VERIFY: Is Equifax making it hard to sue?

By signing up for Equifax's free identity theft protection am I waiving my right to sue?

QUESTION:

By signing up for Equifax's TrustedID identity theft protection, offered free after the 143 million account breach-- am I waiving my right to sue?

ANSWER:

Not anymore. Equifax revised their Terms of Use following customer blow back and media shaming. 

SOURCES:

Equifax

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

PROCESS:

One of the largest credit bureaus in the U.S. was breached by hackers compromising social security numbers, credit card numbers, driver's license numbers, dates of birth and home addresses of 143 million Americans.

CEO Richard Smith announced the breach September 7, more than a month after the breach was detected. 

 

 

Clients lambasted the Equifax for not contacting them sooner and individually, instead learning of the breach through media coverage from a national press release.

Following the breach many warned online not to accept the company's free identity theft protection offered as a olive branch to customers in gratis. They claimed that by accepting the free TrustedID product, customers waived their rights to sue in a class-action.

That was true for a bit, but not anymore.

Equifax adjusted it's legal Terms of Use and removed the arbitration clause, according to Spokesperson Francesca De Girolami.

We double checked with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and they confirmed that those affected by the breach will not waive their right to sue by signing up.

The Federal Trace Commission has been tracking credit scams, hacks and breaches since 1914 and created a video on exactly what victims of identity theft should do.

 

 

 

 

Verify also has some fast facts about putting a temporary freeze on credit, a protection Equifax and the FTC say you should consider. 

If you freeze your credit, you are still able to open new accounts, lease a car, rent an apartment or take out a loan, it just means you will have to lift the freeze. The process takes up to three business days, according to the FTC. 

Freezes won't keep thieves from dipping into your accounts, like credit and debit cards, it just makes it more difficult to open new accounts.

It costs $5 in Maryland to freeze an account and $10 in Virginia and the District, but the fee is always waived for victims of identity theft.

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© 2017 WUSA-TV


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