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Significant Consumer Fraud Equifax Breach Reportedly Goes Unaddressed

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Even though the Equifax data breach and subsequent consumer fraud-related harm that occurred happened last year, new reporting reveals that the government still has not acted, and may now even be taking steps to reduce consumer rights’ to file consumer fraud complaints.

Specifically, a new report reveals that the Consumer Fraud Protection Bureau has received more than 20,000 complaints against Equifax since the data breach, and nothing has been done. Instead, the Bureau’s Acting Director (Mick Mulvaney) is reportedly trying to change the bureau’s complaint portal so that the public won’t be able to find out anything about the various complaints lodged.

The Breach & Its Harm to Consumers

Nearly 148 million of Equifax’s users in the United States (approximately half or more of the entire country’s population) had their personal information compromised in the data breach. As we reported, the company waited approximately six weeks after finding out to announce it to consumers, while its executives spent their time selling millions in stock shares in the company.

Initially, the company offered free credit reporting to those consumers who had been affected, while also forcing those who signed on into arbitration clauses that barred them from joining forces with other affected consumers in lawsuits.

The 20,000 complaints lodged against Equifax thus far have mainly involved allegations of the company’s identity theft solutions, improper use of credit reports, inadequate resolutions to problems that arose after the breach, and incorrect information on reports. Consumers have complained of losing job prospects due to false accounts provided by Equifax, as well as being victims of identity theft and the credit breach.

Litigation Filed

In addition, more than 240 class action lawsuits have already been filed against Equifax as a result of the breach. In addition, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, FTC, SEC, several congressional committees, and all 50 state attorneys general have filed investigations and probes.

However, not only has the bureau reportedly failed to take any punitive actions, it hasn’t taken a single enforcement action at all since Mulvaney has taken over. In addition, after the breach was revealed, the IRS reported awarded Equifax a $7.2 million no-bid contract to verify taxpayer identities. Reportedly, this contract was suspended after significant public backlash.

Thus far, the only action taken has been by the SEC, which charged Equifax’s former chief information officer with insider trading.

Florida Consumer Protection Attorneys

Our consumer protection attorneys at Lavalle, Brown & Ronan help consumers who have been victimized by consumer fraud issues. Know that there are both federal and state laws protecting you, and sometimes litigation is the only way to achieve justice in these circumstances. With a combined record of over 130 years of experience in this matter, don’t hesitate to get in touch and find out how we can help via a free consultation.

For more information and in depth analysis, please contact Attorney Ken Ronan at   kronan@bocalaw.com and Case Manager Richard Bagdasarian at rbagdasarian@bocalaw.com.

Resources:

vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/4/30/17277172/equifax-data-breach-cfpb-elizabeth-warren-mick-mulvaney

documentcloud.org/documents/4449153-Breach-of-Trust-Equifax-Report.html

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