What adult American hasn’t heard of Equifax? Anyone? Anyone? We know who the keepers of our FICO scores are: Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. These peddlers of our key financial data remain the keepers of our financial well-being. Breaches such as this will result in credit disaster for some consumers.
Now we learn that Equifax leaks like a rotting dingy. Late last week the company(EFX) announced perhaps the worst consumer-related data breach in U.S. history. Reports vary. The company waited at least three weeks, some say six, before reporting the breach. 143 million Americans’ sensitive financial data was lost, by Equifax, their third and worst breach in two years.
Exact credit card numbers of an additional 209,000 consumers were also lost, along with other frivolous information like SS#s and birth dates.
What is Equifax doing to help the half of America it put at grave financial risk? The company has launched a website to provide information about the incident. Equifax is also offering one free year of credit monitoring and identity-theft protection to all who enroll on this corporate mop-up website. Those sweet dear men. They’ve shown up to help. Not really.
A grim and unsettled Equifax CEO, Richard Smith, appears in the feature video. Standing off-angle he appears unclear, distracted. What does it mean when even the CEO can’t square-up to the camera when facing definitive issues?
On Friday(9-8-17) CBS News reported that the company had stashed a land-mine clause in the fine print which renders all who sign up for the free credit monitoring program ineligible to participate in any subsequent legal action against Equifax.
The triadic Dark Ministries of America’s credit.
Again. Those who sign-up with the company will not be participating in either separate, or class-action, lawsuits. For those already signed up for this “free” credit monitoring and ID theft protection can dis-enroll, thus restoring their legal right to sue. If enrolled you can “opt-out.” Such notification must be submitted in writing. Mail it certified.
Equifax’s response has been to deceive. It’s currently baiting victims of its’ beach, under the guise of informing and restoring. In reality Equifax is attempting to limit its’ liability. That’s called shameless.
So who needs ISIS when you have Equifax? StockJaw has been all over the company’s mob-up website and here”s what the company is saying:
“We understand that some consumers are experiencing difficulties getting the answers and support they need through our website and call center. Ramping up the website and call center to handle the anticipated volume is ongoing and we are focused on making improvements as quickly as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience this process has created.”
Equifax has for years failed to protect sensitive data critical to millions–that’s us. Their latest failure is the third in two years. Try three big-time fumbles in the NFL in two years and see what happens.
Who doesn’t love this kind of language? The company is very craftily referring to the fight for definitive information as an “inconvenience.” Referring to the struggle for information rather than the breach, almost implies that the entire experience is merely some “inconvenience.”
Equifax Ministry of Muff. All entryways require a fob.
Yet Equifax was not done. Along with the forfeiture of all legal rights, any enrollee in the Equifax monitoring program is subject to the typical obstacle course sign up ploy. Nice. Right on the heels of the initial sign up screen enrollees are informed that “no additional notifications will be provided concerning enrollment, and you are not done with the process. Come back in a few days to finish.” That is if you remember, or can again generate the time/focus. Many will not. Equifax knows this, and is counting on drop-outs. That’s the definition of cynical.
Equifax wants to help–if you’ll forfeit all your legal rights, and can out-last their cynical weed-out sign up process.
What to do.
With nearly two-thirds of U.S. consumers potentially affected, many consumers will act. The Washington Post provides good information concerning “freezing” your credit report, or using less effective credit monitoring services.
A spate of lawsuits appears likely. This slack-jaw breach at Equifax is not their first, or second. The company has lost data in three separate incidents over the past two years. How likely is it that this breach is their last? ID theft is a financial plague. Companies such as Equifax are critical to the process of reducing it. Current actions tell us just how seriously, or not, they are taking it.
Images sourced from Pixabay.