(WKRG) — Big backlash against Equifax, this after it was discovered they were victim of a data breach earlier this year. The credit bureau is now in the crosshairs of Massachusetts’ Attorney General, Maura Healey, who announced Tuesday she was filing a lawsuit against Equifax. The complaint alleges that the credit reporting bureau violated Massachusetts’ consumer protection and data privacy laws by not installing appropriate safeguards.
The breach put 143 million Americans’ personal information at risk.
“That’s information that later can be used to commit identity theft, to commit health care fraud theft, can be used to file false tax returns,” says Healey.
A Portland, Oregon attorney and former Georgia Governor and attorney, Roy Barnes, have also filed class action lawsuits against the Atlanta-based credit bureau.
Equifax is also getting heat from Capitol Hill.
“Equifax hid the breach from consumers for over a month, failed to clearly inform people whether the information had been stolen, then tried to profit off the breach by tricking people into signing up for a costly credit monitoring product that also required them to give up their legal rights,” says Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Senator Elizabeth Warren wants to pass the Freedom from Equifax Exploitation Act. It would make credit freezes free for all consumers, and it would require agencies to give customers stronger fraud alert protections and provide an additional free credit report. You are already allowed one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus.
Experts say the best thing to do is to freeze your credit with all the major credit bureaus. Equifax is doing it for free, but you may need to pay between $5 and $10 if you freeze through Transunion or Experian. Freezing your credit does not affect your credit score in any way.