips consumers should consider include:

  • Checking your credit report
  • Placing an initial fraud alert on your credit report
  • Considering placing a security freeze on your credit report
  • Monitoring your bank accounts 
  • When it's tax season, considering filing early

Victims of identity theft should contact the Ohio Attorney General's Office at 800-282-0515 or the Ohio Projects website. 

Please note that the Ohio Attorney General recommends checking your credit reports first, and then contacting the Ohio Attorney General's Office only if your information appears to have been misused.   

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