Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, Monday, joined 49 attorneys general announcing a settlement with Equifax concerning the credit-reporting agency’s 2017 data breach. This was the largest-ever consumer data breach exposing the data of 56% of American adults.
A nearly two-year investigation found that Equifax’s failure to maintain the security of its computer systems enabled hackers to penetrate those systems. Breached information included social security numbers, names, dates of birth, addresses, credit card numbers, and in some cases, driver’s license numbers.
The Attorneys General settlement includes a Consumer Restitution Fund of up to $425 million, a $175 million payment to the states, which includes $1,050,877 for Nebraska, and appropriate changes to their business practices. Additionally, the company will offer affected consumers extended credit-monitoring services for a total of 10 years.
“Equifax was in the business of collecting and controlling access to millions of Americans’ personal information,” stated Attorney General Peterson. “Nebraska consumers were impacted by the compromise of their information and Equifax is being held accountable for those harms.”
In addition to strengthening its security practices, Equifax has agreed to take several steps to assist consumers who are either facing identity theft issues or who have already had their identities stolen. Those steps include:
- Making it easier for consumers to freeze and thaw their credit
- Making it easier for consumers to dispute inaccurate information in their credit reports
- Maintaining sufficient staff dedicated to assisting consumers who may be victims of identity theft
Consumers who are eligible for restitution will be required to submit their claims online or by mail. Consumers will be able to obtain information about the settlement, check their eligibility to file a claim, and file a claim on the Equifax Settlement Breach online registry.
For more information regarding whether you are entitled to restitution, visit www.ftc.gov/equifax or call 1-833-759-2982.
To obtain information about how to protect yourself as a consumer, file a consumer complaint, or report a scam, please visit the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection website at www.protectthegoodlife.nebraska.gov or call (800) 727-6432.