Half a million Mainers exposed in Equifax data breach

Massive data breach at Equifax

UPDATE: After many people checked to see if they were impacted by the Equifax breach, there was concern over the company’s arbitration clause and class action waiver that was on their website.  The company has updated its statement to say that the arbitration clause and class action waiver will not apply to this incident.

The Washington Post has reported that high-level Equifax executives sold $2 million dollars in corporate stock within two days of the company learning of the breach. The Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to investigate this sale.  A company spokeswoman insists that those executives had no knowledge that there had been a breach. 

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Mainers are not immune to a nationwide data breach into the files of Equifax -- the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection reports that about 524,517 Mainers are affected.

Equifax's Chairman and CEO Rick Smith released a video apology Friday morning. "I deeply regret this issue and I apologize to all of our affected consumers and all of our partners," Smith said. The breach took place sometime between May and July 29, 2017 but wasn't made public until September 7th. The information obtained by hackers includes social security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, and drivers license numbers.

David Leach is the Principal Examiner for Maine's Bureau of consumer credit protection, he says this breach is something to be concerned about. "As far as data breaches go this is in the major leagues you know this is a big one," Leach said. "You know this is in line with the Yahoo data breach." 
 
Equifax has a link to their website to check and see if your information has been compromised, to do so click here.
 
Leach says you should check immediately...if you are among the millions affected, you do have options. "It can be corrected it's not a forever thing it's not carved in granite," Leach said. 

The Bureau recommends that Mainers with concerns about the security of their credit reports freeze or lock their accounts. Learn how to that here. You should also check your bank and credit card statements for any unauthorized purchases.

Equifax is also offering a free ID-protection program which will protect you for the next year that can sign up for.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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